Ultra-Orthodox Don Holocaust Garb for Protest

Groups calls opposition over push for sex segregation a 'spiritual Holocaust'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2012 2:48 AM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2012 4:48 AM CST

(Newser) – Israelis are fuming after an ultra-Orthodox group dressed in concentration camp garb to protest their treatment by the public for promoting segregation of the sexes. Thousands of the extremists gathered in Jerusalem with their children dressed in the striped black-and-white uniforms of Jews imprisoned in World War II. They were protesting protests against them, launched last week after grown men of the group jeered and spit on young school girls for failing to dress more "modestly." They're pushing for segregation of genders in Israel, and calling for men and women to walk on opposite sides of the streets.

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Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial denounced the use of concentration camp uniforms as "disgraceful," reports AP. We "must leave the Holocaust and its symbols outside the arguments in Israeli society," added the chairman of the main umbrella group for Holocaust survivors in Israel. "This harms the memory of the Holocaust." An organizer of the extremist protest defended the garb, saying Israeli "media incitement" concerning the sex segregation issue is "reminiscent of the German Media before World War II." Another protester called demonstrations against them a "spiritual Holocaust." (Read more Israel stories.)

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