Think Again: Haredim and homophobia
By JONATHAN ROSENBLUM
Haredim think that the media show a persistent and blatant bias in their coverage of the community. And they are right. For proof one need look no further than the coverage of the grisly August 1 attack on a counseling center for teenage homosexuals in Tel Aviv, which left two dead and more than a dozen others wounded, three critically.
A haredi man passes posters in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood announcing a protest against the gay pride parade planned in the city.
Before the blood had even been wiped from the floor, the media were rife with the presumption of haredi culpability. Some were quick to assume that the perpetrator was himself haredi. A moment’s reflection should have made clear how unlikely that was.
For one thing, the venue of the counseling center was not public knowledge and would have been unlikely to be known to any haredi. Second, despite the country’s large Orthodox population, there is no history of religious Jews seeking out homosexuals and attacking them.
Western media in general, and the Israeli media in particular, avoid pegging ethnic labels on the perpetrators of crimes, unless, of course, they are haredim or settlers.