The Jewish Taliban


It seems both Israel and some American communities are having to deal with increasingly aggressive Ultra-Orthodox Jews who, like their reactionary Muslim counterparts, are deeply misogynistic and want women to be covered up and turned into second class citizens.

Over recent months, women’s faces have disappeared from billboards across the city amid mounting pressure applied by the powerful ultra-orthodox lobby, who find the female image offensive.

Several advertisers have erased female models from their posters in Jerusalem. Elsewhere in Israel, the winter campaign of Israeli clothing brand Honigman features a model cosily dressed in winter knits. In the capital, the woman’s head has been removed from the image, leaving just her arm and a handbag.

Companies that do not fall in line with the standards of the extreme ultra-orthodox have frequently fallen victim to direct action. Across Jerusalem, female figures have been blacked out of billboards with spray-paint, or vandalised with graffiti branding the image “illegal”. Other posters are simply torn down…

It is not just secular Israelis that have been moved to protest. Members of the Haredi ultra-orthodox community themselves are reporting a rise in assaults on women. One orthodox website reported this week that three orthodox girls had been physically attacked in Jerusalem for dressing immodestly.

The secular mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, is fighting against these actions and has instructed the police to take steps to prevent this kind of thing from happening:

On Sunday, Barkat wrote a letter to district police commander Niso Shaham in which he said: “We must make sure that those who want to advertise [with] women’s images in the city can do so without fear of vandalism and defacement of billboards or buses showing women.”

Police have confirmed an increase in vandalism on the borders of Jerusalem’s closed ultra-orthodox neighbourhoods. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police would be stepping up patrols to prevent further acts of hooliganism and ensure it is investigated.

Rosenfeld added that despite being pelted with stones, police officers made several arrests in the orthodox Meah Shearim neighbourhood last week.

But activists claim the battle over Jerusalem’s billboards is only one manifestation of an alarming trend towards gender segregation across Israel driven by the religious right.

When reactionary Muslims engage in this behavior, they are called terrorists (and rightly so). Will America’s religious right speak out against the same behavior by reactionary Jews, here or in Israel? Not likely.

Comments

  1. Aquaria says

    When you have pages of texts that tell you how evil it is to even look upon arayos (women who are on their periods–strangers are assumed to be), that to even see a pinkie of one is the equivalent of looking at their vagina, what else can you expect?

  2. slc1 says

    In anticipation of being called out by Mr. Raging Bee, I will state that the members of the Jewish Taliban in Israel and the US are as evil as their Christian and Muslim counterparts.

  3. raven says

    Hitchens: Religion poisons everything.

    Hitchens will live on forever for saying that. It’s correct.

    I tried once to find the difference between xian fundies and Moslem fundies. There aren’t any. Looks like you could add Jewish fundies as well.

    They all come from the same source, ancient middle eastern tribal cultures.

  4. Aquaria says

    Here in the U.S. some Jews have recently demanded women sit in the back of the bus.

    The Haredim. They never did get on board with the Enlightenment.

  5. raven says

    A lot of Israelis leave. Mostly the seculars and the educated.

    They have a brain drain.

    I can see why. If the xian Taliban takes over the USA, I would seriously consider fleeing. If I was younger, I would definitely run the borders. Life is too short to be ruled by religious freaks.

  6. uzza says

    One more low-level action in the ongoing War Of Terror, directed against women. Highlights include the Montreal Massacre, Amish School Shooting, and a biannual death toll equal to that of 9/11.

    The definition of terror seems to include an unspoken clause that the victims must be men. When men are terrorized it’s WAR, when women are terrorized it’s normal.

  7. gridlore says

    Even better, the Israeli UO refuse to serve in the IDF. These are the people causing most of the problems with illegal settlements and provocative actions, and they refuse to even acknowledge the legitimacy of the Israeli government.

    Several Israeli friends tell me that sentiment against the UO is rising, and a common feeling is that if they refuse to defend Israel, they can leave Israel. For good.

  8. raven says

    Several Israeli friends tell me that sentiment against the UO is rising, and a common feeling is that if they refuse to defend Israel, they can leave Israel. For good.

    A lot of the Israeli UO men don’t work either. They have large families with an average of 8 children. Supported by the Israeli taxpayers.

    There were some large protests recently against a lot of things going off the rails in Israel. It looks like there is a large, mostly secular middle class that is getting tired of a lot of things.

    IIRC, the UO only make up 8% of the population, although growing fast.

  9. raven says

    wikipedia:

    In Haredi Judaism are attitudes that oppose employment in favor of Torah study. These are particularly prevalent in parts of Israel and have angered the nation’s secular Jewish population.[1] The main justification for not working is that the most important value bestowed in Judaism is the study of Torah, and full-time devotion to Torah study requires that one not work.[2]

    Restrictions opposing work apply more to men than to women. Haredi Jews following these restrictions allow women to work, but with restrictions.[3]

    About 60% of Haredi Jews in Israel presently voluntarily do not participate in the labor market in order to pursue full-time Torah study and are receiving meager government stipends for the cost of living. Israeli law provides military exemptions to those who pursue full-time Torah study, while at the same time, prohibits them from working.[1] However, some Haredi Jews do wish they can work, but find cultural barriers stand in the way of employment.[2]

    Let’s see.

    1. 60% of the Israeli UO’s don’t work but live off of welfare.

    2. They don’t serve in the military.

    3. They want to tell everyone else what to do.

    What is wrong with this picture? It would get old fast.

  10. says

    I see the rise in mysogeny as an ugly symptom of a positive shift. So much of the uprising in the ME has women’s rights as a major focus. The Fundies of Abraham see us coming and do what all good authoritarians do….go on an emotional freakout

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    raven @ # 9, corrected: A lot of the Israeli UO men don’t work either. They have large families with an average of 8 children. Supported by the Israeli US taxpayers.

  12. kermit. says

    Raven: I tried once to find the difference between xian fundies and Moslem fundies. There aren’t any. Looks like you could add Jewish fundies as well.

    Don’t be ridiculous. Christian fundamentalists hardly ever grow beards.

  13. dingojack says

    gridlore (#8) – “Several Israeli friends tell me that sentiment against the UO is rising, and a common feeling is that if they refuse to defend Israel, they can leave Israel. For good.”
    ‘Oh, where would they go? What would they do?’ :)

    More seriously, I wonder how christian fundies would react to a second diaspora? Would Israel still be a Jewish state? Would they be scouring their holy books looking for wholly new eschatological paradigm?
    It’s an interesting premise for scifi novella (but it’ll never happen).
    Dingo

  14. raven says

    More seriously, I wonder how christian fundies would react to a second diaspora?

    Won’t happen.

    Where else can you claim that working for a living is against your religion and get away with it?

    I’m sure they rationalize having everyone else support them and their 8 kids. But I don’t think I even want to know.

  15. Chris from Europe says

    What would you do? Do you want their children to suffer?

    I would simply force them to attend public schools (and everyone else who hasn’t a perfect excuse).

  16. raven says

    What would you do? Do you want their children to suffer?

    I would simply force them to attend public schools (and everyone else who hasn’t a perfect excuse).

    What happens when everyone in the population can’t work because it is against their religion?

    With an average of 8 kids per family, the UO are growing quite rapidly. They won’t take over the population tomorrow but with that growth rate, it won’t be long.

  17. Chris from Europe says

    Well, they are just getting a form of welfare. That should be enough incentive for work (at least for non-religious people). And I would hope that I could get many of these children out of this kind of life.

    Is there a real threat that a majority of the population wouldn’t work? Okay, I want to hear your proposal how to deal with this problem. How do you think they would react to force or end of all transfers?

  18. Crudely Wrott says

    Could it be that the UO Jews are playing gotcha last with the Saudis?

    This caught my attention over at Hank Fox’s blog.

  19. says

    When men are terrorized it’s WAR, when women are terrorized it’s normal.

    Yup, that sounds about right.

    ***

    As a side note, Israelis are also protesting UO prohibitions against women singing in public.

    Although this was promising:

    Last month, four religious cadets walked out of an army event because female vocalists were performing. They were consequently kicked out of officer school.

  20. raven says

    Okay, I want to hear your proposal how to deal with this problem. How do you think they would react to force or end of all transfers?

    I don’t have one. Because I don’t really care that much.

    It’s their problem, not ours. As an American, we have our own problems and they are huge and not getting any better.

    There aren’t many religions that prohibit people from working for a living. It is pretty bizarre. Can you see why? I’ll even give you a hint. If you don’t eat, you will eventually die.

  21. raven says

    BTW, the UO are very typical fundie cults.

    They also don’t encourage kids to learn anything, especially the women. This is because knowledge and education are the enemies of toxic mind control cults. Always has been, always will be.

    Consequently, the average educational achievement levels in Israel are going down. The people who produced Einstein, Feynman, and dozens of other first rate thinkers are now producing ignorant adults.

    ‘Growing numbers lack tools to compete i… JPost – National News
    5 days ago … Fri, Nov 18, 2011 21 Heshvan, 5772 … Declining education standards have led to a serious drop in Israeli … fields, productivity in Israel has been falling farther and farther behind in relative terms compared to leading Western countries. … The study places the academic achievement levels of Israeli primary …

  22. Gregory says

    Are male religious extremists that way because they obsess so hard (sorry) about sex that a woman’s face drives them insane with lust, or do men who go insane with lust when they see a woman’s face become religious extremists?

    I’m curious to know which is the egg and which is the chicken.

  23. Chris from Europe says

    Raven, my proposal would be to force their children into public school (or cut their welfare if they protest). I guess the problem would go away without anyone actually suffering (except hurt feelings).

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