About a month ago, YWN-ISRAEL reported on an incident in which a chareidi soldier on board an Egged 301 bus was verbally assaulted by the driver. The soldier decided to file a complaint with Egged. Following is Egged’s response.
According to Egged, the foul language heard from the driver was not at all leveled at him but intended for another soldier.
The bus company added the driver is a veteran that has been on the 301 line for a long time, a line that frequently has soldiers on board and the driver maintains good relationships with them as he serves in the reserves.
Egged added that during the trip the soldier was speaking with a soldier who works as a cook and a friendship resulted from that conversation. The remarks heard by the chareidi soldier were intended for that soldier, the cook, and not the chareidi soldier as he believed.
Egged adds that it appears the chareidi soldier overheard a portion of their conversation, not a pleasant portion, adding the driver in question is a frum person and his family is part of the chareidi tzibur, stating this to deflect allegations that he is anti-religious or anti-chareidim.
Egged apologizes on the “misunderstanding” and the “agmas nefesh”.
The soldier and his family are not pleased with the response, angered over allegations the soldier imagined the words were intended for him when he knows with certainty this was the case. The soldier’s wife rejects the bus company’s statement, explaining it was clear by the timing, as there was much media buzz against chareidim, as well as the driver’s statements that he was indeed speaking to her husband, not some other soldier as Egged would like everyone to believe.
The wife adds the fact that other passengers did not come to her husband’s defense attest to the success of the media delegitimization campaign against chareidim.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)