On Thursday Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein called a meeting of top brass to discuss combating the intolerable phenomena. On the agenda were “whether local municipalities can be required to remove signs [demanding “modesty”] that violate women’s rights” and “ways to improve criminal law enforcement against ultra-Orthodox extremists who are physically and verbally abusive toward women.” Earlier in the week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had asked Weinstein to tackle the issue.
Also on Thursday female Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely, along with two male MKs, rode a segregated, mostly ultra-Orthodox bus from Beit Shemesh to Jerusalem. All three sat in front of the vehicle. Hotovely is herself Orthodox and one of the more “right-wing” (assertive about the importance of land) members of Netanyahu’s Likud Party. She is also one of the strongest voices against the ultra-Orthodox abuses.
In other words, Israel is uniting against the threat—something it is much practiced in doing. Indeed, some point out that far worse things—polygamy, honor killings, and female genital mutilation are some—go on in the surrounding countries without evoking nearly as much media interest as some harassment in Israel.
Which is true enough; as is the fact that another, seemingly relevant story this week—five women graduating as pilots in the Israeli air force—seems to have been missed by the media entirely. It might have made Israel look too good.
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