M., a teenage girl, was attacked by a group of young yeshiva students on a Ganey Tikva street on Sunday. According to the teen, the reason was her physical appearance, which alludes to her sexual orientation.
M, 17, was walking down the street in the central Israeli city – a route she said she has been taking regularly over the past two years – when she was mobbed and assaulted.
“It was the middle of the afternoon,” she told Ynet on Tuesday. “I was wearing my headphones and I passed a bus stop for yeshiva boys. There was a small group there. I passed them by and a few seconds later I started hearing yelling.
“I took my headphones off and turned around, and realized that they were shouting at me. They were yelling ‘lesbian’ and ‘is it a boy or a girl?’ and then they started throwing rocks at me. Once they saw I was hurt they ran away. I didn’t chase them – I just got out of there.”
M. and her mother filed a police complaint shortly thereafter.
“I was shocked. I never thought something like this could happen. I pass through this neighborhood every day. I did nothing provocative – it’s not like I was wearing the rainbow flag on my back. I was minding my own business. I wasn’t bothering anyone.
“Why did they mob me? They were judging me based on my appearance – and they were right, the way I look isn’t misleading – but the fact that a woman has a short hairdo doesn’t mean anything. I’m not active anywhere, they couldn’t have recognized me from anywhere. It was all about the way I look.”
The stones hurled at M. hit her face, bruising her. “My mother is livid. She insisted that we file a complaint with the police and make this incident public. She’s right. This is 2013 – these things shouldn’t happen.”
The incident, she added, will not scare her into changing her routine. “I’m a little scared but I’ll walk through there again. I see no reason not to. They shouldn’t affect my life in any way.”
The police confirmed that a complaint was filed, saying that the matter was under investigation.