Despite several rabbis asking youth to refrain from entering protest zones, several Haredi youths are gathered on the fringes of this evening’s anti-judicial shakeup protest in Bnei Brak.
Avraham, 16, says that despite not being versed in the technical details of the debate, he came to counter-protest as part of a social statement.
“I don’t understand the reform, I just know they came here because they’re against us,” he says, pointing at the abutting mass of hundreds of protesters.
“One of them told me that I eat for free here,” he says, saying a demonstrator used a common trope that Israel’s Haredi community does not shoulder its fair share of the state’s economic and security burden.
When asked how that made him feel, he said, “why do they think that way?”
His friend Yisrael, also 16, says he supports the protesters’ right to demonstrate in their community, but says, “just like they come to us, we can come to them.”
“That’s the equality they talk about, right?”