By Yishai Schechter
Anti-Semitism needs blood libels and every blood libel needs legal proof. It seems that the legacy of fear and hatred towards the ultra-Orthodox public is so deeply-rooted in the heart of the Israeli consensus that it prevents it from examining affairs related to this society on a case by case basis. This week’s “hot affair” was definitely the case of the “starving mother.” The shocking photos in the newspapers, reminiscent of images from concentration camps, showed what a famished child looks like, and the pictures of the haredim who protested against the arrest of the mother showed to the readership what the charedi community “really is.”Finally, the “real” evidence the public has been waiting for since the riots in Yerushalayim broke out, have been given.
We knew we should not give in to those charedim. We knew that it will start with them interrupting our Shabbos shopping, but who knows where it will end? And now the facts are revealed! Right under our noses lives a group of “blacks” that abuse children; a closed cult that defiantly protects a mother who starves her son. Who knows what else is going on under the roofs of Meah Shearim?
The war of the sons of light against the sons of darkness has begun. The good against the bad; the enlightened against the child abusers.
And the mayor’s ruling? Collective punishment. No municipal services will be given to the entire neighborhood. No more taking out the trash, no firefighter or social services. And the reason, naturally, is the charedi riots and the sincere concern for the welfare of city employees. Send the starving mother to jail immediately!
And now to the minority opinion:
Assuming the facts are true, we are dealing with the tragic story of a woman who is suffering from a serious mental disorder, “Munchausen Syndrome by proxy,” according to the welfare services (who have not even concluded diagnosing the woman). This is a severe, rather rare syndrome that causes sufferers to harm those dependent on them as means of getting attention and sympathy from their surrounding.
These sick people need professional help and can be dangerous to those who are dependent on them.
They therefore need to be removed from their loved-ones as long as they are unaware of their problem and as long as it is not being treated.
This is exactly what the welfare services are there for: To provide proper care in such cases, including issuing restraining orders when a person is deemed dangerous to those around him.
So, why was the case handed over to the police? What do police investigators have to do with the personality disorders of a sick woman, who happens to be five-month pregnant? What will they be investigating exactly? Why is the treatment of this woman not being handled by the welfare authorities, which are the natural, legal branch for treating her?
And, should the need arise, the welfare services have the authority to ask he court for a restraining order. In the event such an order is violated, the police can always be brought into the picture.
Why were the police waiting for her upon leaving the welfare offices, contrary to the position of mental health officials, and arrested her in front of the press? Where are the women’s organizations when it comes to charedim? Where are the human rights groups?