No matter that all the Muslim-Arab countries in the world also host discrimination (sometimes extremely violent & lethal discrimination) against Christian-Arabs and even against their fellow Muslim-Arab brethren based on class, ethnicity, clan loyalties, religiosity, and so forth — it's only a problem when Jews do it.
(And Jews aren't even unwarrantedly violent about it when it does happen.)
And unlike the reason for discrimination among Muslim-Arabs in Muslim-Arab countries, the main reason why an Arab might experience discrimination in Eretz Yisrael is due to the very realistic fear of Jew-hatred & terrorism (even though certainly not every Muslim is a terrorist or a Jew-hater).
So my son replied, "I promise you — there is more discrimination against charedim than against Arabs."
Mustafa scoffed at the idea.
"Oh yeah?" said my son. "I'll prove it to you."
So my son took Mustafa to the elevator of a popular mall catering to a mostly secular Jewish middle-to-upper-class crowd.
There my son gave Mustafa the following instructions:
"Get on the elevator with your mask covering your mouth & not your nose. Speak into your cell phone in Arabic so it's clear you're an Arab. At the same time, pay attention to how the other passengers react. Keep riding the elevator until I get on. Make sure you're positioned to see how everyone responds when I get on."
At this point, it's important to know my son is a very clean & spiffy-looking 18-year-old with excellent personal hygiene. He dresses in a neat white shirt, black pants, and a black kippah (no suit jacket or hat).
So Mustafa rode the elevator, speaking into his phone in Arabic & wearing his mask improperly (without covering his nose), and suffered no adverse reaction from any of the passengers (who also wore their masks over only their mouths or around their chins).
Mustafa rode up & down in peace until my son finally stepped in with his mask properly positioned over both his mouth & nose.
Immediately, as if on cue, all the passengers took a step back (social distancing!) & pulled their masks up over their nose.
Mustafa & my son got off at the next floor and Mustafa said, "Okay, you win. You're right. I never would've believed it, but charedim suffer more discrimination than Arabs."
Why the Disproportionate Discrimination?
(And I don't mean just the fear that charedim are covid-carriers. That was just one example of discrimination for illustration.)
Before covid came along, people carry a lot of fear & even hatred of charedim.
Not everyone, of course, but you listen to the REASON for their hatred & fear, you'll notice it almost exclusively comes from what they read or saw in the media.
A lot of times, their personal experience with charedim is even positive, but they still oppose charedim in general based on the media.
And why would you consider the charedi community more of a threat than the Arab community (despite all the decent Arab folk)?
After all, when was the last time any charedi did the following:
- Strap explosives, including screws & nails, onto himself, then blow himself up on a bus?
- Randomly stab people?
- Decapitate a nursing baby? (Hadas Fogel in the Itamar terror atrocity)
- Drive a car into pedestrians with the intent of murder?
- Crush innocent people with a bulldozer?
- Open automatic machine gun fire on restaurant patrons?
- Support missile attacks on Jews?
- Support other countries who wish war on Jews in Eretz Yisrael?
- Pass out candies to celebrate a terror attack against Jews?
- Cheer the 9/11 attack on America?
I'm not saying anyone should go around bullying random Arabs (who may be perfectly law-abiding peaceful fellows), but the fear of charedim over the fear of a group which, while comprised of perfectly decent people, also produces a larger-than-normal percentage of bloodthirsty savages — well, this dichotomy makes no sense.
As far as I can tell, this disproportionate fear-mongering comes from the media.
The media values being politically correct over facts & common sense.
The media emphasizes the need to treat Arabs with respect and not assume every Arab is a terrorist...
...while at the same time, this same media encourages intense fear & hatred of charedim, spotlighting & magnifying ANY negative act committed by any charedi.
Sometimes, a criminal act occurs in a charedi neighborhood & is reported as "charedi violence"—but cameras clearly show the perps are NOT charedi.
They may have been at one point, they may have even grown up in the charedi neighborhood, but their appearance shows they no longer identify as charedi — yet the violence is reported as "charedi violence."
This is like saying all the pre-WWII wholly assimilated maskilim & completely secular commies are ultra-Orthodox or Chassidic simply because that's how they grew up.
Actually, some historians did this with the heartless Warsaw ghetto police force.
Because some of the police grew up frum (even though long before the Warsaw ghetto, they cast off all vestiges of Torah Judaism), some historians labeled them as Orthodox Jews — simply to vilify Orthodox Jews, even though, if I remember correctly, not even one was actually a practicing Jew at that time.
One of the heads of the ghetto police was even a former Christian pastor; so go figure.
I'm not saying charedim never behave badly. I've lived in charedi communities in Eretz Yisrael since 1994, and I know the ins & outs, and even the specific issues of different groups.
(I've also lived among other groups, both Jewish & not, so I've what to compare too.)
But to incite people to fear & hate charedim more than the group that produces suicide bombers & baby beheaders?
And most severely, this fear-and-hate fest infests the secular Jewish media.
Ending on a Positive Note!
Many non-charedi Jews feel kinship with charedim (along with other types of Jews), and this has been a welcome transition — which the secular Jewish media continues to fight with rabid disproportion.
And just because I know some people (again, misled by the secular Jewish media) will have answered "Neturei Karta!" to a couple of the bulleted questions above, please see this post in response:
(It's essential to read the comments in which a knowledgeable Satmar chassid contributes to the discussion.)