A sharp verbal dispute erupted on Holocaust Remembrance Day
last week in Bnei Brak when a secular newspaper photographer
came to try to film local pedestrians walking during the
siren. Many chareidim feel that observing a period of silence
is a non-Jewish way to honor the dead and that they prefer to
show their respect in other ways. However in recent years
most chareidim who are in public places when the sirens are
sounded remain still.
A staple of secular papers is showing pictures of chareidim
walking around during the sirens.
The photojournalist arrived at R' Akiva Street in Bnei Brak
shortly before 10:00 am when the siren was scheduled to sound
across the country, hoping to shoot pictures of chareidim
continuing on their way. But when the siren blared, to his
dismay, the people he could see nearby stood in place while
the photographer himself ran around trying to locate
pedestrians violating the law.
People in the street began to shout at him, "What a disgrace!
You're the first to violate the law. Don't you hear the
siren? Stand still! Why did you come here? Bloodsucker!"
Finally the photographer was compelled to stand still until
the siren ended.
Afterwards he tried to defend himself, saying he had been
sent by his newspaper's assignment desk to try to capture on
film chareidim walking during the siren and as such he was
merely fulfilling his task of providing the pictures as part
of "the public's right to know."
A throng gathered around arguing that the public's right to
know does not permit a journalist to violate state law. "Your
conduct is like that of a journalist who carries out a
terrorist attack and then films it," they charged.