Israeli Girl, 8, at Center of Tension Over Religious Extremism

She is Naama Margolese, 8, the daughter of American immigrants who are observant modern Orthodox Jews. An Israeli weekend television program told the story of how Naama had become terrified of walking to her elementary school here after ultra-Orthodox men spit on her, insulted her and called her a prostitute because her modest dress did not adhere exactly to their more rigorous dress code.

The country was outraged. Naama’s picture has appeared on the front pages of all the major Israeli newspapers. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Sunday that “Israel is a democratic, Western, liberal state” and pledged that “the public sphere in Israel will be open and safe for all,” there have been days of confrontation at focal points of friction here.
Extremist Jews
Ultra-Orthodox men and boys from the most stringent sects have hurled rocks and eggs at the police and journalists, shouting “Nazis” at the security forces and assailing female reporters with epithets like “shikse,” a derogatory Yiddish term for a non-Jewish woman or girl, and “whore.” Jews of varying degrees of orthodoxy and secularity headed to Beit Shemesh on Tuesday evening to join local residents in a protest numbering in the thousands against religious violence and fanaticism.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/world/middleeast/israeli-girl-at-center-of-tension-over-religious-extremism.html?hp

Categories: Asia, Israel, Judaism, Women Rights

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1 reply

  1. I applaud recent developments, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “Israel is a democratic, Western, liberal state” and pledged that “the public sphere in Israel will be open and safe for all.” I invite him to read more about separation of Mosque-Church and State in the Muslim Times and hope that when he says, ‘all,’ he means all humans and not just ‘all Jews!’

    In Israel we should call it Separation of Synagogue and State!

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