Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Even religious sexism in Israel is portrayed lightheartedly and sympathetically in US media: imagine if these were Muslim women

If those were Muslim women, hearings would have been held in US Congress and Senators would be urging NATO to intervene to liberate them.   "Ten women, including two American rabbis, were detained by the Israeli police on Monday for praying at the Western Wall wearing prayer shawls that are traditionally used by men, in the latest escalation of a conflict over one of Judaism’s holiest sites.  Those detained were part of the group Women of the Wall, which has gathered each month for the past 24 years to protest the ultra-Orthodox insistence that only men may pray at the wall wearing traditional garb, a rule that has been backed by the Supreme Court.  Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the Israeli police, said the women were not charged with criminal offenses, but were barred from returning to the wall for 15 days. He said the women had been detained “as a result of them wearing the garments that they’re not allowed to wear specifically at that site.” He noted that despite the court ruling, “they decided to go down to that specific area.”  The dispute over prayer at the wall, a remnant of the retaining wall that surrounded the ancient Temple Mount, has caused growing tensions in recent months between Jewish leaders in the United States and the Israeli government.  Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the head of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which controls the site, said in an interview in November that the wall “is not a site for any kind of protest” and “not a place for the individual, where everyone can do what they want.” Of the women’s group, he said, “You can’t have everyone taking the law into their own hands.”"