8-Year-Old Israeli Harassed Walking to School

An 8-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl has been the new focal point of a religious war in Israel after being harassed by a group of ultra-Orthodox extremists while she walked to school. Naama Margolese is now afraid to walk to school after being spat on by the extremists, who also called her a “whore” for dressing what they considered immodestly. Margolese attends a girls’ school in Beit Shemesh, to the west of Jerusalem, a city that has struggled with its ultra-Orthodox residents and their new neighbors of modern Orthodox Jews, many of whom emigrated from the U.S. Many of the ultra-Orthodox residents feel the school is an encroachment on their territory, and have put up street signs in the community calling for the separation of sexes on the sidewalks and have dispatched “modesty patrols” to enforce a chaste dress code for girls. Black-hatted men reportedly accost and jeer students almost daily.