The Haredi “Nice Guy” Terrorist: “Lady, move to the back of the bus!”

If you are that lady or girl who declines, you intuitively know that you are facing his unspoken nonverbal rage written all over his face. You know too that you run the risk of being spat upon or worse.

In today’s Jerusalem Post, we read:

“The Egged bus company is complicit in a “defamation campaign against the haredi public,” Beit Shemesh Deputy Mayor Shmuel Greenberg (United Torah Judaism) stated in an interview with the Chadash Beit Shemesh newspaper published on Friday.”

I conducted a case study concerning intra-religious violence in Beit Shemesh. I interviewed Brenda Ganot and Alyssa Coleman. The case study has been published in the Romanian Journal of Society and Politics, spring 2013.

The uptick in violence and its crossover contagion continue. Violence does not care how we humans categorize it. Its dynamic is remarkably similar across the board. Violence and aggression do not know boundaries. Violence spreads by conscious and dangerously unconscious identifications with the aggressor.

The seemingly benign request to ask a female to move to the back of the bus, begs for greater scrutiny concerning its psychosocial dynamics. Terrorist behavior is about body language. In this case the palpable Haredi rage which targets the female.

The allegedly benign request by the “nice guy Haredi man” asking you to move to the back of the bus is coercive, manipulative, bullying behavior constituting a fundamental terrorist strategy.

Too many females battle discrimination on a daily basis where they are forced to choose the least worse scenario, a non-confrontation response, in order to avoid violence with the hopes of being safe. It is a horrible compromise.

No female in Israel should EVER be asked to move to the back of the bus by another human being. It is a fundamental human right. Given the track record of Haredi harassment including attacking, stoning, pushing, shoving, spitting, shattering car windows and signs demanding the effacement of the female from the public space, indicates that the female is extremely vulnerable and she is not effectively being protected by civic society and its law enforcement.

Beit Shemesh Deputy Mayor Shmuel Greenberg (United Torah Judaism) is dead wrong about Egged engaging in defamation. Ironically he adheres to the Arabic saying — “He hits me and cries and races me to complain.” Greenberg is, in fact, deliberately and actively trampling on the human rights of the female. It is a frivolous lawsuit at the expense of the Israeli public. He should be held accountable for his aberrant behavior, all the more so, because he is a public official.

And to you: The seemingly nice Haredi guy who asks for the female to move to the back of the bus, since when was it fixed in stone that you, Haredi men, got to “occupy” the front of the bus? Who gave you that privilege? If you were a real gentleman, a real learned mensche, you would keep quiet and move to the back of the bus.
But alas, that is another blog for another time.

About the Author
Dr Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin is a fellow at The American Center for Democracy and a psychoanalyst with a PhD in Aljamía (Old Spanish in Arabic script). She is author of 'The Banality of Suicide Terrorism,' also in Hebrew; Penetrating the Terrorist Psyche and The Maternal Drama of the Chechen Jihadi.