Entries Tagged as 'discrimination'

Israel Doesn’t Need Religious Police

November 20th, 2009 at 3:02 pm 3 Comments

Earlier this week, a woman praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem was arrested for wearing a prayer shawl (a tallit).  Police defended their actions and argued that they were upholding a recent court ruling that visitors to the Western Wall needed to adhere to the site’s customs and dress codes.  This arrest though strikes me as deeply offensive and it sets a dangerous precedent.

First, religious teachings support the woman who was arrested.  Jewish law expressly permits women to wear a tallit.  The great Maimonides explicitly states: Women are permitted to wear tzitzit (Laws of Tzitzit 3:9).  Second, the location of the arrest adds to the damage from this incident.  The prophets describe the Temple Mount as a place where the voice of God will go out to all the nations of the world.  In arresting a woman while she attempts to pray in accordance with the laws of Maimonides, the authorities are committing a desecration of God’s name and polluting the holiness of the Temple Mount.

The arrest and the policies the police were enforcing also in effect deny the woman her right to expressly follow the teachings of the Torah and practice her faith.  Furthermore, by doing so at the Temple Mount — which is supposed to be a source of the light of Judaism to the nations of the world — the damage is compounded and the state has unfortunately opened itself up to ridicule and contempt.

Sadly, the authorities have ceded the Temple Mount and its holiness to a group of fundamentalist and exclusionary Jews who increasingly do not share that prophetic and open vision.  By acting in such a rash manner and enforcing this policy, the authorities have further ceded the moral high ground of the entire country by practicing religious discrimination. But there is still hope. Instead of allowing this arrest to set a precedent, hopefully the authorities will use this opportunity to do everything in their power to reverse the ban and issue a formal state apology to those holy women who desire to wear a tallit at the Western Wall.

Fox News: Feminist Champion

David Frum November 20th, 2009 at 10:40 am 50 Comments

On the Fox News site today, I clicked a link to a Sean Hannity interview with Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

Hannity opened the item by blasting Newsweek‘s cover story on Gov. Palin as “blatantly sexist.” He asked, “What is behind this double standard?”

At about the 3:11 minute mark, Hasselbeck offers this answer to the host’s questions: “When I saw that I was infuriated, as most women should be. It is as you said blatantly sexist. Where now is the National Organization for Women? Where are they? Where are they when a conservative woman is being reduced to that sort of cover?”

Hannity chimed in: “It seems to come down to a really basic litmus test whether women’s groups will support you or not.”

Good point! While some women can be sexually objectified with impunity by the liberal lamestream media, others get protected. Yep, it’s a litmus test. One question though. About an inch below the box in which Hannity and Hasselback joined to denounce leching and leering, was a smaller icon that linked to this item.



Question for Fox: what litmus test did these women flunk?

PS – in reply to reader TXANNE, I do agree that the Newsweek cover was sensational and inappropriate. Whatever games Palin may be playing with her admirers do not excuse news sources from playing similar games with their readers.