Having just finished a school project on the topic, she felt very sure of her position.
May I just interject here to say how harassing this is? If you're charedi, you often encounter this behavior when you leave your home/enclave.
I've started to dread family simchos because of this. My husband even encountered this when he went to be menachem avel his cousins at their mother's shiva, after he bussed himself all the way there in extremely hot weather & missed work & kollel for it.
I personally try to be very considerate & non-judgmental toward others outside my group.
But it doesn't help much because you can never be nice enough. Even if they like you, they're angry at you for being part of a community they view as the bane of humanity. Also, they hold you responsible for the bad behavior of your community's baddies.
(They, of course, do not consider themselves responsible for any corruption & dysfunction in their own communities. Only charedim are held accountable for theirs.)
But can you imagine if I would just go up to a Reform Jew at a wedding and start challenging him on how awful & hypocritical the Reform movement is, and how their intermarriage & fake conversions have caused a spiritual genocide?
Or if a charedi person would confront a secular co-worker about how truly awful his lack of Shabbat observance was, and all the damage that causes his soul & to Am Yisrael?
What if, at a family simcha, I made snide comments to my cousins about their intermarriages and, in the case of my male cousin, his 100% non-Jewish children?
I don't do that. And I wouldn't do that.
The thing is...when charedim do engage in such behavior (or maybe they didn't, but others imagine they did—that also happened to me), the charedim get dragged across the coals, badmouthed behind their backs & on Internet forums & social media.
But for everyone else, engaging in this harassment is perfectly acceptable.
It's incited by the media, which loves to report on anything perceived negative in the charedi community. (Even some charedi media does this.) Some of it may be true, some true but greatly exaggerated & distorted, and some not true.
But even when the same dysfunction occurs in their own communities, they either refuse to address it or they address it without all the vitriol & venemous condemnation they reserve for their criticism of charedim. In other words, it's only bad when charedim do it.
To end this diatribe on a positive note, secular Jews now also approach charedim with friendliness more than they ever used to.
But back to the original topic...
My son debated with himself whether to ignore her or attack back, but then decided to use plain 'n' simple arguments in a calm manner.
The Debate Begins...
He explained how many enlisted soldiers don't do anything militarily useful anyway (this is well-known in Israeli society, but it's taboo to ever mention it) because the IDF is so bloated with people considered unfit for militarily useful position (like combat or military intelligence, etc.).
Then he asked her, "How many kids are in your family?"
"Two," she said.
"How many are planning to do army service?"
"Well," she said, "I'm planning to enlist, but my brother will do sherut le'umi."
(Talk about gender switcheroo! In the dati community, for example, boys do army & girls do sherut le'umi—national service. Also, for the vast majority of females in the IDF, their "service" is useless. But look at the social brainwashing among these secular youth...)
"Okay," said my son. "In your family, one sibling does army service. In my family also, one brother did army service. So why is your family superior to mine with regard to army service? Anyway, tons of charedim do army service. Probably there's at least one from every building in my neighborhood."
So then she countered with complaints about charedim not paying taxes or contributing their fair share the economy.
"Is your home rented or bought?" he asked.
"We rent our apartment."
"Well, my parents bought ours, which means my charedi parents need to pay property taxes & other taxes that your non-charedi parents don't."
"But charedim don't work..."
My son (dressed in a white shirt, black pants, and a black kippah with his tzitziyot out) laughed. "Oh, really? I'm standing here working, and you say to my face that charedim don't work? Anyway, lots of charedim work. In most charedi couples, at least one spouse works—if not both."
Then he said, "Have you heard of Yad Sarah?" (Founded by Rabbi Uri Lupolianski in 1974, Yad Sarah provides free medical equipment & services to all sectors of Israeli society regardless of religion or ethnicity—and including tourists.)
"Sure," she said. "My grandmother's wheelchair comes from Yad Sarah."
"Really," said my son. "Well, the founder of Yad Sarah is charedi."
"I don't believe you," she said.
"Google it," he said.
Then my son mentioned the charedi-staffed Zaka & Hatzalah.
"How much do you want to bet that if you got into an accident, Hatzalah would be first on the scene?"
"My cousin got into a motorcycle accident recently," she said.
"Call him right now and ask him who showed up to treat him," said my son.
So she called her cousin & asked him, and he replied, "Oh, a couple of really sweet charedi guys showed up, treated me at the scene, then took me to the hospital."
"Was it Hatzalah?" she asked.
"Maybe," he said. "I don't remember what was written on their equipment. But they were real charedim—and real professionals."
And after all her investment in researching her school project...
The truth is, she's not at fault.
She's surrounded by a certain narrative with no encouragement to access anything outside that narrative.
Also, it's appalling that a school in a "Jewish" country enables such a hate-filled project and that her teacher accepted it without challenging its bias & lack of facts.
(Probably the teacher agreed with it.)
Actually, if I was into TV (which I'm not), I would think my son should have his own reality show.
Most reality shows are faked on some level.
But he seems to be really good at the these spontaneous challenges, like the elevator challenge with Mustafa (an-informal-social-experiment-indicates-israeli-society-discriminates-against-charedim-more-than-against-arabs-and-why-that-happens.html) or getting the girl to call her cousin regarding who arrived first to the scene of his accident.