Israel: Segregation of Children in Extremist religious schools, Lost rights of Women

November 18 2011

Israeli parents protest growing extremist bent in religious schools

Our outcry is over the prohibition against kindergarten girls singing,’ Ariela Miller, mother of three children in the Orthodox state school system, tells Haaretz.
By Talila Nesher

Parents of some 400 children in the state religious school system have banded together to protest what they view as the extreme bent the system has taken.

“People are angry over the issue of women [prohibited from] singing in the IDF, but our outcry is over the prohibition against kindergarten girls singing,” Ariela Miller, the mother of three children in the Orthodox state school system, told Haaretz.

Girls and boys lining up separately for school buses at Tel Aviv’s Zeitlin School, part of the national-religious school system. Photo by: Nir Kafri

“Children are habituated to rabbis being the only source of authority, much before educators. No wonder that when they come to crossroads in life, they cannot use their own judgment,” Miller said.

Unlike Miller, most of the parents are afraid to reveal their names for fear of a negative impact on their children’s schooling. One activist, who works for the Education Ministry, said she was summoned for a talking-to and told to stop her activities against the Education Ministry.

Another mother said that the main extremist influence was coming from organized groups of Orthodox people moving into a community with the purpose of increasing religious observance in that community. “But make no mistake, the Education Ministry is a full partner and is pushing them forward,” she said.

Parents are brimming with examples of increasing extremism in state religious schools. One father who has children in Tel Aviv’s Moriah school said: “On the last Memorial Day, some of the girls did not sing in the ceremony because ‘it is not modest,’ and they have already begun talking about the fact that at the end of the year event the fathers won’t be able to see the girls perform and that there will even be separate events for boys and girls.”

Another father said the school principal has no choice but to accede to the demands of the parents of the ultra-Orthodox group that has moved in, “and if an instruction is not implemented, it comes later from above – from [the Education Ministry’s] supervisor.”

The father added that when he complained he was told that if he did not like it, he could take his daughter to another school.

A mother from a state religious kindergarten in Kiryat Gat said that when she asked if a date had been set for the class Hanukkah party, the teacher said the event was being organized by the Orthodox residents’ group, and that fathers would not be invited because “it is not modest for girls to dance and sing in the presence of the fathers, which would [also] prevent the mothers from dancing.”

Classroom hours have also been changed unrecognizably, the father of a child at the Shilo school in Kiryat Ono says. When the parents first received the schedule of classes, it seemed alright, he said. “Only later did we realize that there are sacred studies disguised as secular studies: homeroom, for example, is suddenly being taught by the school rabbi, who certainly doesn’t deal with civics, but rather with Jewish law.”

The father said his daughter showed him a book that the school had purchased for the children, which he said was “completely ultra-Orthodox.” The father said the male figures in the book were depicted with ultra-Orthodox skullcaps and sidelocks and on the page teaching about showing respect to parents “there was only a father, no mother at all.”

A project to further classic Israeli literature at the Tomer kindergarten in Ramat Hasharon by subsidizing the purchase of books was scrapped last year, a parent said, after the group of Orthodox people who had moved into the community to further its religious observance said Haim Nahman Bialik and Lea Goldberg were “not modest.”

A mother of a child in the Tomer kindergarten said the group of Orthodox residents “impose censorship instead of the Education Ministry” in checking the plays the school was paying for the children to see.

A parent from the Moriah school said: “One fine day they decided to separate the children on the bus: the boys in the front and the girls in the back. Recess is also taken in different yards.”

Parents from Kiryat Gat said that on the first day of kindergarten they were given a flyer in which mothers were instructed “to come to the kindergarten in modest dress (skirt or dress, no pants and certainly not without sleeves ).”

Before the beginning of the school year at the Morasha school in Petah Tikva, a group of parents petitioned the High Court of Justice over what they perceived as forced gender separation beginning in the first grade. “The High Court ordered the situation to remain as it is until a committee studies the issue,” Idit, one of the mothers said. “But the High Court doesn’t know that it is being tricked, because last year we were forced to separate them under the assumption that it was for one year, so leaving the situation as it is means continuing the separation.”

The Education Ministry responded: “State religious education provides solutions to a variety of communities and the various groups studying in its framework. Discussions are underway to study the matter in all its aspects.” Source

This happened in the US. They tried to impose their will on women, on the buses.

Bus Line Serving Orthodox Jewish Community Tells Women to Sit at the Back of the Bus

By Jill Filipovic

October 21 2011

Didn’t an iconic figure in the American civil rights movement already take this one on?

In many ways, the B110 bus that connects South Williamsburg and Borough Park seems like any other bus. It has a route number and blue bus stop signs like any other city bus, and it’s open to the public. But the B110 is operated by a private company, Private Transportation Corporation, which pays the city for the right to provide a public service. And reporter Sasha Chavkin finds that on this bus—which caters to a predominately Orthodox Jewish ridership—special rules apply. Namely, women get the Rosa Parks treatment.

Chavkin recently asked an acquaintance to ride the B110 recently and found that female passengers are asked to sit in the back. His canary in the Hasidic coalmine encountered a bus full with “Orthodox Jews with full beards, sidecurls and long black coats, who told her that she was riding ‘a private bus’ and ‘a Jewish bus.’” When she asked why she had to move, a man scolded her, explaining, “If God makes a rule, you don’t ask ‘Why make the rule?”

A female Post reporter had a similar experience when she sat in the front of the B110, where signs written in Hebrew and English also direct women to use the back door during busy times.

Yeah no.

This bus in question is run by a private company, but has a contract with New York City in order to operate — and that contract requires that the franchise “comply with all applicable laws and is prohibited from discriminating in the provision of the bus service on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, handicap, marital status, or real or perceived sexual orientation.”

In other words, they’re really not supposed to be sending women to the back of the bus. But it’s kind of amazing how many commenters over at Gothamist are like, “It’s religion, not discrimination!” Sure. Source

In Israel this is what happens.

Woman beaten on J’lem bus for refusing to move to rear seat

December 15 2006

Miriam Shear says she was traveling to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City early on November 24 when a group of ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) men attacked her for refusing to move to the back of the Egged No. 2 bus.

By Daphna Berman

A woman who reported a vicious attack by an ad-hoc “modesty patrol” on a Jerusalem bus last month is now lining up support for her case and may be included in a petition to the High Court of Justice over the legality of sex-segregated buses.

Miriam Shear says she was traveling to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City early on November 24 when a group of ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) men attacked her for refusing to move to the back of the Egged No. 2 bus. She is now in touch with several legal advocacy and women’s organizations, and at the same time, waiting for the police to apprehend her attackers.

In her first interview since the incident, Shear says that on the bus three weeks ago, she was slapped, kicked, punched and pushed by a group of men who demanded that she sit in the back of the bus with the other women. The bus driver, in response to a media inquiry, denied that violence was used against her, but Shear’s account has been substantiated by an unrelated eyewitness on the bus who confirmed that she sustained an unprovoked “severe beating.”

Shear, an American-Israeli woman who currently lives in Canada, says that on a recent five-week vacation to Israel, she rode the bus daily to the Old City to pray at sunrise. Though not defined by Egged as a sex-segregated “mehadrin” bus, women usually sit in the back, while men sit in the front, as a matter of custom.

“Every two or three days, someone would tell me to sit in the back, sometimes politely and sometimes not,” she recalled this week in a telephone interview. “I was always polite and said ‘No. This is not a synagogue. I am not going to sit in the back.'”

But Shear, a 50-year-old religious woman, says that on the morning of the 24th, a man got onto the bus and demanded her seat – even though there were a number of other seats available in the front of the bus.

“I said, I’m not moving and he said, ‘I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.’ Then he spat in my face and at that point, I was in high adrenaline mode and called him a son-of-a-bitch, which I am not proud of. Then I spat back. At that point, he pushed me down and people on the bus were screaming that I was crazy. Four men surrounded me and slapped my face, punched me in the chest, pulled at my clothes, beat me, kicked me. My snood [hair covering] came off. I was fighting back and kicked one of the men in his privates. I will never forget the look on his face.”

Shear says that when she bent down in the aisle to retrieve her hair covering, “one of the men kicked me in the face. Thank God he missed my eye. I got up and punched him. I said, ‘I want my hair covering back’ but he wouldn’t give it to me, so I took his black hat and threw it in the aisle.”

‘Stupid American’

Throughout the encounter, Shear says the bus driver “did nothing.” The other passengers, she says, blamed her for not moving to the back of the bus and called her a “stupid American with no sechel [common sense.] People blamed me for not knowing my place and not going to the back of the bus where I belong.”

According to Yehoshua Meyer, the eyewitness to the incident, Shear’s account is entirely accurate. “I saw everything,” he said. “Someone got on the bus and demanded that she go to the back, but she didn’t agree. She was badly beaten and her whole body sustained hits and kicks. She tried to fight back and no one would help her. I tried to help, but someone was stopping me from getting up. My phone’s battery was dead, so I couldn’t call the police. I yelled for the bus driver to stop. He stopped once, but he didn’t do anything. When we finally got to the Kotel [Western Wall], she was beaten badly and I helped her go to the police.”

Shear says that when she first started riding the No. 2 line, she did not even know that it was sometimes sex-segregated. She also says that sitting in the front is simply more comfortable. “I’m a 50-year-old woman and I don’t like to sit in the back. I’m dressed appropriately and I was on a public bus.”

“It is very dangerous for a group of people to take control over a public entity and enforce their will without going through due process,” she said. “Even if they [Haredim who want a segregated bus] are a majority – and I don’t think they are – they have options available. They can petition Egged or hire their own private line. But as long as it’s a public bus, I don’t care if there are 500 people telling me where to sit. I can sit wherever I want and so can anyone else.”

Meyer says that throughout the incident, the other passengers blamed Shear for not sitting in the back. “They’ll probably claim that she attacked them first, but that’s totally untrue. She was abused terribly, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Word of Shear’s story traveled quickly after she forwarded an e-mail detailing her experience. She has been contacted by a number of groups, including Shatil, the New Israel Fund’s Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change; Kolech, a religious women’s forum; the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the legal advocacy arm of the local Reform movement; and the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA).

In the coming month, IRAC will be submitting a petition to the High Court of Justice against the Transportation Ministry over the issue of segregated Egged buses. IRAC attorney Orly Erez-Likhovski is in touch with Shear and is considering including her in the petition.

Although the No. 2 Jerusalem bus where the incident occurred is not actually defined as a mehadrin line, Erez-Likhovski says that Shear’s story is further proof that the issue requires legal clarification. About 30 Egged buses are designated as mehadrin, mostly on inter-city lines, but they are not marked to indicate this. “There’s no way to identify a mehadrin bus, which in itself is a problem,” she said.

“Theoretically, a person can sit wherever they want, even on a mehadrin line, but we’re seeing that people are enforcing [the gender segregation] even on non-mehadrin lines and that’s the part of the danger,” she said.

On a mehadrin bus, women enter and exit through the rear door, and the seats from the rear door back are generally considered the “women’s section.” A child is usually sent forward to pay the driver.

The official responses

In a response from Egged, the bus driver denied that Shear was physically attacked in any way.

“In a thorough inquiry that we conducted, we found that the bus driver does not confirm that any violence was used against the complainant,” Egged spokesman Ron Ratner wrote.

“According to the driver, once he saw that there was a crowd gathering around her, he stopped the bus and went to check what was going on. He clarified to the passengers that the bus was not a mehadrin line and that all passengers on the line are permitted to sit wherever they want on the bus. After making sure that the passengers returned to their seats, he continued driving.”

The Egged response also noted that their drivers “are not able and are not authorized to supervise the behavior of the passengers in all situations.”

Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Avner Ovadia said in response that the mehadrin lines are “the result of agreements reached between Egged and Haredi bodies” and are therefore unconnected to the ministry.

A spokesperson for the Jerusalem police said the case is still under investigation. Source

Here is another interesting story you might enjoy. From July 2010

Israeli rabbis are to clamp down on the growing number of devout Jewish women wearing the burka by declaring the garment an item of sexual deviancy.

In Israel Arabs are not allowed on buses or roads for Jews only if they do go on a road or a bus they arrested. Absolute segregation.

Rather reminds me of how blacks were treated like in the US.

Palestinian activists arrested on Israeli bus

By DIAA HADID, Associated Press

November 15, 2011

(11-15) 12:39 PST HIZMA CHECKPOINT, West Bank

Six Palestinian activists, clutching national flags and surrounded by dozens of reporters, were dragged off an Israeli bus they planned to ride into Jerusalem after a standoff with police Tuesday.

They were detained and then released a few hours later in the West Bank, said pro-Palestinian activist Jonathan Pollack.

The Palestinians boarded the Israeli bus in a widely advertised action hoping to draw attention to what they call discriminatory measures in the West Bank, particularly travel restrictions.

Tuesday’s action highlighted how some Palestinians are adopting peaceful actions in their struggle for statehood in the West Bank, where the Western-backed Palestinian Authority has a measure of self-rule. Even as the bus protest unfolded in the West Bank, Palestinian militants in Gaza to the south fired rockets at nearby Israeli communities.

“We want to show the system of discrimination that we live in here. My point isn’t go to jail — my point is to have the freedom to get on a bus,” said Badia Dwaik, a 38-year-old civil servant, shortly before he was dragged off the Israeli number 148 Egged bus, which serves Israeli settlements.

Israeli officials say the travel restrictions on Palestinians are needed to prevent militants from entering Israel or West Bank settlements to stage attacks. The restrictions increased during the violent Palestinian uprising of 2000-2005, when buses were frequently blown up by suicide bombers.

The Palestinian activists dubbed themselves “Freedom Riders” after 1960s American civil rights activists who worked in the U.S. South to counter racial discrimination and segregation there, though there were no security elements in the American rights struggle.

In the West Bank — home to 2.5 million Palestinians and some 300,000 Jewish settlers — the two sides usually use different bus systems.

Although no specific rule prevents Palestinians from riding the “Israeli” buses — they are generally not allowed into the Jewish settlements these buses serve. The Palestinians also need permits to enter Jerusalem.

Tuesday’s protest began at a stop near the Jewish settlement of Migron. Posted on the bus stop were posters praising the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, an extremist who argued that Palestinians should be expelled from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The first three “number 148” buses — apparently aware of the planned provocation — sped by. But the fourth pulled up.

Maggie Amir, 48, from the nearby Jewish settlement of Rimonim, who was waiting to board, said Palestinians shouldn’t be allowed on.

“This is our bus,” she said, adding: “Quite simply, we are afraid of them.”

The Palestinians paid their fares and boarded, as reporters jostled to board. Dwaik sat a row away from Haggai Segal, a 54-year-old Israeli from the settlement of Ofra, once jailed for planting a car bomb that badly wounded a Palestinian mayor. The two did not interact.

Dozens of reporters clustered around the six activists, who wore T-shirts emblazoned with “justice” and “freedom.” Several wore black-and-white checkered headscarves.

After an uneventful 20-minute ride, the bus stopped at the Hizme checkpoint on Jerusalem’s outskirts. Israeli police boarded, demanding to see their Jerusalem entry permits. Lacking the permits, the Palestinians refused to get off.

“I am not going to obey your discriminatory law,” Dwaik told the policeman, speaking Arabic.

“So you are detained,” the policeman said, also in Arabic.

“Fine. I am not moving.”

About an hour later the six Palestinians were detained, dragged off the bus and taken away in a police car to a nearby station — in Jerusalem, having somewhat reached their destination. Source

Israel effectively annexes Palestinian land near Jordan Valley

State gave Israeli kibbutz 1,500 dunam (375 acres ) of Palestinian-owned land over Green Line.

By Akiva Eldar

November 18 2011
Israel carried out a de facto annexation of Palestinian land northeast of the Jordan Valley and given it to Kibbutz Merav. Merav, part of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, is about seven kilometers northwest of the parcel.

The route of the separation barrier in the area was changed so that the plot in question, about 1,500 dunams (375 acres ), would be on the Israeli side.

Israel has previously built roads on and given Palestinian land in the West Bank to Jewish settlements, but this is thought to be the first instance of Palestinian-owned land being transferred to a community on sovereign Israeli territory.

A spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Guy Inbar, confirmed that the property is in the West Bank and said, “Kibbutz Merav has been farming this land for decades.”

The issue of the land’s legal status and its transfer to Merav is clouded in mystery, and official statements have been contradictory. All efforts to locate documents explaining the situation have failed, Inbar said.

The kibbutz is in the Emek Mayanot Regional Council, whose jurisdiction is entirely within the Green Line. In a statement, council officials said the land is beyond its jurisdiction and that the Israel Lands Administration controls land allocations to the council’s member communities.

Ofer Amar, a spokesman for the World Zionist Organization’s Jewish settlement division said the tract is classified as farmland within the Emek Mayanot Regional Council. He said the settlement division had no authority over the parcel.

Kibbutz Merav’s secretary general, David Yisrael, confirmed the kibbutz has been farming the land for years, growing field crops including corn as well as citrus fruit. He said he had a lease with the ILA for it, but refused to show it to Haaretz.

An official in the Civil Administration said Yisrael refused to show the contract to his agency, too.

ILA spokeswoman Ortal Tzabar said the ILA had no knowledge of the matter, as it does not deal with land outside sovereign Israeli territory.

“There is a straight line from plundering these 1,500 dunams to Amona, Migron and Givat Asaf, outposts that were built years later,” said Dror Etkes, director of Peace Now’s Settlements Watch Project, who detected the annexed land in aerial photographs.

If the appropriation of the Palestinian farmers’ lands in the Jordan Valley had happened now, rather than in the 1970s, Israeli civil rights groups would have prevented it, Etkes said.

“This is an example of why it so important for MK Ofir Akunis and his wacky right-wing colleagues to conceal and silence leftist organizations and turn the High Court of Justice and the media into the government’s puppets,” Etkes said.

Ashraf Madrasa, from the nearby village of Bardallah, showed Haaretz an ownership deed from 1961 for a 36-dunam tract of the land. He said the Israel Defense Forces seized the land, declared it a “military area,” drove out the owners and ordered never to return.

A number of landowners were given alternative plots belonging to “absentee” Palestinians who fled during the 1967 Six-Day War. Sami Rajab, whose family farms in the area, said that in exchange for several plots in the area he was evicted from, his father received a tract that belonged to his uncle, who emigrated to Canada.

Recently his cousin came to visit and demanded his lands back, Rajab related. “We told him he had to ask the Israeli government to give it back to him,” Rajab said.

According to international law Israel is the custodian of absentee property in the West Bank and is prohibited from giving it to settlers, not to mention to communities within Israel.

In an opinion issued in 1997, the Civil Administration’s legal adviser said: “The Custodian of Absentee Property in the West Bank is nothing but a trustee looking after the property so it is not harmed while the owners are absent from the area … the custodian may not make any transaction regarding the asset that conflicts with the obligation to safeguard the asset as stated, especially his obligation to return the asset to the owner upon his return to the region.”

The state comptroller wrote in a 2004 report that thousands of dunams of privately-owned Palestinian lands were given to Israeli communities in the Jordan Valley in the 1960s and 1970s, according to ILA and Custodian of Absentee Property documents.

The ILA continued “these allocations, defined in the above documents as apparently illegal, after that as well,” he wrote.

Source

And Israel calls itself a Democracy.

Really? Who are they trying to kid?

So while your here you might like to take a look at this as well.

What are the children taught.

Stealing Palestinian homes

On the other hand the Orthodox Jews are against Zionism and defend the Palistininas

Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel.

For more information go HERE

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2 Comments

  1. Nice blog, rainbow, you rock. keep up the great work.

  2. You know Shervin it’s rather funny, before I checked your comment I thought it would be a hate comment. Usually I am called all sorts of things for posting anything about the Jewish community. I have been called every name in the book. It doesn’t stop me from posting anything however. Just an annoyance sent to the G file. It’s rather refreshing to get something positive for a change. Then again Zionist don’t like the Orthodox Jews all that much, so maybe I won’t get too many hate comments on this one. Many Orthodox Jews, do after all speak out on behalf of the Palestinians.


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