Proven Right – Again

In my last post, I warned that the journalists and politicians who are cynically using the actions of a few to blacken the name of an entire community are, in fact, providing ammunition for Israel’s enemies. How right I was.  The very next day, obsessive anti-Israel blogger, a self-hating so-called “liberal Jew”, Richard Silverstein, who “searches by candlelight” ( מחפש בנרות as we say in Hebrew) for any little titbit he can use to Israel’s detriment, took up the story in his misnamed blog “Tikun Olam” (translation: “Repairing the World”).

According to Mr. Silverstein, who has often proved to be (how shall I put this kindly?)  somewhat less than accurate, “the Taliban Jews in Israel, who force their women to dress in head to toe chador-like clothing are Haredi.”
Since, unlike the repulsive Richard, I don’t like to make sweeping statements without checking my facts, I will not claim that there are no haredi women who dress head to toe in chador-like garments. I will merely state that, in over 37 years of living in this country, I have never seen such a woman, with one exception – the woman who was nicknamed “Ima Taliban” (“Mother Taliban”) – and that was only on the TV news. This was the woman at the centre of an infamous child-abuse case, who was so-named because she dressed from head to foot in garments resembling a burqa. This woman, who is now serving a gaol term for child abuse, belonged to a very small sect of women, who have adopted extreme practices of modesty, which include even a refusal to bathe in the mikveh ( ritual bath). They are not “forced” by their menfolk to dress as they do, they are, in fact, more or less ostracized by the mainstream haredi  community – and when Silverstein claims that this is the fastest growing community in Israel and that their birth rates are “through the roof”,  he is – as usual – talking through his hat. The sect is generally believed to number no more than a few families and since its movers and shakers are, in fact, women,  and  the sect is frowned upon by the (male) leadership of the mainstream  haredi community, one could claim, in a twisted sort of way,  that its existence is, in fact, an expression of female empowerment, rather than a manifestation of the suppression of women. But none of this, of course, is of any interest to the Israel-bashers, such as Silverstein and his ilk.  As long as it can somehow be twisted to display Israel in a negative light, anything goes.

About Shimona from the Palace

Born in London, the UK, I came on Aliyah in my teens and now live in Jerusalem, where I practice law. I am a firm believer in the words of Albert Schweitzer: "There are two means of refuge from the sorrows of this world - Music and Cats." To that, you can add Literature. To curl up on the sofa with a good book, a cat at one's feet and another one on one's lap, with a classical symphony or concerto in the background - what more can a person ask for?
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6 Responses to Proven Right – Again

  1. Bert Kay says:

    You have, as always, hit the nail on the head. I wish I could express myself only half as well. This Silverstein chap appears to me to be somewhat more than tarnished – surely impossible to re-shine, whatever cleaning material is used. Such articles, even if, for some, they have some sentimental value, should at least be taken off the shelf and hidden away somewhere to be looked at every now and then in disgust and wonder how the object was permitted to so deteriorate. Richard, oh Richard, do mend your ways and rejoin the human race.

  2. Turandot says:

    Segregation of women as an expression of female empowerment? Now that’s an intriguing and original point of view. But no – I don’t think so. These women have been brainwashed into believing that all the troubles of the world have been caused by women’s immodesty and so they are trying to atone by carrying modesty to extremes.

  3. Pati says:

    je ne comprends pas pourquoi je ne recevais plus l’annonce de tes nouveaux articles, Shimona.. l’abonnement était désactivé, et je ne sais pas pourquoi..

    Je suis contente de te relire.. tout ce que tu écris est tellement sensé !!! et surtout très bien écrit…..

    Je pense qu’il ne faut pas aller vers l’extrême et ce, des deux côtés.. les femmes complètement déshabillées sont une honte.. mais ce n’est pas à cause d’elles que les autres doivent expier et se vêtir des pieds à la tête…….
    j’ai vu le flashmob des femmes à Bet Shemesh.. j’ai trouvé cela merveilleux.. un superbe moyen de s’exprimer, et surtout sans violence.. de plus, ces femmes ne semblaient ni trop dévêtues, ni trop habillées…..
    Au delà de cela, je ne parviens pas à comprendre pourquoi il faudrait des bus spéciaux pour les femmes….. vraiment, je n’arrive pas à comprendre…….

    • Shalom, Pati!

      Il ne s’agit pas de bus special pour les femmes. Ils demandent seulement l’allocation de places pour les femmes en arrière, afin d’éviter que les hommes et les femmes se melent les uns avec les autres.

  4. John Click says:

    You were kind in saying Silverstein is talking through his hat. I hear his words coming from a different area…

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