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Nov 19 2011

Deface them

How do you know when the theocrats are winning? Women start to disappear, and at the same time, the ones who haven’t disappeared yet are subject to spittle-flecked hatred…including those who are six years old.

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man walks past a vandalized poster showing a woman, in Jerusalem.

 Like that. Posters that feature women have been “defaced” in Jerusalem, the SMH article says, and by defaced it means defaced, as you can see. That poster says, “You think you’re pretty, bitch? I’ll give you pretty, you whore. How pretty do you think you’ll be after I stick a razor in your eyes, you cunt?”

That’s not “segregation”; it’s not “modesty”; it’s not “religious obligations”; it’s just loathing.

 A torn poster of a woman is seen in Jerusalem. Images of women have vanished from the streets of Israel's capital.

 “Shut your filthy mouth, bitch.”

Not content with segregated streets, queues and buses, extremist members of  the Haredi  have turned their attention to the city of Bet Shemesh, 30  kilometres to the west of Jerusalem.

Here, Jewish girls as young as six, wearing a  conservative uniform of skirts below the knee and shirts to the elbow, are being targeted by the Haredi, called  ”pritzas” (prostitutes) for being ”immodestly dressed” as they walk into  Orot girls school, a state-funded religious-nationalist school. The Haredi are demanding the girls cover up.

That’s how you know when theocracy is winning – when men start calling little girls prostitutes. In public. Outside a school. At girls on their way to school.

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  1. 1
    BenSix

    Meanwhile, Jerusalem women are fighting back with a guerrilla campaign of their own – having their photographs taken and hanging them from buildings throughout the city with the slogan ”returning women to Jerusalem billboards”.

    Hah! Solidarity.

    …the Haredi community is one of the fastest growing in Israel. A November 2010 report by Haifa University demographers, Arnon Soffer and Evgenia Bystrov, estimates 30 per cent of all Jewish newborns in Israel are Haredi, while government statistics predict that by 2025 the Haredim will have jumped from 9 per cent of the population to 15 per cent.

    I’d wondered why the place has such a high birth rate. These guys are having twice as many kids as even Israel’s Muslims.

  2. 2
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Fucking. Ridiculous.

  3. 3
    Josh Slocum

    It’s just as Ophelia says – it’s such brazen violence. I’ll cut your eyes and mouth up, bitch. Shudder.

  4. 4
    JennieL

    It’s quite frightening to contemplate what must be going on in their minds – or, more to the point, what must be prevented at all costs from going through those minds. You know, empathy, respect, . . . actually anything that isn’t unthinking hatred, hostility and self-righteousness.

    I really want to say something intelligent to this, but it’s really hard to say anything that hasn’t already been said much more eloquently.

    And thinking that it can’t get worse seems somehow to manifest itself to fundamentalists as a double-dog-dare.

  5. 5
    Francisco Bacopa

    I agree with you about the implied message in th first defaced poster. However, if you hadn’t told me it had been defaced, I would have thought it another weird example of the strange images in high fashion that sometimes suggest a woman has been battered.

  6. 6
    Carlie

    Francisco – most people find those fashion images appalling, too.

  7. 7
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    And the fundies here want to make things the same.

  8. 8
    jolo5309

    And because of the way government works in Israel, they punch above their weight politically. The ultra orthodox control about half a dozen seats in their parliament, enough to keep the party in power and gives them (the ultra orthodox) the ability to get away with building new settlements.

  9. 9
    Raging Bee

    And we’re funding the government that gives so much power to such bigots? The US-Israel alliance has become an alliance of Christian and Jewish right-wing extremists, with non-extremists like us being their common enemy.

  1. 10
    Erasing Women: On Haredi Judaism’s Influence in Israel « The Eternal Bookshelf

    [...] found Pollard’s article via an entry by Ophelia Benson at Butterflies and Wheels.[2]  Much thanks to her for writing about the way women are treated in [...]

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