Little Na’ama Margolese is not the first Israeli child to be harassed on her way to school by members of a fundamentalist ultra-Orthodox sect who resent her presence in or around their neighborhood. But the 8-year-old girl is the first to have her plight featured on Israeli television and turned into an international news story. And she is definitely the first to have a determined, organized group of politically and media savvy families behind her, a cohort made up almost entirely of Modern Orthodox immigrants from the United States.
“They messed with the wrong crowd this time,” my friend Sara Eisen, a marketing executive and member of that community, told me. “This time, the bullies came up against Americans.”