The Back Of The (Israeli) Bus

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?

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  • jams o donnell (Shaun Downey)  On Wednesday December 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    AH I thought I had left a comment. Oh well one more! The Haredi and the fundamentalists in neughbouring countries would find they have a lot in common with each other. They do seem to be putting the mental into fundamentalist!

  • MandT  On Wednesday December 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    According to former presidential candidate Herman Cain, “if you want to get ahead (like him)you sit in the back of the bus and keep your head down”..

    • Steve  On Wednesday December 28, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      I don’t know about you, MandT, but I plan not to eat his pizza ever again (not that I’ve eaten much of it to this point).

  • Bryan  On Wednesday December 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    The big rub about the ultra-Orthodox is that they are a drag on the Israeli budget, i.e. they don’t work, they study the Torah and other religious texts, and are exempt from work. paying taxes, or serving in the military. They also deny the legitimacy of the current state of Israel, claiming that Israel can only be formed after the coming of the Messiah.

    They live on the dole, and insist on determining the laws.

    If the Israeli government can afford to support these people, they don’t need our money,

    • Steve  On Thursday December 29, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      Bryan, as you know, I have scant tolerance for gender discrimination, and gender discrimination on some antique religious basis is even more offensive than the garden variety we have here. Ultra-Orthodox men living on the dole is bad enough; sending women to the backs of buses is utterly reprehensible IMHO. The US should not be backing any government that supports or sustains such practices. Not our call? Like Hell it’s not… it’s our money, our weapons, etc. etc.!

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