Radical anti-Zionists in the haredi neighborhood of Meah Shearim in Jerusalem scuffled with Jewish construction workers on Tuesday over an Israeli flag.
The workers, who were renovating a property in the neighborhood, had hung an Israeli flag on the building. Several local anti-Zionist activists confronted the workers, demanding that they remove the flag, saying that it offended residents.
When the workers refused to remove the flag a physical altercation broke out between the activists and the workers. At one point one of the anti-Zionist activists, Yehuda Leib Deutsch, suffered a head wound, apparently from a pickaxe wielded by one of the workers.
Deutsch, the Rosh Yeshiva of the “Bnei Yerushalayim” kollel, is a member of the Toldos Aharon sect, an offshoot of the anti-Zionist Shomer Emunim sect. He suffered light injuries in the fight and checked himself in to a local hospital for treatment.
Aharon Krois, who was among those demanding the flag’s removal, blamed the workers for the violence.
“The Jewish workers had hung the Israeli flag already a few times before on the building under construction on Honei HaMagal Street in Meah Shearim,” Krois told BeHadrei Haredim.
“They were asked not to hurt the sensitivities [of residents in the area]. The workers accepted this and removed the flag.”
“This afternoon they put the flag up again, and at 1:45 p.m. I went over to them, along with Rabbi Yehuda Leib Deutsch, up on the third floor of the building, where the flag was hung. Even before the rabbi managed to touch the flag, one of the workers asked him what he was doing, to which he responded that he was taking down the flag. The worker, who was holding a pickaxe, struck Rabbi Deutsch on the head while shouting “get out of here”.
Police and an ambulance were called to the scene, though Deutsch refused to be evacuated and reached the hospital on his own.
Witnesses claim that a large group, described as “anti-Zionist radicals” later confronted the workers, though no incidents were reported.
Shortly after the incident, posters were seen in Meah Shearim describing the incident as “Murder in broad daylight!”
The posters called to “expel the murderous settlers”, referring to the workers as “accursed”.