Haredi IDF officer raps his own community over violent riots against lockdown

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

An ultra-Orthodox military officer criticizes his community for the recent violent protests in his hometown of Bnei Brak against the coronavirus lockdown.

Lt. Eli Feldstein, who serves in the Israel Defense Forces’ Spokesperson’s Unit, says he rejects the assertion that those taking part in the violence are not reflective of the Haredi community as a whole.

He also notes that security forces, including police, took part in a wide-scale food distribution program last spring during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t accept the claim that this is just a part of a small minority. The same people in uniform who are getting hit with fists and stones went through Bnei Brak door to door and handed out baskets of food on Passover eve less than a year ago,” Feldstein writes in a tweet.

“Where’s the appreciation? If it’s just a small minority where’s the large majority counter-protesting? Where’s the embrace for our security forces who embraced you less than a year ago?” he writes.

It is not immediately clear if Feldstein is writing in his capacity as an IDF spokesperson.

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