Arad and Beit Shemesh: Related?
The media warn of Arad turning into another Beit Shemesh…
Let's understand the shared origins of the two cities.
In both cases, Charedim claim the right to settle in some city. Their opponents find some excuse to oppose this and speak longingly of the warm and soft "Status Quo" they had grown used to. Charedim remind the secular of their hypocrisy: "Democracy", hello?!, adding accusations of antisemitism to the mix. The media fan the conflict's flames with all their might, harming their own secular constituents worse than the hated Charedim, by causing secular flight.
Who enabled/forced the public integration in this country, anyway? Who elevated "open entry" to the real estate market above all else? The state of Israel – and not because of Charedi pressure, either.
Discrimination is positive. As Chazal say, "If there is no knowledge, how can there be separation?!" You break up communities, remove signs, fight gender separation, and on and on in the name of anti-discrimination, right?
For every separation between "Kodesh" and "Chol' we got smeared as racists. Every acceptance committee got sued. Halachic genealogies were outlawed. When some Charedi and Dati rabbis mentioned the prohibition against renting to non-Jews in Israel, ths was deemed "incitement", and police investigations begun. And the Emanuel school story, remember?
So all of a sudden you rather mild "apartheid"? You accuse the Charedim of narrow sectorial concerns?! Who invented that wheel?
And why offend rabbis personally? Even "extreme" Charedim don't hang signs with pictures of Ben Gurion and Jabotinsky in the town square, because of red lines and Derech Eretz. We understand. The anger is not at any specific Shul or Chassidic Rebbe: they find it hard to admit the blame lies with them, so they direct the rage at us.
"But as much as they would afflict them, so did they multiply and so did they gain strength" (Shemos 1:12).
With Heaven's help, Yehuda Segal