June 3, 2014
This story is hilarious. A group of ultra-Orthodox Jews show up in a small Guatemalan town and after living there for only a few months worth of time, the town is demanding them to leave. The best part about the article is the quote from the town’s mayor who says there was never been any ill will with people from other religious backgrounds. The only problems they’ve had is when these Jews decided to show up.
From Times of Israel:
Indigenous residents of San Juan La Laguna, a small town of under 10,000 in the Guatemalan state of Sololá, have asked members of the Jewish community — comprising 10 ultra-Orthodox families, most of whom arrived only recently — to identify themselves in a municipal registry and leave within the next few months.
The registry was established to verify whether immigrants from the Jewish community are legally in the country and where they are from, information which has not been asked of other foreigners granted temporary visas.
“We, as a local authority, have nothing against the Jewish community,” city mayor Rodolfo López told The Times of Israel on Tuesday. “But every community, and especially ours, as indigenous Mayans, has very special customs and traditions and we have to defend our rights.”
Residents have filed complaints with the municipality that the community of ultra-religious Jews have used a public body of water as a mikveh (ritual bath), practiced unhygienic rituals like kaparot (where a chicken is swung around a rabbi’s head before being slaughtered), and made disparaging comments about immodesty to tourists.
According to the mayor, the indigenous population has also been suspicious since a Canadian couple accused of child abuse reportedly moved to San Juan La Laguna with their six children.
“There is almost every other religion here, and there have never been any problems. When they came, there started to be ill will,” the mayor said of the Jewish families.