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Friday, December 30, 2011

Israel has bigger problems

Op-ed: Women’s exclusion gets inflated attention; we have bigger issues to deal with
Hagai Segal
Published: 12.30.11, 13:36 / Israel Opinion
In the eight days of Hanukkah, three people were murdered in Israel and the murder of a child killed on the eve of the holiday was solved. A resident of the northern “triangle area” was gravely wounded by assassins. Terrorists fired at an Israeli vehicle in Samaria.

Elsewhere, Qassam missiles exploded in Gaza-region communities. Seven Jewish girls reported that they were abducted by Bedouins. Meanwhile, the massacre of civilians by their leaders near our northern border continued.
Segregated Buses

We need 100,000 women / Yoel Esteron

Op-ed: Segregated haredi buses could be overcome if 100,000 women board them
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Yet nonetheless, most attention here in Chanukah was dedicated to an eight-year-old girl spat on by a local idiot.
The prime minister delivered two impassioned speeches against the spitting, the president expressed his presidential disgust, and even the IDF chief of staff was indirectly required to address the issue.

The main headline of Lieutenant General Benny Gantz’s holiday interview with Army Radio did not deal with the Iranian issue or the Gaza problem, but rather, with the singing of women. The news about the boosted defense budget was cast aside in favor of two female soldiers who were prevented from singing solo during a Chanukah party.
For a moment, the impression that was created is that military bands are the essence of the Israel Defense Force’s existence.

Priorities distorted

Ladies and gentleman, you got carried away. The inflated preoccupation with the phenomenon of women’s exclusion does not only constitute a wild exaggeration and a cynical distortion of our priorities, it is also a lethal boomerang.

The ultra-Orthodox community suspects that the major campaign against women’s exclusion is not premised on frank concern for women, but rather, on deep hatred for haredim. Hence, instead of developing anger at the violent minority within it, the haredi community is developing a feeling of collective persecution. It feels that there is no point in protesting against the radicals, because in any case the outside world despises the radicals and the moderates equally.

Regrettably, this is not a case of paranoia. The incidents of women’s exclusion are an effective secular means for slamming the haredim, just like the “price tag” acts are a leftist means for slamming the settlers. 

In both cases we are dealing with grave phenomena, yet certainly not ones that justify the overwhelming mass emotions of recent days. When one hits a nail with a hammer that is too big, the nail breaks.,7340,L-4169026,00.html

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