When it comes to shooting itself in the foot and other essential bits, Israel undoubtedly takes the all-time prize.Oh, Mel--don't you know that when non-ultra-Orthodox Jews say the most dreadful things about the frum it's a measure of how "tolerant" and "enlightened" they (the non-frum) are? And speaking of shooting oneself in the foot, here's a perfect example. Rabbi Donniel Hartman, the Deepak Chopra of lefty Jewry (one of 'em, anyway), wrings his hands over Israel's political "stability" which he says breeds "self-satisfaction" and "self-aggrandizement." In so doing he unintentionally demonstrates the gaping chasm between the left and right mindsets: a right-winger is happy when things are stable and going well; a leftist, on the other hand and perversely, is happy only when things are going badly, thereby requiring lefties with big ideas (Oslo Accords, anyone?) to step in and "fix" things.
For the past few weeks, Israel has been convulsed by how women are treated by fanatics in the strictly Orthodox community. Women are being segregated on buses serving Charedi neighbourhoods. At an IDF base, women soldiers were barred from a public singing ceremony; at another, religious male soldiers walked out to avoid hearing women sing.
These concerns became uproar after a "modern orthodox" eight year-old, Na'ama Margolis, told a TV interviewer she was terrified of walking to school in Bet Shemesh after being spat on and cursed because her demure attire was considered not modest enough. Appallingly, pupils have been running this gauntlet of hatred by neighbouring Charedim since it opened months ago.
Journalists and police who descended on Bet Shemesh were subsequently pelted with rocks and eggs by Charedi rioters. Suddenly, the deep resentment among secular folk towards all religious people boiled over in a national explosion of rage. Although the abuse was blamed on a few hundred fanatics from one particular sect, all of the strictly Orthodox were cast as deranged bigots.
For intolerance is by no means confined to these communities. Many secular Israelis not only demonise Charedim but also subject the modern Orthodox, who work, pay taxes, fight and die for their country with exemplary courage, to similar disdain.
These events played into the hands of the Israel-bashers. Ludicrously, Hillary Clinton even suggested that Israel, the one Middle East country where women have full equality, was in danger of becoming another Iran...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Israel Falling to Pot Amounts to Leftist Wishful Thinking
This past Sunday, Michael Enright devoted an entire hour of his Ceeb radio show to an issue that lefty Israel-bashers have seized on with alacrity: how Haredim in Israel discriminate against chicks. I am delighted to report that Melanie Phillips sees through the frantic hand-wringing, and sheds light on what's behind it: