JERUSALEM (Oct. 16)
Mayor Teddy Kollek, set upon and pummeled by gangs of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Mea Shearim quarter yesterday, was back at his desk this morning as Cabinet Ministers sharply condemned the attack. It was also condemned last night by President Chaim Herzog and by Shlomo Tussia-Cohen, the Likud candidate for mayor who will oppose Kollek in the next municipal election.
Premier Yitzhak Shamir said at today’s Cabinet meeting that the government expected the police to take drastic action “to put an end to such disgraceful acts.”
A spokesman for the Mayor said this morning that the government must take a strong stand against Kollek’s assailants. He said it would help if the Aguda Israel party stopped putting up bail for Orthodox Jews arrested for disorderly conduct, as it has done in several cases in the past.
Hundreds of Jerusalemites called on Kollek last night and this morning to express their regret over the incident. The callers included some ultra-Orthodox Jews.
200 ZEALOTS ATTACK THE MAYOR
Kollek was attacked by more than 200 religious zealots as he was leaving the Persian synagogue in the Bukharian quarter which borders Mea Shearim. He had been harassed during the services by some 20 zealots who stood outside the synagogue shouting “Nazi” and “enemy of Israel.”
When he emerged, escorted by leaders of the Persian congregation, he and his escorts were surrounded by a mob who struck and kicked them. Kollek, knocked to the ground, fought back as he was kicked, punched and scratched. He injured a knee which was later X-rayed.
By the time the police arrived, the Mayor had already left. He drove himself home and later visited another synagogue. He declared that he would continue to walk anywhere in the city without police protection. The immediate cause for the attack appeared to be Kollek’s stand against religious opposition to the construction of a mixed public swimming pool in the Ramot quarter, near Orthodox neighborhoods.