B. Shemesh residents hang flags after city refuses (JERUSALEM POST) By JEREMY SHARON 04/26/12)
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Residents of Beit Shemesh have had to string up Israeli flags down a
central Beit Shemesh thoroughfare for Yom Haatzmaut because, they
say, the municipality refused to do so.
Although many streets throughout Beit Shemesh have been generously
festooned with flags and bunting, Herzog Street, which runs directly
between the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet and
the more modern neighborhood of Givat Sharet, was not included in the
patriotic street decorations.
The municipality does not hang flags inside the city’s haredi
neighborhoods at all.
According to anti-extremism community activist Rabbi Dov Lipman, an
official in the Beit Shemesh Municipality said that there was no
point putting flags along the streets since extremists would simply
The Beit Shemesh Municipality spokesman could not be reached to
verify the comment.
Herzog Street has become something of a fault line in the city’s
struggle between ultra-Orthodox extremists and residents fighting
what they see as the “haredification” of Beit Shemesh.
Extremists last year regularly picketed the Orot Banot elementary
girls school, which is on Herzog Street, in protest at what they said
was the pupils’ “immodest” dress and the close proximity of the
school to their neighborhood.
“When the girls left school this morning, they could see and feel
that they are living in a Zionist city and not one under the control
of extremists,” said Lipman “The time has come to do what’s right and
not to give these extremists any control whatsoever. By refraining
from putting the flags up along this street it reinforces the notion
they have that ‘this is our turf’.
“Whatever happens in this city, if the municipality won’t stand up to
the extremists then the residents will.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem
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