Religious freedom is extremely important. That is, the the freedom to practice religion as you see fit. There are, however, limits. For example, if your sister decided she didn’t want to marry someone your parents picked out, you have the right to think that she has “brought dishonor” upon your family (no matter ridiculous I think that is). You do NOT, however, have the right to kill her in response.
A man can also decide not to sit next to a woman on a public bus because he is unable to control himself in such horrifying proximity to someone of the opposite sex. He may not tell anyone else where to sit on a public bus. And he, and his friends, absolutely may not beat a woman for asserting her legal right to sit in any vacant seat on a public bus. Ever.
This is not news. Haredim have gone too far. I realize I am generalizing here, but so long as the ultra-Orthodox community decides not to air its “dirty laundry”, their leadership, by remaining silent is, in fact, condoning such acts as these. This is how these “religious” people act after their friends decide that someone breaking Jewish law AS THEY SEE IT allows them to break another Jewish law: “Police forces that arrived at the scene to arrest the men were attacked by dozens of ultra-Orthodox men who punctured the tires of their vehicles, allowing the assailants to escape.”
As a general rule, laws in relation to G-d do not supersede laws that dictate behavior between people. The people who act in this way are not religious. They are heretics.
A group of people who undermines the basic rule of law would be considered criminals by any decent religious leadership. But no, in the wonderful country we have they are granted a near-universal exemption from one the most basic Israeli civic duties: actually defending the country they enjoy so much. (I don’t believe any attacks on women for immodesty occurred in downtown cities of the wonderful 19th century Poland they miss so much).
Laws have to be passed, and the police has to start enforcing these laws (although police enforcement is a topic for another time). People who act in this manner are parasites on society. Nothing more. They leech off a society – accepting money from the government of a state they claim to abhor, denigrating the very religious beliefs they claim to uphold, refuse to contribute to anything that will help Israel continue exist and manipulate coalitionary politics by demanding more money for racist educational systems who refuse to teach basic math and history because they claim it would undermine their “Jewish” tradition. So Maimondies would be religious enough for Shas or Yahadut HaTorah today…
Is that Judaism??