There has been discussion within the lefty blogosphere of the incident described in an article in Haaretz titled Israeli woman refuses ultra-Orthodox dictate to move to back of bus. Some, such as Echidne, compare the woman, Tanya Rosenblit, to our own Rosa Parks. Others, such as Charles II of Mercury Rising, disagree.
Of course, this phenomenon is not unique to Judaism. Many ultra-Orthodox Jews, some strict Muslim sects and not a few American Christian fundamentalist denominations declare unapologetically that women are to be subjugated, or must follow dress codes, or must sit in the back of the bus. Religious subjugation of women is widespread across many religions, and is hardly anything new.
But Israeli courts have recently ruled to accommodate this ultra-Orthodox demand and permit the more than 100 bus routes, many in or to Jerusalem, that require women to sit in the back. See Echidne’s post, linked above.
If you’re American, you can say it’s not your fight; it’s theirs. I disagree. America’s taxpayers devote an absolute fortune to defending Israel, allegedly because it’s “the Middle East’s only democracy.” So if you’re American, your taxes defend a “democratic” society that treats women much the way Blacks were treated in the pre-civil-rights-era South.
How do you feel about that?