Archive for Hasidic

‘The Jews have stopped the billboard’ – American Atheists’ Leader Complains that ‘God is a myth’ ad near Hasidic Neighbourhood has Been Blocked

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2012 by loonwatch

Bob Pitt of Islamophobia-Watch rightly questions whether Islamophobes who allied themselves with American Atheists over the Zombie Muhammad issue will now cry that Jews are attacking freedom of speech and expression, as they surely would if Muslims had stopped the billboard:

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

‘The Jews have stopped the billboard’ – American Atheists’ Leader Complains that ‘God is a myth’ ad near Hasidic Neighbourhood has Been Blocked

by Bob Pitt

This time atheists found themselves answering to a higher power – a picky landlord. A Southside loft owner refused to allow a billboard questioning Judaism to be installed atop his S. Fifth Street building on Tuesday amid outrage in Williamsburg’s Hasidic community.

National atheist leaders tried to take out a month-long ad adjacent to Williamsburg’s Orthodox Jewish stronghold with text in English and Hebrew reading: “You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice.” But at the last minute, landlord Kenny Stier refused to allow workers from the advertising company Clear Channel into his building, according to American Atheists president David Silverman.

Silverman claims powerful neighborhood rabbis convinced Stier to block the non-believing billboard and called the religious leaders and the landlord “anti-atheist bigots”. “The Jews have stopped the billboard,” said Silverman. “It’s really ugly bigotry. As a former Jew, it’s repugnant to see Jews act like this.”

Several Hasidic leaders said they had nothing to do with the landlord’s decision to block the billboard, and Stier declined to comment. “I don’t want to get involved in this,” he said.

Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsburg) said the billboard showed a “severe lack of sensitivity” at a time when Brooklyn should be striving to have open conversations about religion.

“Even if we were to ignore the antagonistic placement of this billboard near the Williamsburg Bridge, the content of the message is conveyed in a disrespectful manner,” said Levin. “This does not appear to be a genuine attempt to engage in a dialogue, but is here merely to insult the beliefs of this community.”

The Brooklyn Paper, 6 March 2012

We look forward to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who have been enthusiastically supporting American Atheists over the “Zombie Muhammad” controversy, joining Silverman in condemning this development as an outrageous attack on freedom of expression – as they undoubtedly would if it had occurred in a Muslim neighbourhood. But don’t hold your breath.

Shaul Spitzer, Hasidic Man Admits Burning Neighbor In New York Religious Dispute

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , on February 12, 2012 by loonwatch
Shaul_Spitzer_Hasidic
Shaul Spitzer

What if he were Muslim?

Shaul Spitzer, Hasidic Man Admits Burning Neighbor In New York Religious Dispute

NEW CITY, NY, Feb 7 (Reuters) – A Hasidic Jewish man from New York state pleaded guilty to assault on Tuesday for setting a neighbor on fire because he wasn’t praying with the rest of the community, leaving the man badly burned.

Shaul Spitzer, 18, of New Square, New York, admitted to lighting Aron Rottenberg ablaze after learning that he had disobeyed a prayer order by the Grand Rebbe of the Hasidic enclave about 35 miles north of New York City.

He pleaded guilty to assault in a New York court and faces up to 10 years in prison, although Judge William Kelly said he would likely receive a 5-year sentence.

Spitzer, who worked for Grand Rebbe David Twersky, admitted in court that he used a heavy duty propane lighter to set Rottenberg on fire in May 2011.

He lit him on fire when Rottenberg confronted him after Spitzer had stuffed gasoline-soaked shirts into a bag, lit it on fire and threw it onto the porch of Rottenberg’s home, he admitted. The family was sleeping inside, court documents said.

Prosecutor Stephen Moore said Rottenberg spent more than a month in the hospital for severe burns.

Under the plea deal, charges of attempted murder and arson were dismissed. Spitzer could have faced a 25-year prison sentence for those charges. Outside court, Spitzer’s attorney Kenneth Gribetz said his client had been trying to cause mischief, not to kill anyone.

“This is a young boy who has no criminal intent,” he said. “He’s not a criminal … He should be given a chance to get back on the right track.”

Spitzer, who will be sentenced in April, entered his plea on the day jury selection was set to begin in the case. Rottenberg was in court and told the judge he consented to the plea deal.

Court documents said Rottenberg’s family had received several threats and had their property vandalized for not praying in the community’s main synagogue.

Rottenburg has a pending civil lawsuit against Spitzer and Twersky stemming from the incident. Gribetz said in court a settlement in the $2 million range was under discussion. (Editing By Ellen Wulfhorst and Cynthia Johnston

Creeping Halakha in Brooklyn? Women Told to Sit in the Back of the Bus

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2011 by loonwatch

If this were Muslims you could be sure that there would be a boycott of this bus line, as well as cries about Creeping Sharia’ and the threat of Islamization.

Women ride in back on sex-segregated Brooklyn bus line

(New York World)

On the morning of October 12, Melissa Franchy boarded the B110 bus in Brooklyn and sat down near the front. For a few minutes she was left in silence, although the other passengers gave her a noticeably wide berth. But as the bus began to fill up, the men told her that she had to get up. Move to the back, they insisted.

They were Orthodox Jews with full beards, sidecurls and long black coats, who told her that she was riding a “private bus” and a “Jewish bus.” When she asked why she had to move, a man scolded her.

“If God makes a rule, you don’t ask ‘Why make the rule?’” he told Franchy, who rode the bus at the invitation of a New York World reporter. She then moved to the back where the other women were sitting. The driver did not intervene in the incident.

The B110 bus travels between Williamsburg and Borough Park in Brooklyn. It is open to the public, and has a route number and tall blue bus stop signs like any other city bus. But the B110 operates according to its own distinct rules. The bus line is run by a private company and serves the Hasidic communities of the two neighborhoods. To avoid physical contact between members of opposite sexes that is prohibited by Hasidic tradition, men sit in the front of the bus and women sit in the back.

The arrangement that the B110 operates under can only be described as unorthodox. It operates as a franchise, in which a private company, Private Transportation Corporation, pays the city for the right to provide a public service. Passengers pay their $2.50 fare not by MetroCard, but in dollar bills and coins. The city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee defines a franchise on its website as “the right to occupy or to use the City’s inalienable property, such as streets or parks, for a public service, e.g., transportation.”

The agreement goes back to at least 1973, and last year the franchise paid the city $22,814 to operate the route, according to the New York City Department of Transportation. According to the news site Vos Iz Neias?, which serves the Orthodox Jewish community in New York City and elsewhere, the bus company has a board of consulting rabbis, which decreed that male passengers should ride in the front of the bus and female passengers in the back.

City, state and federal law all proscribe discrimination based on gender in public accommodations. “Discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations in New York City is against the law,” said Betsy Herzog, a spokeswoman for the New York City Commission on Human Rights, which investigates and prosecutes alleged violations of anti-discrimination law.

The Department of Transportation, which issues the franchise, confirms that it understands the B110 to be subject to anti-discrimination laws. “This is a private company, but it is a public service,” said Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the DOT. “The company has to comply with all applicable laws.”

Following the New York World’s inquiry, Solomonow said DOT would contact Private Transportation Corporation. “We are reaching out to the company about this alleged incident to ask for its response, with the expectation that it will take steps to prevent the occurrence of incidents of this nature,” he said.

The B110 bus shares stops with MTA busesMelissa Franchy/Special to the New York World

Herzog said the Human Rights Commission would not investigate the B110 unless someone filed a complaint. But its website states that “anyone who provides goods and services to the general public is considered a public accommodation” and that it illegal for public accommodations to “set different terms for obtaining those goods or services” to different groups.

Ross Sandler, a professor at New York Law School and editor of the CityLaw newsletter, said that anti-discrimination laws apply to bus franchises, but that religious groups are sometimes granted exceptions. “Do all these laws apply? Yes, they apply to buses that are franchises,” Sandler said. “The question is whether there is an exception for this particular bus line.”

The Transportation Department said that the B110 had not been granted any exceptions to anti-discrimination laws.

Calls to the offices of Private Transportation Corporation also went unreturned. We tried calling the home of Jacob Marmurstein, the company’s president, but were told he was unavailable.

The New York World will be keeping a close eye on the practices aboard the B110 bus and the city’s response – and we will let you know when we hear more.

Religious feud leads to attempted murder charges

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Imagine if a young Muslim teenager got into a religious feud and attempted to murder someone. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer would not stop talking about it and would follow the story down to the very last bit.

Religious feud leads to attempted murder charges

http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/static/flash/embeddedPlayer/swf/otvEmLoader.swf?version=&station=wabc&section=&mediaId=8147216&cdnRoot=http://cdn.abclocal.go.com&webRoot=http://abclocal.go.com&configPath=/util/&site=

Eyewitness News

NEW CITY, New York (WABC) – A teenager is under arrest in an ongoing religious feud in a small, Hasidic village.

It’s become so bad, police say attempted murder charges are now involved.

This latest incident happening in New Square.

Yesterday police arrested 18-year-old Shaul Spitzer on charges of attempted murderarson and first degree assault. Cops say he tried to set the Rottenberg family home on fire and it’s a location police are very familiar with.

There is a few instances of broken windows, broken windows in the vehicles owned by Rottenberg,” said Chief Peter Brower, Ramapo Police Department.

Investigator say early Sunday morning Aron Rottenberg saw Spitzer on his surveillance cameras as the teen threw a rag soaked with flammable liquid onto the rear porch at his Truman Avenue home. The 43-year-old confronted the teenager and somehow both men caught fire.

Rottenberg suffered third degree burns to 50-percent of his body. Spitzer is also hospitalized with burns to his hands and arm.

No one answered the door at Spitzer’s new square home today.

Police and some residents say the attack centers on a simmering feud between the community’s grand rabbi and a group of men, including Rottenberg who worship at a nearby senior center and not at the main synagogue.

(Copyright ©2011 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Hasidic newspaper edits Hillary out of Situation Room photo

Posted in Loon Rabbis with tags , , , , on May 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Imagine if Al Jazeera or MAAN News did something along those lines, we would not hear the end of it.

Hasidic newspaper edits Hillary out of Situation Room photo

A publication brushed both women present out of the iconic image

Much ink has been spilled over the now-iconic Situation Room image, showing President Obama, Hillary Clinton and top national security officials watching a brief on Osama bin Laden’s killing.

Particular attention has gone to Clinton’s seemingly emotional expression (which she says may have been due to allergies) and to the one other woman in the shot, Audrey Tomasen, a counterterrorism analyst whom the media had never heard of before.

But instead of analyzing the two female faces in the photo, one Brooklyn-based Hasidic newspaper, Der Zeitung, took a simpler approach: They just photoshopped them out. The Yiddish publication left two empty spaces in place of the two women. According to the Jerusalem Post, the blog Failed Messiah was the first to pick up on Der Zeitung’s radically edited depiction of the Situation Room.

According to Jezebel, “the religious paper never publishes pictures of women, as they could be considered ‘sexually suggestive’.”

Here is the doctored shot in Der Zeitung, as captured by Failed Messiah:

Credit: Failed Messiah

And here’s the original:

Credit: AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza.