Monday, February 12, 2007

Women to the back of the bus: Haredi assault on women in Jerusalem

I generally keep this blog focused on matters related to antisemitism, Holocaust and other forms of genocide denial, and a few other related matters.

However every once in a while I can't restrain myself. This morning on NPR there was a story about women being forced to the back of the bus in Jerusalem on those buses that serve the ultra-Orthodox community.

The women are fighting back and have taken the matter to the Israeli Supreme Court. A Haredi man committed the ultimate stupidity. He attacked Naomi Ragins, the writer, herself an Orthodox woman. She thought this was outrageous and is leading the counter offensive.

It would be a tragedy for Israel if yet another piece of civil society was ceded to these people. They live in the 18th century and need not drag us back into it with them.

Which reminds me, at Limmud in Nottingham this past December I saw a film on a related topic which made my blood boil. Mekudeshet is the story of how women face roadblocks in trying to get a religious divorce in Israel.

To paraphrase the prophet Isaiah, "your destroyers will come from within your own ranks." Well here they are.

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