Haredi Boy Attacked in Suspected Jerusalem Hate Crime

Boy says two teens beat him with sticks and cursed at him, based on their curses, he believes they attacked him because he is ultra-Orthodox.

Oz Rosenberg
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Oz Rosenberg

An 11-year-old ultra-Orthodox boy was assaulted at a Jerusalem bus stop on Tuesday. This is apparently the second hate crime in three days by non-religious Jews targeting Haredi children.

The boy, David Lustig, told police that he was waiting for the bus to school "when someone approached me and said 'come here,' but I refused. They approached me, slapped me and started shouting at me."

an ultra-Orthodox boy.Credit: Alex Levac

Lustig said two teens beat him with sticks and cursed at him. They were not wearing the scullcaps of religious Jews, and based on their curses, he believes they attacked him because he is ultra-Orthodox, he said.

The boy's mother, Malka Lustig, said the other people at the bus station, most of whom were ultra-Orthodox as well, did not see the assault because it took place a few meters away. Her son fled his attackers when the bus arrived, she said.

At school, Lustig told one his teachers, Rabbi Moshe Neuber, who immediately took him to the local police station. "He's a charming, gentle soul," Neuber said of Lustig. "He was in shock. I never saw him so confused and shaken."

The police launched an investigation, but Lustig is now afraid to go to school alone.

"I don't want to walk to my Talmud Torah without my mother. I'm afraid they'll beat me up again. I want those people to be caught, so I won't be afraid," he said.

This was the second hate crime in three days targeting Haredi children. On Sunday, an 11-year-old Haredi girl told police she was attacked on a Jerusalem bus by a secular man who spit at her, pushed her and shouted: "We'll destroy the Haredim." The police said they knew who the perpetrator was and planned to arrest him very soon.

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