Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A fence in Israel...

... between Jews...

From the Guardian:

" The Jerusalem city authority has erected a fence in a nursery school playground to separate ultra-orthodox Jewish children from a secular Jewish kindergarten that shares the same building and garden. The wire fence is to be covered with sheeting to block visibility from one part of the playground to the other. The nursery schools are in the Kiryat Yovel neighbourhood of Jerusalem, an area that has seen a growing ultra-orthodox population in recent years, to the dismay of many local secular Jews.

The secular kindergarten, Pashosh, opened in September with the aim of attracting more secular families to the area. But ultra-orthodox parents have complained that the female staff of Pashosh are immodestly dressed and that they do not want their children mixing with children from a non-religious background....

Pashosh has about 10 children aged under two. The ultra-orthodox nursery school has about 20 boys and 20 girls, in separate rooms with separate entrances, aged three to four. Staff at the ultra-orthodox kindergarten declined to speak to the Guardian.

One ultra-orthodox parent, picking up her daughter, said she was saddened by the fence but reluctantly accepted its necessity. "I don't want my children to see immodest women," said the mother...

The Jerusalem city authority declined to answer questions about the fence but issued a statement saying that "with the aim of meeting the needs of all of the neighbourhood's pupils, both secular and ultra-orthodox, the [municipality] decided to divide the existing building ... The fence will be built as part of a wider perspective that provides for the quite different needs of the community as a whole." "

How do you keep your community whole when one group of children are not allowed to be with another?

To be clear it's the ultra-orthodox parents who wanted this fence ... But if one Jewish community cannot stand for their children to look upon the wider Jewish community, and this is pandered to ... where to Israel from there?

What does that bode for future generations?

And what kind of statement does that make?


  1. I think it is important to remember that the vast majority of these "Ultra-Orthodox" jackasses in Israel are either Americans who moved to Israel or their children, who have been brought up in their closed communities.

    I have lived in Israel and worked there, on a movie with a largely Israeli crew, and I cannot begin to describe how much contempt the average Israeli Jew has for these people (me too.) Is it too much to suggest that their intolerant, lunatic views display a strong connection with the Evangelical Christian mentality in the United States? They have, clearly, more in common with those people than they have with other Israelis, of any religion.

  2. The article mentions that the ultra-orthodox tend to be immigrants from Europe, though I did think of your Evangelical Christians in comparison.

    I don't have your knowledge about Israel, obviously, but I'm inclined not to let the authorities off on this one. I just don't see how pandering to the desire on the part of the ultra-orthodox to segregate can be justified, and I find it grimly ironic that separation is the price they will pay for unity.

    We - you, me, our governments, other governments - need to square up to and stare down this sort of fundamentalism and religious apartheid, or we'll end up surrendering something we shouldn't.
    I respect Israel so I'd expect the same view from them.

    Plus I feel sorry and angry for the secular Israelis who get told they have to put up with this crap.

  3. I agree with you that the Israeli government has been far too accommodating to these lunatics. This behavior has some complex historical origins, but regardless of the reason, it's never too late to give up destructive behavior.

  4. RE: "I agree with you that the Israeli government has been far too accommodating to these lunatics."
    I'll second that motion..the ultra
    orthodox not only do not have to serve in the Israeli armed forces, they are the largest segment of welfare in that country....