The US State Department is concerned over recent violence exhibited by extremists in Israel’s haredi community and has published a travel recommendation for tourists: Do not walk around dressed immodestly in haredi neighborhoods for fear that extremists would assault you in the street.
The travel recommendations which were updated by the US State Department two weeks ago with the recent phenomenon of women’s exclusion and haredi violence in mind, calls on American tourists to dress appropriately when visiting religious sites in the Old City and in haredi neighborhoods and to avoid driving through those neighborhoods during the Sabbath.
“Most roads into ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhoods are blocked off on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Jewish holidays. Assaults on secular visitors, either for being in cars or for being ‘immodestly dressed’ have occurred in these neighborhoods,” the consulate said.
The travel recommendation follows on the heels of statements made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who, speaking at the Saban Conference two months ago, expressed her shock that some busses in Jerusalem allocated separate seating areas for women.
“It’s reminiscent of Rosa Parks,” she said, referring to the black American woman who refused to give up her seat to white passengers in the 1950s.
Referring to the decision of some IDF soldiers to leave an event where female soldiers were singing, she said it reminded her of the situation in Iran.