EXTREMIST VIOLENCE: Bnei Brak “Didi-Phone” Cell-Phone Store Owners Assaulted For Selling Smartphones [VIDEOS}

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In the ongoing saga of extremist Charedim attacking cell phone store owners, the violence was raised to another level yet again, as hooligans, who were among those protesting against cell phone stores in Bnei Brak rampaged and attacked people, even in broad daylight. Another attack took place in Jerusalem. These attacks took place both in secret and on major thoroughfares in front of crowds of people.

The most recent incident took place on Thursday when Dovid Davidoff, the owner of Didi Phone in Bnei Brak, was attacked right next to his store. The attacker was a ruffian who was participating in the protest against the store after Davidoff refused to surrender to edicts from the self-appointed “Va’adat HaRabbanim” who have decided to put themselves in charge of communications for the populace of the city.

Davidoff was punched in the face on Rabbi Akiva Street. Police officers who were nearby, arrested the attacker, took his details, and then released him. “I got punched in the face. It was incredibly powerful. It seemed like he wanted to kill me,” Davidoff told reporters afterward.

The attacker claimed that he was sprayed with pepper spray in the face and that prompted his attack on Davidoff. Davidoff refuted the statement and said that he has no idea who used pepper spray. “The assailant had no sign of pepper spray on his face and saw that I had none on me, he came to attack me anyway,” Davidoff added. “I’m happy to go to a Din Torah in front of his Rav or Admor. I want to see this man lie to his Rebbe and say that I attacked him. There are lots of witnesses who saw what happened who testify against him. I’ll go to his rebbe or to the police.”

Davidoff was also ambushed on Tuesday while he was working in the store. Davidoff recounted that a different assailant was waiting for him outside the store in an area where there was no camera. “At around 7:00 p.m. I went to go to the bathroom. Someone was waiting for me there and hit me. I sustained the blow and fell backward on the floor. I was hit in the face, and it broke my lips.

At first, Davidoff refused to publicize the incident, but now that his attackers are marching in the streets in front of everyone, he is coming out with the whole story.

A similar but separate incident took place in Jerusalem this week, just a few hours before Davidoff was ambushed. Extremists were protesting against the store “Anak Cellular” in the capital. During the protest, a young Charedi man who wanted to enter the store to purchase a phone was viciously assaulted.

The store, which is located in the Geulah neighborhood, has seen its fair share of violent attacks and incitement. Over the past few weeks, the store has faced countless violent protests outside of its doors. Once again the reason for the protests is that the store refuses to give in to the demands of the so-called “va’ad Harabonim” which is attempting to force all cellular stores in Charedi neighborhoods to only sell phones that are okayed by them.

Store owners told BChadrei Charedim that they are used to seeing potential customers being attacked by the mob whenever protests are taking place, but what happened on Tuesday was beyond the pale. “I don’t even sell smartphones that are not accepted by the Charedi community. I am simply not willing to accept these extremely harsh and limiting criteria set forth by the “va’ad” which will cause me financial loss.”

Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel, arrived in Bnei Brak on Thursday evening at the store Didi Phone, which has been at the center of the “Cellular Terrorism” protests on Rabbi Akiva Street. Minister Hendel spoke with the store owners, who have been accosted, physically assaulted, and attacked, as part of an ongoing extortion campaign to get them to acquiesce to regulations set forth by a self-appointed “va’ad harrabonim” who wish to dictate what phones can or can’t be sold to the Chareidi community. On Thursday, one of the owners was hit in the face by a hooligan extremist who was taking part in a protest against the store right outside.

Minister Hendel told the owner and his staff that “This ‘va’ad’ that believes that it can dictate what should or should not be allowed in the state of Israel will find out that this is not the case.”

The workers asked the minister to stop this ‘va’ad’ that is carrying out extortion tactics in order to get all cellular stores in the Chareidi community to agree to their terms and receive their stamp of approval. When store owners refuse, they are met with extreme violence and protests.

Minister Hendel responded to their request and said: “I am not in charge of enforcement, not against Rabbis and not against askanim. I am in charge of enforcement when it comes to communications companies and making sure that there is a fair and open market for everyone, including the Chareidi community. I will take care of you, you are citizens of Israel.”

 

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


17 COMMENTS

  1. It is completely okay to engage in ones democratic right of a mass protest against any store in a democracy. But no violence should be engaged in.

  2. you should send this people to Iran, Who are they at all. They should go to work instead taken money from the state.They think they can manage the whole world.put them in prison

  3. Why do you call them “extremists” and “self appointed Rabbonim”, perhaps they are a bit greater talmidei chachomim than you, and perhaps they have the backing of the Gedolim?
    Kosher phones have been invented for a reason and poretz geder yishcheno nochosh!

  4. The comments here are depraved as is the article. I unfortunately have a smart phone although filtered. Have you all lost all sensitivity to the absolute carnage smartphones can and have done. I’ll just say ywn would report on pinchos as a fringe radical and all the depraved commentators here would of fiercely condemned him. Think about that a moment before responding.

  5. Amazing. If Hillel was alive today and someone would approach him, stand on one leg, and ask him ” what does the Torah say”, he would respond, “don’t get a smartphone or an unfiltered flip-phone”. All the rest is…….
    Such kleineh kep sanctimonious jealous am haraatzim.

  6. I passed such a protest at Davidka on my way to a client. It was Jerusalem style without the intensity of Benei Brak and without the (photoshopped?) seated, white bearded individuals. I tapped each sign holder and the bullhorn guy on the shoulders and told each, pointing, “the bet medrash is over there”. I felt I was talking to robots, or maybe they could not make sense of my appearance, charedi in all respects but in work clothes and with tool bag.

  7. Even if the protests were unjustified, a “Heimishe” News network should not copy secular and antireligious and and antisemitic headlines to attack fellow chareidim – SHAME ON YOU!

  8. Violence is not okay, sanctioned, nor usually effective.
    It is important to note that these “self-appointed” Vaadim are self-appointed by the communities themselves. These phones are completely shunned by any and every Ben Torah in E”Y. The presence of these stores in communities which do not condone their use is rude, disruptive – and very enticing to certain youth, infuriating their parents.
    I know of Gedolim who are involved in initiatives to convinve these store owners – who, be assured, are in it for the money, and are not acting Al Pi Gedolei Yisorel – to shut down and move out.

  9. This is so discouraging.
    Instead of coming to yiddishkeit from a desire to want to be good, wanting to do the right thing, this is a form of manipulation by terrorism.
    I can’t imagine people will be more inspired by this.

  10. Even though I have a smartphone ( which is highly filtered) I absolutely condone protests, as long as there’s no violence involved, against those selling smartphones in heimishe areas.

  11. Even if Smartphones are not sanctioned in “Chareidi” society, how does having a store bother anyone? If you don’t like smartphones, just ignore the store. Don’t go inside..Keep walking. And the fact that there’s a store there means that there’s demand. PERIOD.

    I’m sick and tired of this hypocrisy. Signing your kids up to a school and saying you know have a kosher flip phone but secretly having a smartphone as well. What’s wrong with treating this like any other tool. You can use it for good or for bad. You have to make the right decision.

    This is not.Yiddishkeit. This is a mutant ideology.

  12. Sometimes, I literally cannot believe these are Jews. In the Talmud, there are mentions that if a person is particularly brutal or vicious, you should doubt his Jewishness. Now, I truly understand it.
    And BTW, these thugs do not care about Judaism. They want an excuse to be thugs. And their “rebbeim” know that their followers would leave them in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. Instead of being good parents and citizens whose children want to emulate them, they do Taliban tactics.
    Shame!