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Jun 07 2013

Modesty patrols in Israel

Why can’t Jews and Muslims get along politically in the Middle East when the two religions clearly have so much in common when it comes to trampling on the rights of women?

A group of ultra-Orthodox men attacked a police car in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Yisrael on Thursday, shattering its front and back windshields

Police were called to the scene after the neighborhood’s so-called “modesty patrol” beset a car in which a group of ultra-Orthodox women were traveling, claiming that they were dressed immodestly.

Several ultra-Orthodox men broke the car’s windows, punctured its tires and poured fish oil on it.

After the attack on the police car, another group of police arrived and quelled the disturbance.

Informal “modesty patrols” have been known to operate in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods and towns to enforce — sometimes violently — a strict reading of Jewish views on modesty and propriety.

Poured fish oil on the police car? Is that some sort of ritual to make the car kosher? Who carries fish oil around with them anyway?

Note that the attacked women were also ultra-Orthodox, which means that by almost any standard other than fundamentalist Islam, they would have been highly covered up. What was their offense? Were their sexy elbows visible, threatening to arouse impure thoughts of elbow massages in these pious men?

These religious people are not only hateful in their attitudes and actions, they are also deeply weird.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    wtfwhatever

    “Why can’t Jews and Muslims get along politically in the Middle East when the two religions clearly have so much in common when it comes to trampling on the rights of women?”

    It’s two completely different situations that are hardly comparable.

    The Jews are doing this to honor Isaac. The Muslims do this to honor Ishmael.

    Here’s a small documentary:

  2. 2
    Nathair

    Why can’t Jews and Muslims get along politically in the Middle East when the two religions clearly have so much in common when it comes to trampling on the rights of women?

    Maybe we can get Tim Minchin to update his Peace Anthem for Palestine?

  3. 3
    Pierce R. Butler

    Poured fish oil on the police car? Is that some sort of ritual to make the car kosher?

    The neighborhood cats must’ve come running from blocks around. Or are cats also taboo in ultra-Ortho zones?

  4. 4
    slc1

    Incidents of this kind also occur in New York City in ultra orthodox neighborhoods.

  5. 5
    Mobius

    @wtfwhatever #1

    Thanx for reminding us of that great Star Trek episode. The original Star Trek made some wonderful social comments, and that episode was among the best…that so much hatred was expressed by some people over the tiniest of differences.

  6. 6
    Seeker

    >>Police were called to the scene after the neighborhood’s so-called “modesty patrol” beset a car in which a group of ultra-Orthodox women were traveling, claiming that they were dressed immodestly.>>

    Bunch of freaking rabid apes! Tell me again why billions upon billions of American tax dollars get sent to these violent beastial lunatics every year?

  7. 7
    David Hart

    wtf@1:
    Hot damn, that is a heavy-handed metaphor.

  8. 8
    Francisco Bacopa

    And the Haredi and other ultra-Orthodox groups are exempted from military service. I read an account by an American immigrant to Israel once. The author really wanted the Haredrim to be driven out into the desert and forced to wash tanks as he had done. He believed he was a more legitimate Israeli than the orthodox because he washed tanks in the hot sun, and I don’t disagree.

    If the modesty police become the norm in Israel, the US should no longer support them.

    BTW, there is a movement to ban Saudi Arabia from the Olympics because of the lack of women’s rights there. South Africa was banned from the Olympics because of Apartheid. If that was justified, banning the Saudis is justified. Maybe we also need to ban Saudis from dressage and show jumping competitions in the US. Saudis love their horses and quite a few of them are major players in dressage in the US.

  9. 9
    Mano Singham

    The Saudis had two women take part in the 2008 London Olympics because of threats to ostracize them if they sent a men-only team. Of course, they were covered from head to toe even when running in the 800m.

  10. 10
    slc1

    Maybe Mayor Bloomberg should be encouraged to clean up the similar activity in New York City before beating up on Israel.

  11. 11
    slc1

    In this regard, it should be noted that there is currently a battle going on in Bibi’s government spearheaded by the two new parties led by Lapid and Bennett who are demanding a drastic reduction in Haredi draft exemptions.

  12. 12
    sailor1031

    There are, however, those who see the increasing numbers of Haredi in the IDF as a distinct threat. Much like the fundamentalists in the US forces.

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