BEIT SHEMESH, IsraelRead the rest here.
The rock hit Nili Philipp on the side of her helmet as she biked last year along the main road in this Jerusalem suburb. A few years earlier, the spitting had begun, as Philipp jogged on a road bordering an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. Men called her names: Shikseh, the derogatory term for a Gentile woman. Prutzah, whore.
But Philipp’s story is not one of conflict between the defiantly secular Israeli majority and an increasingly assertive ultra-Orthodox minority. She is an observant, modern Orthodox Jew, dressed, on the day we speak, as she is for her runs — a kerchief covering her red hair, a skirt that falls modestly below the knee. It speaks volumes about intolerance among the ultra-Orthodox that Philipp has become enraged, even radicalized, by the behavior of her neighbors.
“Whenever people tell me, respect their society — their society doesn’t respect me,” Philipp says, voice quivering as she describes a recent incident in which a woman with an infant was pelted with stones while shopping here. “We all see ourselves as vulnerable, and we’re all scared.” The latest skirmish involves signs instructing women here to stay off certain sidewalks so as not to brush up against men.