Bus riders this week found themselves under attack by dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews who hurled stones and slashed the tires of their buses. The reason? Some buses featured ads supporting the right of women to worship at a holy site in Jerusalem. This is only the latest such attack by ultra-Orthodox Jews who have manned “modesty patrols” on the streets and attacked women who call for equal access at sites like the Western Wall.
About 50 men were involved in the vigilante attacks after a group called Women of the Wall or WOW sought equal rights in praying at the wall. They particularly want Bat Mitzvah ceremonies for girls allowed at the Wall as opposed to a neared prayer site. The advertisements showed girls and women wearing prayer shawls and holding a Torah scroll, which the men denounced as act reserved by God for only men. Buses were sprayed painted with such demands as “end the obscene pictures.”
Ultra-orthodox Jews have also been destroying posters, billboards, and harassing secular Jews. I have previously criticized the government for fueling this sense of immunity by running special buses for Orthodox neighborhoods and arresting women wearing shawls at the Wall. It is scourge of Israel’s rejection of separation of Temple and State.
However, last year, a court ruled that women should be permitted to pray as they choose. Yet, the women say that they are still being prevented from worshipping with a Torah scroll at the Wall. The government is clearly not fully supporting these women and it is also not vigorously investigating and arresting these Ultra-Orthodox extremists. In various local stories, there is notably not a single story noting that anyone has been arrested.
The problem is not just the absence of separation of Temple and State. It is also the anachronistic and highly unstable constitutional system in Israel which allows tiny religious parties to effectively control governments. Israeli society is highly secular but the system gives these parties inflated political power — and a sense of absolute immunity.
48 thoughts on “Ultra-Orthodox Jews Attack Buses and Riders Over Ads Calling For Equal Rights For Women To Pray”
If it is a fact that Atheistic Communists killed tens of millions, then it is also a fact that Christian Nazis killed millions as well. That’s right, Christian Nazis! Even if one claims that Hitler and his henchmen were pagan, surely one cannot argue that the millions of Nazis and Germans who followed his murderous orders were not believing Christians.
Jeffery Silberman – you would have to say that millions of Allied Christians murdered people (including civilians) on the orders of their masters.
Actually, I was attempting to be provocative in order to make the point that the religion of the Nazis had nothing to do with their mudering just as the lack of religion of a Communist dictator has nothing to do with his homicide. Atheism does not ineluctably lead to immorality and murder because there are moral rules which do not depend upon a supernatural proscription and eternal damnation. Atheists are moral because they do not wish to go to jail or they want to be able to respect themselves and/or be respected by their significant others. A “Zealout” was a member of a fanatical sect arising in Judea during the first century a.d. and militantly opposing the Roman domination of Palestine. This is the derivation of the word. If one truly believes that God commands them, then it would be utterly irrational to do otherwise. The problem is not fanaticism; rather, fanatics are wrong to be believe in superstitions. If there were scientific proof that this was the word of God, I would be as zealous as they are- who wouldn’t?
I hope I am not once again called a “dick” for pointing out historical facts.
Atheists zealots[Stalin, Mao, etc.] have killed 100 million. It is zealotry, not religion or atheism..ZEALOTRY!
These guys need to lighten up a bit.
Are only Orthodox women prohibited from praying at the Wall, or all women?
The government should put its money where its mouth is and fully commit instead of these half measures. Don’t give zealots power.
“Those who know don’t say, and those who say don’t know.” Religious zealots fall into the latter category.
Can you imagine the gods hearing prayers about this blog.
Some have admitted prayers about threads on this blog.
“…He who increases his wealth by interest and usury Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor. He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. He who leads the upright astray in an evil way Will himself fall into his own pit, But the blameless will inherit good.…” (Prov. 28:8-9)
The pedantic man prayers have ruined it for the women.
I have said here many times, zealotry is the problem, be it religious or atheistic.
I am sure the gods do not want to hear more dumb prayers.
Fanatics of any stripe; whether it is for a higher power or no power, liberal or conservative, they tend to have zero tolerance for alternative views. Show me a fanatic and I’ll show you someone that lacks the humility necessary to honor the social contract and respect the unalienable rights of others.
Pogo, Good comment. You’re a great addition here.
The ecclesiophobes here are hypocrites, rolling in anti-religious bigotry, but decrying anti-gay bigotry.
Again, they’re only concerned about whose ox is gored, but very much favor goring the ox. No principles, just positions.
As to this topic, who cares?
It’s a religious state, designed from the beginning as a haven for Judaism from those who would try to destroy it.
Demographics far favor the ultra-orthodox. They are gaining in power because they are having many children, where the liberal Jews are having one or none.
This isn’t my fight. The proscriptions at the wailing wall seem inconsequential to the unreligious, and are jeered at by the bigots and anti-semites, but there is a reason Israel has created a decent place for people to live and worship, where its neighbors can only create third world hells, funded only by their rich oil relatives.
We were blogging on the thread on same-sex marriage and there was a group who felt it was wrong to offend gays.
There is always selective enforcement of the law. Evidently the Orthodox Jews feel they have a right NOT to be offended.
Sorry Isaac, better read up on some history there before you make such a sweeping comment. Right-oh Justice Holmes. As we have seen, religion can quickly become a negative tool for the dark side of human nature.
Fanatics of all religions are dangerous. Religious privilege allows fanatics to terrorize others who disagree with them or gives them public funding to extend and increase their power. Separation of church and state is key to securing freedom and security for everyone.
For all of their faults at least christians and jews don’t go around slaughtering those who don’t adhere to their particular fairy tale(s), or at least not for some time. It is a double edged sword where belief is mirrored by atrocities. I guess the swords of the christians and the jews is somewhat dull and that of islam still very sharp. Christians have pedophilia and a bunch of old farts who supposedly never had sex with a woman, man, or child telling people all about life. Jews have their clowns with endless lists of rules and such. Then there are the thugs of islam. Some day islam’s fairy tales will be food for stand up comics, hopefully, when it reaches maturity.
Jesus, Mohammed or “Ya-high-way”……… No damned difference at all… All worthless CRAP, that warps the human brain… Once I figured this out, at age 16…. it was pretty easy to walk away from religion….
But it’s Israel so it’s all good. Criticism is reserved for Islam.
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