Optimistic Organizer of Reception in Bnei Brak Anticipates Successful Reformation of Judicial System

Optimistic Organizer of Reception in Bnei Brak Anticipates Successful Reformation of Judicial System

A group of demonstrators marched to Bnei Brak yesterday to protest against legal reform. There were concerns about possible confrontation between the protestors and local residents, but those fears didn’t materialize. Senior rabbis urged young people to avoid confrontations, and a local initiative, which involved distributing refreshments and playing music, contributed to creating a peaceful and pleasant event. Haim Ozan organized the initiative, which started just 24 hours before the march after he heard concerns from a colleague. He said that involving music in the event made it joyful and prevented conflicts. The initiative was organized through WhatsApp, and it grew to involve over 1,000 people. An ultra-orthodox radio station collaborated on the issue, allowing everyone to play the same songs together. The event avoided conflict and created a sense of closeness between the groups. Ozan said that after the event, they are considering how to continue building connections between the groups. The initiative didn’t involve taking sides for or against the legal reform. Its message was one of love and respect for Israel and living together peacefully.

Many demonstrators against the legal reform arrived yesterday evening in a planned march to Bnei Brak. At first, this caused great concern for fear of conflicts between them and the local residents. Finally, the grave concerns did not materialize, among other things after a number of senior rabbis called on the local youth to avoid confrontations, along with a local initiative that was born near the event, centered on the distribution of refreshments and the playing of music for the demonstrators.

Haim Ozan, who organized the initiative, told today (Friday) how it all started: “In general, it’s something that burns in my bones, the way the ultra-orthodox public is presented in the general media. This specific initiative started on Wednesday, barely 24 hours before the march. It entered me A colleague from work, and says to me – ‘What do we do? You don’t understand what will happen here’. I told him I agree with you, but what can be done.”

“And then we both realized that we must involve music in this event, we must make it a joyful event. We thought that if each party came face to face with the other, someone would throw a word and the person in front of him would return it, there would be an atomic bomb here in a second. As soon as there is music, fun, refreshments, drinks And Chont on Thursday, everything turned into a much calmer and nicer event,” he added.

Ozan shared that his hopes regarding the event were realized: “All the curious from the Bnei Brak side arrived early, they already had music in their ears, and everything was at ease. The march arrived, and everyone mingled with each other. Everyone offered food, to my delight the demonstrators took, tasted and talked together , was crazy.”

He told about the organization of the initiative, in less than 24 hours: “I am a person who works at a normal job, I don’t have any company or association, everything was through WhatsApp. I contacted the social activist Ariel Alharr, I told him about the initiative and he liked it . He started to spread the word, suddenly I began to perceive that there was something here, it went up and up, and reached more than 1,000 people.”

“Many liked this approach” (Photo: no credit)

“Many liked this approach” (Photo: no credit)

“People sent me congratulations, and then I was contacted by ‘Radio Kol Hai Music,’ an ultra-orthodox radio station that broadcasts only songs, and offered to collaborate on the issue. The idea was that everyone would be on the same frequency, and play the same songs together. Speakers would be put out in windows, on the streets, and in cars. Even Permission was received from the CEO to broadcast for three hours without commercials, which is a very rare thing. We didn’t want a situation of camp against camp, it was simply amazing,” he noted.

Would it be correct to say that the initiative came out of fear of what might happen in the city?
“I don’t know whether to call it fear, it is not an enemy that is feared. It really came from a desire not to paint us in a negative way. To paint us in our original color, a color of ‘hospitality, come’.”

Were there people who did not cooperate with the initiative?
“There was a one-off event where fireworks were thrown, and at that moment I was afraid that everything would go down the drain. But immediately after that, the good atmosphere continued, I’m glad it’s behind us. I’m sorry for that too, but it’s good that it ended this way.”

Ozan adds: “We did not come with signs for or against the reform, we are not there. Only love of Israel is what happened last night. Everything was done close to the event. We came to show that we respect them and do not come to fight them.”

“They don’t come to fight them” (Photo: no credit)

“They don’t come to fight them” (Photo: no credit)

Is it possible to fix the feeling of crisis in the relations between the groups in society?
“After this event, we are racking our brains on how to continue the rapprochement between the camps. We don’t want you to know, it was a rare evening here. There are things on which there will never be agreements, we want to cut it off and continue living together, and after this evening, it seems that Possible. People continue to contact me for the implementation of additional projects on the subject, it seems that many people liked this approach.”


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