Mea She’arim – A bookstore in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She’arim, which has been struggling with violence from a mafia-style “Purity Committee” that objects to their English and Zionist books, was attacked once again early on Wednesday morning.
Marlene Samuels, the manager of Or Hachaim/Manny’s Bookstore, found the outer windows of the shop smashed for the fifth time since the store’s opening in March 2010, and the second time in less than a week.
Radicals from the fringe anti-Zionist Sikrikim group have also glued its locks shut, thrown tar and fish oil at it and dumped bags of human excrement inside the store.
Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said the police had received a complaint and opened an investigation.
He added that the police are using intelligence gathered from a wide range of sources to try to stop the violence against the store.
The harassment of the bookstore stems from the bookstore’s refusal to accept demands made by the Sikrikim, a group of 60-100 extremists in Mea She’arim which demands all businesses observe specific “modesty standards.”
At Or Hachaim, the Sikrikim’s demands include putting up a sign asking customers to dress modestly and removing all English-language and Zionist books. Two weeks ago, owners of the store met with Sikrikim representatives to try to stop the violence, but no solution was found.
“Their list is too long, they want every English book out, they want the store, that’s the bottom line,” said Samuels.