Other fault lines in Israeli society

British Greens tend only to pay attention to the Jewish-Palestinian fault-lines in Israeli society. But of course like any society – and particularly in the Middle East with its many different communities – there are others. The New York Times has a piece on Jerusalem’s Sabbath Wars between the secular and militantly orthodox (sexually segregating, sabbath enforcing) Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem.

“In a modest counterstrike on a recent weekday morning, eight non-Orthodox Jewish activists — six women and two men — got on a No. 40 bus heading from the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot D into town. The women sat down in the front rows. The men went to the back.

Ramot D is an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood where rigid religious rules are applied. The No. 40 is one of several public bus lines designated as “mehadrin,” or strictly kosher, where the men sit in the front and the women behind. The activists view this draconian interpretation of the modesty code practiced by Orthodox Jews as discriminatory, and the policy is being appealed in Israel’s Supreme Court.

Stern black-coated male passengers muttered their disapproval, but the Rosa Parks-inspired act of civil disobedience took place peacefully, largely because the bus driver, an Arab, decided not to try to enforce the rules.”


2 thoughts on “Other fault lines in Israeli society

  1. Dror

    Latly in india a “womans only “train line was established ,the womans are happy with the change because they feel safer that way.
    In israel its not far from the indian example,the weamens in th orthodox lines has no safety problem in the bus but a lot of orthodox womens preffer this situation so the ones who dont cant change it. I think that the only solution is to stand for the right of any woman who do not want to obay this rule ,to do so without fearing of radical orthodoxs comments,by making it one more volenterily un written rule.

  2. snachum

    from Israel
    the orthodox movement is strong and getting stronger, 1 of 4 children in the first grade are orthodox. 1 of 4 is israeli-arab.
    the orthodox movement is dangerous for democracy, like radical-islam they do not accept the legitimacy of state courts, or any other state authority. (only the religious authorities)
    It is dangerous to the economy, many orthodox only study the bible, and so their contribution to the economy is low.
    It is dangerous for the peace-process, the orthodox movement believe the state of Israel was given to them by god and they will not accept any Concessions on land in the peace-process.
    It is dangerous to the Security of Israel, Orthodox does not serve in the army.
    they do not accept guy rights, their society does not see woman as equal to man, they keep them self away from modern media so no one in their society will think about leaving, or ask questions.
    they threaten my and any other non-orthodox freedom.


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