What does a group of young haredim frustrated with the recent outpouring of hatredagainst their sector do when they feel it has all gone out of proportion? Launch a website and fight back.
A month ago a new haredi website called “Dossim” (a derogatory term for someone religious) decided to handle burning haredi-secular issues in its own way. They put all the cards on the table, and with parodies and irony present their side of the story.
Yet there is still room for debate. Site founder Shmuel Drilman welcomes secular writers. “I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” he says, quoting Voltaire adding, as long as it is mutual.
A random review of the website reveals a letter written by a haredi yeshiva student to the “suckers” camp, under that a long list of harsh statements against the haredim which were published in the media, and a variety of columns written by men and women explaining the sector’s stance on the latest issues.
“For many years now, every haredi who uses the internet on a daily basis feels that there is a very biased discussion, explains Drilman, 27, from Beitar Illit, he believes: “It’s no longer a matter of right or wrong, the discussion is tendentious to begin with. I fear is that my children won’t be able to walk in Tel Aviv and eat ice cream without some passerby screaming ‘parasite’ or ‘draft dodger’ or both at them.
“These days there are social networks and well heeled organizations with the sole purpose of delegitimizing the haredim.”
Drilman, an entrepreneur who completed his civil service claims that the less a secular person knows about haredim, the more he is likely to use slogans when talking about them. And that is exactly what he is trying to do through the website.
According to Drilman, even when the media tries to present a balanced report, it does not do so properly. “If you present seven minutes of haredi rioting in Mea Shearim and at the end you have one spokesman who condemns (the riots) – and he represents the majority, it isn’t exactly proportional.”
“The context in which haredim usually come up in the media is negative or disturbed. A journalist would never copy that article and change the words haredi to Ethiopian, Arab or Russian immigrant. Only when it’s haredim is it allowed.
“Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan ruled that violent or offensive statements towards haredim are not eligible to be defined as incitement or racism as they are not a homogonous ethnic group. Thus it became open season on the haredim,” Drilman added.
Source: Ynet News