When violence is attributed to any ethnic group, whether they are traditional Orthodox Jews near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a group of Blacks in an American city, or whatever group is identified with violent action, you have a choice: to react with your head or your gut.
Your gut tells you to condemn that group outright, and to promote hatred of that group. Your head should tell you otherwise, that is, to appeal to that group to reign in their people who commit any acts of violence.
The violent act of some Jews in traditional garb near the Western Wall speaks for itself. An act to be condemned by all circles. On the evening that followed the Shavuot holdiday when it occurred, our news agency called every traditional Rabbinic leader in both Ashkenazic and Sephardic circles, including the highest Rabbinic authorities in both camps. There was not one Rabbi who did not express his disgust with the violence, no matter what he felt about non-Orthodox Judaism. Yet when I opened up the Israeli and foreign media and followed the electronic media the next day, I discovered that not one news agency had bothered to interview the leadership of the traditional Orthodox “Haredi” world. I called the four Israeli talk shows and varying foreign media and presented the names of each of the “Haredi” Rabbinic authorities – Rabbis Elyashiv, Waldenberg and Wosner whom I suggested that the media interview for an authoritative view on the subject.
The answer that I got was the same from each media outlet was the same: That is not the story that we are looking for. Instead, the talk show producers and pundits looked for any Orthodox Jew who would not condemn the act, until they found one.
Only a few weeks ago, a prominent pundit in an major Israeli newspaper asked when the voices of reason would ever be heard from the traditional circles of Orthodox Jewish leadership.
That is not the issue. The question is whether any mainstream media will ever quote such a perspective. It just does not fit the script.