Holy misogyny

More festive jollity, this time in Jerusalem Israel.

Residents of an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Beit Shemesh called Israel police officers “Nazis” on Sunday, after they removed a sign ordering the separation of men and women in a street in that neighborhood.

In response to the removal of the sign by police officers and city inspectors from Beit Shemesh, a crowd of local ultra-Orthodox residents gathered around them, shouting and cursing at them. One man hurled rocks at the police officers, but managed to flee the scene. No one was hurt and no arrests were made.

Several hours after the police removed the sign, residents of the neighborhood reinstated it.

Earlier on Sunday, a Channel 2 news team was attacked and beaten by 200 ultra-Orthodox men at the same location on the street where the sign that was removed had been hanging.

Nice guys.

Update: forgot to thank Stewart for the link.


  1. Retired Prodigy Bill says

    sandiseattle — so far, despite the ultra Orthodox efforts, attempts to segregate women from men (can’t walk on the same sidewalk, women in the back of the bus, etc.) have been always been ruled unlawful by the Israeli courts. The sign is a violation of national law. (Although I’ve heard reports that the ultra Orthodox simply refuse to enforce Israeli law in neighborhoods where they are the majority.)

    The Orthodox, by the way, are the number one supporters of violent military action within Israel, while at the same time insisting upon their exemption from military service. Any attempt to give equal rights to the women serving in the Israeli military (or elsewhere for that matter) is considered religious bigotry by these thugs.

  2. Sandiseattle says

    Bill, while I understand what your saying, I’m wondering: are signage laws National or local in Israel? The segregation being illegal is one thing, but do they need permission to put up a sign? On a telephone pole or streetlamp? That’s the sort of thing that’s usually a local ordinance.

  3. says

    Religion, shmeligion. These ultra-orthodox men have some serious neuroses when it comes to women and modernity. Join the 21st century, guys!

  4. says

    Yep, these are indeed the guys who picket female students on their way to school and fling feces at them.
    In some corners of Israel, the male population seems to be regressing back to the Stone Age. And they are gaining followers and influence.

  5. Stewart says

    One correction: Beit Shemesh is not in Jerusalem. It’s a city more or less at the other end of the so-called Jerusalem Corridor. Much of its recent growth (it’s far from exclusively ultra-Orthodox) consists of families seeking a less urban lifestyle within roughly equal commuting distance of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

  6. daveau says

    Even the Jews have forgotten what Nazis were really like if they are invoking Godwin’s Law over this. Disgusting, really.

  7. Art says

    Does anyone else find the ultra-Orthodox willingness to resort to verbal abuse and violence odd in light of their unwillingness to serve in the military?

  8. Retired Prodigy Bill says

    @sandiseattle I cannot speak to the legal system of Israel, but here in the US this would be an obvious federal rights case. Suppose your local coffee shop put up a sign saying, “No more than 1 woman at a table.” Is it just a sign, subject only to city ordinances about signs? No. The sign — like “White Only” and “No Coloreds” signs — is part of an attempt to abridge human rights.

    There is a small but growing movement in the USA that thinks private citizens cannot abridge human rights, that the Holiday Inn and McDonalds wouldn’t be doing anything wrong to have a “No Blacks and No Jews” policy, that the segregationist south — still very much alive and well — was perfectly fine. I know some who, as a little girl in Mississippi, was literally spit on by a little old white haired lady for daring to use the wrong tier of the two tiered sidewalk in town (which were clearly marked “White Only” and “Colored Only.”)

    Attempts to deny human rights are made in almost every way you can imagine, and in the United States, at least, local ordinances should not legally be used to deny Constitutional rights. (And, yes, I live in the real world, Constitutional rights are still trampled upon every hour of every day of the week in the USA. But legally they shouldn’t be used so.)

  9. Tom Robbins says

    what the hell is it with that area and throwing rocks? jesus, you make anyone in africa mad, you’ll get a rock thrown at you. fucking stings.

  10. Stewart says

    Through lack of time, I didn’t address the “Nazi” question raised by daveau in comment 12 in my earlier comment, but it’s unfortunately been rife for a long time and is not limited to one or another side. Check out the Ron Kampeas AP story from 2000 at this link (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ItNRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=yG8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6706,7988635&dq=israel+political-culture+nazi&hl=en) to see how matter-of-factly it’s an accepted part of life (and I’m sure I have hard copy clippings from decades earlier that make the same point).

  11. Brian M says

    As the ultras claim to be the purest expression of Jewishness, their view of themselves as the true arbitrers of correctness, while repugnant to us secularists, is perhaps (and sadly) “logical” from a tribalist religious perspective?

    Is this kind of thinking and behavior not inevitably going to increase, especially as the Israeli Jewish population in general continues to feel beseiged, leading to more sympathy for the ultras’ purism and violence?

    Especially given Israel’s definition as a “Jewish” State. What does that really mean?

    I thought this was fascinating comment over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars:
    “slc1, nobody has been calling for the abolishment of Israel, since by that you presumably mean getting rid of the Jewish population.

    But there are serious questions about Israel that AIPAC isn’t interested in answering. Nor are many more conservative Jews.

    For example:

    What does a Jewish state mean? Christian nationalists in the US talk about Christian nations all the time and most of us agree that it doesn’t work. It tends to fall into a racist paradigm where only “our people” are worthy of being Americans. Is a Jewish state to be imagined the same way? If not, what is it then? What happens if 50 years from now the Arab / Christian/ Muslim population increases? Do you just kick ‘em out? Not let them vote?

    Israel wouldn’t be the first country to run into this problem. Lebanon was ostensibly a Christian country — at least the elites were — until the Shiite population started demanding a bigger piece of the political pie. The Phalangists responded with repression, then violence. We all know how that ended up. Jews aren’t the only people on earth wh went without a country of their own for a long time — the Kurds don’t have one. And Yugoslavia fell apart as each group tried to get what it said it deserved on the basis of texts that are better vetted than the Bible. And it isn’t hard, I don’t think, to see the problems with setting up any country as “for X” (insert your favorite group here).

    So whenever anyone talks about setting up an “X” country, be it Jewish, Muslim, or Arab, or anything else, I always want to ask what exactly you mean by that, and what it would mean in a practical sense to the people who aren’t “X”. After all, this is why we all reject the notion that Iraq, say, should have no place for Christians or non-Arabs.

    And no, I am not ignoring the Holocaust. But under that logic I assume you would happily support the land claim that several Native peoples have on the land your house sits on. The Holocaust isn’t all of Jewish history. I refuse to let it define me. I refuse to become what my grandparents fought in the name of safety, or a feeling of superiority.

    If you get into “might makes right, we have guns so there” then you had better explain to me why it’s then not right when someone else does the same thing to you.”


    Heck…if the American economy continues to stagnate or collapses further, I see increased support here for the loonier sects of the religious right. That’s my biggest problem with “anarchism”…while they see groups of pleasant UC Berkeley hippies engaging in gardening cooperatives, I see warring religious sects and street gangs LOL.

  12. Stewart says

    They don’t call it a demographic time-bomb for nothing. When those things go off, critical mass-wise, push tends to come to shove.

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