Bibi Vows Action To Protect Israeli Women

By Haaretz

Published December 24, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

In recent weeks, the central Israel town of Beit Shemesh has seen increased violence by ultra-religious men, attacking women and girls, who they feel have been dressed in an immodest manner.

These men have resorted to cursing, spitting, and even rock-throwing. Signs have been hung in the town center instructing women not to “dally in the street.”

The situation in the town was brought to the forefront of Israeli public discourse, this weekend in a Channel 2 exposé, aired this Friday, about a 8-year-old girl who is afraid to go to her school – located a mere 300 meters from her house – because of the violence she had experienced by men, who felt the religious girl’s attire was not modest enough.

The exposé led Tsviki Levin, an actor with the Beit Lessin theater group, to start a Facebook group titled “A thousand Israelis going to Beit Shemesh to protect little Naama,” which already has more than 5,500 members.

“I opened the Facebook group to help Naama but she is just a symbol for something bigger and more acute and dangerous for all of Israeli society.” Levin said on Friday.

“There are hundreds of women and girls like her, paying the price of exclusion, intimidation, and humiliation, from extremist religious groups.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, on Saturday, and asked him to instruct the police to take decisive action against the exclusion of women from Israel’s public sphere.

Later on Saturday, Netanyahu spoke with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, and inquired whether the laws regarding the exclusion of women in Israel’s local municipalities were being enforced.

In recent weeks, a number of controversial incidents have spurred the discussion over women’s equality in the public arena. The debate started following the refusal of a number of IDF soldiers to listen to a female soldier singing.

The debate continued with protests over the removal of images of women from advertisements and on buses in Jerusalem, disagreement on a public bus where women are forced to sit separately from men at the back of the vehicle, and a number of cases of segregation between the sexes in public places, such as at medical centers.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.