Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel should be ashamed of themselves for dressing children in Nazi concentration camp-like uniforms and transporting them on the back of trucks during their protest in Jerusalem last Saturday night (December 31, 2011).
This ultra-Orthodox ploy -- which was designed to highlight Israel's secular media rejection of ultra-Orthodox traditions -- brought back sad memories to a plethora of Jews, who recalled the killing of some six million innocent Jews by German Nazis and their henchmen during World War II. About 200,000 aging survivors of the Holocaust live in Israel today.
Indeed, this was a wrong and disgusting approach for the ultra-Orthodox Jews to use, in order to convey that they are being oppressed in Israel today, just like all the Jews were oppressed in Nazi Germany.
The ultra-Orthodox protesters went so far in their protest to call the Israeli policemen Nazis, while they wore a yellow Star of David patch on their shirts with the word "Jude" -- German for Jew -- and even circulated flyers showing Jerusalem police chief Nisso Shaham depicted as Adolf Hitler.
The fact is that the ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel -- who comprise only about 10 percent of Israel's population -- must respect the values and lifestyles of all religious affiliations in Israel, including the predominantly Reform and Conservative Jews.
It is unreasonable for ultra-Orthodox Jews -- who strictly adhere to the laws and ethics of the Torah -- to attempt to convince more liberal-oriented Jews to live according to their rigid beliefs and lifestyles. For example, they should not expect all Jews to segregate men and women on buses, sidewalks, and other public places, just because that is their religious belief.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews, then, must not have the attitude, "It's my way or the highway," in their efforts to influence all Jews to adopt their religious beliefs.
Rather, ultra-Orthodox Jews should be allowed to live according to their religious beliefs in their own closely-knit communities, while -- at the same time -- not judging others, or attempting to impose their own religious preferences on other Jews.