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Digest: Patenting Genes, Sara Netanyahu’s Tsuris

The Sisterhood Digest:

• Israeli soldiers, in Haiti to assist victims of last week’s catastrophic earthquake, delivered a healthy baby, over the weekend, in a makeshift hospital that the Israel Defense Forces set up on a Port-au-Prince athletic field. The baby’s mother reportedly plans to name her newborn son “Israel.”

• As Myriad Genetics prepares to go to court to defend its right to patent two genes linked to breast cancer and ovarian cancer — genes that are most prevalent among Ashkenazic Jews — the Los Angeles Times comes out in favor of barring patents for gene sequences.

• Sara Netanyahu is being sued by a former housekeeper, who is charging that Israel’s First Lady was emotionally abusive. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, Mrs. Netanyahu “expected [the housekeeper] to be on call 24 hours a day, and once even phoned her at 2 a.m. to reprimand her for failing to properly cover a pillow.” The Prime Minister’s office says the woman’s claims are false, and that she received warm and affectionate treatment from Mrs. Netanyahu.”

• Joy Ladin, a Yeshiva University English professor and a transgender woman, describes what it’s like to pray on both sides of the Western Wall’s mechitza.

• In other Kotel news, writer Phyllis Chesler compares Israel’s treatment of the women’s prayer group Women of the Wall to “Komeini-ism,” and urges the Israeli Parliament “to undertake the long overdue separation of synagogue and state.”

• How did a Texas preacher’s daughter find herself at the center of Rabbi Leib Tropper’s sex scandal? Tablet magazine explains.

• A Jewish Israeli woman who is married to a jailed Palestinian man has managed to make her way, via taxi, from her home in Gaza to Israel. In tow were her young children. Her journey was reportedly facilitated by Yad L’Achim, a controversial organization that helps Jewish Israeli women get out marriages to Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.

• Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick writes about the women’s anti-war organization Code Pink’s recent attempt to enter Gaza via Egypt.

• Israel’s justice minister recently endorsed the idea of applying halacha to the state’s legal system. Rivkah Lubitch looks at what doing so could mean for Israeli women’s civil and property rights.

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