During the ultra-Orthodox demonstrations against Intel in Jerusalem two weeks ago, something strange happened: toward the end of the protest, when the police began pushing the demonstrators out of the Har Hotzvim industrial zone, the Haredim withdrew.
But at one point they reached a pile of plastic boxes on the road, and suddenly refused to retreat any further. Some began fighting the police, while others simply fled to the sides of the road, giving the police more impetus to disperse them forcefully.
The reason for the sudden panic was that under the boxes, on the street, someone had spray painted the name of God - Yahweh. The boxes had been placed on top of the graffiti as a holy roadblock by an anonymous group of secular Jerusalemites who have taken upon themselves to act lawfully and creatively against the Haredim.
The tactics the group uses aim to create confusion among the ultra-Orthodox by turning their own mores and mindset against them. As ultra-Orthodox protests intensify against what the secular perceive to be their domain, such as parking lots or Intel operating on Saturday, the group is stepping up their counter-measures.
In the case of the protest at Intel, the secular underground arrived at the scene the day before, wrote the graffiti, which included derogatory slogans against Rabbi Yitzhak Tuvia Weiss, a head of the Haredi community. One of the slogans that apparently affected the demonstrators most was that describing the rabbi as an Amalekite.
The underground also dispersed pornographic material at the site, which was like spraying tear gas at the protesters, who fled in disarray at the site of the smut.
On the same day, action on the scene of the demonstration was also taken by members of the "Forum of Groups for a Free Jerusalem," an umbrella group for secular organizations. However, unlike the underground group, they made do with standard slogans like "A halakhic state means the state's a goner."
The members of the forum wrote their slogans in chalk; the more radical underground used spray paint.
Another action attributed to the underground is an addition to for sale signs in secular neighborhoods: "Not for Haredim."
Also, before the municipal elections, the group put up signs, similar to the ones found in Haredi neighborhoods, calling on women in secular neighborhoods to dress modestly, and destroyed campaign ads for the ultra-Orthodox candidate Meir Porush.
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