Although many in the Chareidi community claim that their ideology is the most faithful to the authentic Jewish mesorah, there are many holes in this belief.
For one thing, Jewish life was not always and everywhere like it was in the impoverished shtetls of eastern Europe. Jews did not always wear bekishers and shtreimls. They did not always speak Yiddish and they did not always speak Hebrew with a specific accent. The Talmud did not always look the way it does now and a black hat was not in common usage until a few decades ago.
But the real hole in the belief that everything new is forbidden and that they are practising just like their ancestors did centuries ago is the selectivity of their practice. I know of no Chareidim who, like the Mennonites, eschew electricity. They use soap and toilet paper (to the best of my knowledge) and they have no philosophical problems with driving in cars, at least on those days when they're not stoning them. Like all of us in the Torah observant community, they pick and choose. The difference is just what innovations they've chosen to accept and the indignation with which they view those who choose others.
Koheles warns us not to wish for "the good old days" because such idle dreaming is for fools. This has not stopped many around the world from doing just that. In medicine we often have to contend with "home birthers" who believe that since hospitals are full of sick people they are best avoided when giving birth. Besides, for millenia women birthed at home so it's more "natural". What they like to forget is that the rate of infant and maternal morbidity and mortality is far, far lower in the sterile delivery room than it is in their bedrooms. They remember the good and purposefully forget the bad.
Well so do these particular Chareidim. They remember with nostalgia the wonderful aspects of Jewish life in eastern Europe -the culture, the spirtuality, the close-knit sense of community - and forget the bad - the pogroms, the epidemics, the grinding poverty, the uncertainty that tomorrow the government would issue a decree that would ruin their lives. Do they really want to go back to that?
Well fortunately within the State of Israel they don't have to. In Israel they can sit around, invent a beautiful past history that, for the most part, never actually happened and then pretend that they are living in that history. They can have the culture, the spirituality and the close-knit sense of community while the State provides a vaguely menacing government reminiscent of the Czars and Kaisers of Europe while not actually having to worry that the Knesset will issue any decrees remotely similar to those that the Jew hating rules of Europe used to. They can scream "Nazi" and "Cossack" at their fellow Jews safe in the knowledge that, unlike real Nazis and Cossacks, they will not suddenly be surrounded by armed hostiles and beaten to a pulp. In short, they can be deluded bullies.
And deluded bullies they are, as the latest kerfuffle between radical Chareidim and the rest of reality plays out in Beit Shemesh. In short, a new Dati Leumi school for girls - not a secular school, not a mixed school - opened up in "proximity" to a Chareidi neighbourhood.
Now before going on, some things have to be clarified. First, to paraphrase Worf from Star Trek: TNG, there are those in the Chareidi community who define proximity as anything within their field of view. Second, the Dati Leumi community is a special threat to some Chareidim as the presense of devout, observant Jews who are also Zionist contradicts their assertion that, in order to be a devout and observant Jew, you must not be Zionist.
As a result these particular Chareidim have behaved in a fashion that can only be described as a barbaric chilul HaShem. Dressed in what they define as Jewish garb they have occupied the school, threatened parents and children with violence and continue to harrass all those who would oppose their hatred with insults and vehemence. All while announcing that they are doing this for God's honour and the purity of the Torah community, of course.
When it comes to the left end of Orthodoxy it is well known that we are vigilant for those who would blur the line between proper Torah observance and heterodoxy. It is time to start looking at the right end of Orthodoxy in the same fashion. Just as a rabbi who announces that he is not going to say a particular beracha because it offends his liberal egalitarian sensibility has to have his Orthodox credentials questioned, so even more do these animals in the guise of men have to be told "You are not Torah observant! You are not Orthodox!" No, the vast majority of Chareidim are not like this but the actions of these primitives cast a dark pall on their entire group and they need to be rejected from it.
And if their opponents say that while brandishing crowbars in a menacing fashion, so much the better.