Ultra-Orthodox Jews of the Mea She'arim neighborhood took protests up a notch on Monday when they posted images of Jerusalem District Commander Niso Shaham characterized as Adolf Hitler onto the Internet. Accompanying the images of Shaham, dressed in SS uniform, was a caption that read "Adolf Niso Shaham – mass murderer."
Police have opened investigations into who created the image, which was posted on the website, "Haredi of Haredis."
About two weeks ago, Shaham spoke at the entrance to the neighborhood, saying Jerusalem police would not tolerate the exclusion of women. "The act of excluding women is terrible," said Shaham. "Anyone who acts to exclude women from the public sphere will be stopped, even if it is embedded in their DNA."
According to Shaham, police entering the Mea She'arim neighborhood were attacked by residents standing on balconies, who shouted "Nazis", poured water on them and threw shreds of paper at the officers.
On Saturday night, the ultra-Orthodox community staged a demonstration in Jerusalem's Kikar Hashabbat (Sabbath Square), where they dressed in prisoner uniforms with yellow badges with the word "Jew" written in German, to protest what they termed the exclusion of Haredim.
Israeli politicians responded with outrage to the protesters' use of Holocaust symbolism. Among those politicians were Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni. The Anti-Defamation League also released a press report condemning the act.