Zealots attack Jerusalem ice cream parlor, shops
A sign at the ice cream parlor may caution men and women not to lick cones in public, but the warning didn't stop Jewish zealots vandalizing the shop in Jerusalem's main ultra-Orthodox neighborhood.
Other businesses in Mea Shearim, including a book store and dress shops, have been damaged in night-time attacks by Sikrikim, a group of some 100 ultra-religious men who want one of the holy city's most tradition-bound quarters to become even more conservative.
"Promiscuity" reads graffiti scrawled in black at the entrance of a clothing shop selling dresses whose lengthy hemline and drab colors have been deemed too racy by the group.
Other stores in the neighborhood, where men wear traditional black garb and women bare little but their face, have had their windows broken, locks glued and foul-smelling liquid smeared on walls.
"They also threw once a bag of excrement inside and smashed our windows three times," said Marlene Samuels, manager of the Or Hachaim bookshop, whose bright lights and large storefront sign stand out among smaller and more dimly lit businesses.
The shop has been attacked more than 10 times since it opened a year and a half ago, Samuels said. The latest assault was last week when one of the store's branches had its locks glued overnight.
Samuels said the shop's owner met with the Sikrikim several times. The store stocks only religious books, but they include volumes published by Orthodox institutions that are Zionist -- anathema to the Sikrikim, who believe a Jewish state can be established only with the coming of the Messiah.