02 October 2012

Modi'in and the Haredi

I know, from a conversation with Snoopy the Goon and Gideon Swort some time ago, that at least some of those who are responsible for this site are worried about the influence of the Haredi on the rest of Israeli society. Particularly when they are such a small part of the total Israeli population, relatively speaking. Given this, the following can only add to the general level of worry.

Back in the days when I was involved, at a relatively high level, with Maccabi Great Britain, and on an official visit to Israel, we were taken to Modi'in, because Maccabi World Union were partners in the development. It appeared to be a very nice place, somewhere, were I an Israeli, I might well like to live.

Because of this, it was with a large degree of sadness and also with a tinge of anger that I came across this item from the (US) Jewish Daily Forward. It appears that the haredi from the nearby town of Modi'in Illit are determined to impose their standards on the secular dwellers of Modi'in. How so? Well, as the author of the piece, Elana Sztokman, who is also a resident of Modi'in, notes, "This Sukkot, there is a religious battle going on in the city of Modi’in, Israel, and as often happens in such battles, it is being fought over women’s bodies."

Oh come now, you might say (especially if you are not an Israeli and/or live somewhere like the US, Canada or the UK), you can't be serious? In 2012? Actually, of course, you wouldn't, if you've been reading this and similar sites for any length of time, but how could I resist such a cheap line? The answer lies in the following: "...haredi visitors started to make demands of the women on Modi’in. Suddenly, things began to change. First, a woman who was performing in the park was asked to leave the stage by haredi audience members — a request to which she unfortunately acquiesced, setting a bad precedent. Then, a well-known local reporter went to the park dressed in her usual clothing (jeans and a tank-top), and was made to feel uncomfortable by other park-users. She then wrote about the experience in the local newspaper."

There's more, much more, in the original article. Read and worry.

By Brian Goldfarb.


Dick Stanley said...

Between the Islamists and the Haredi, all us non-fundies are starting to feel squeezed.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Sadly, true.