Judy Mandelbaum

Judy Mandelbaum
Brooklyn, New York, United States
June 01
Freelance writer, editor, and first citizen of Judy's World.

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JANUARY 10, 2012 7:19AM

Now most Israelis support gender segregation in public

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In recent weeks I have written extensively about the simmering conflict between ultra-Orthodox Jews (Haredim) and secular Israelis over the segregation of the sexes in Haredi neighborhoods. The standoff turned violent in late December, and some Haredi activists reacted to pressure from secular demonstrators and unfavorable press reports by dressing in striped concentration camp uniforms and pinning yellow Stars of David to their chests.

The iconic symbol of this division, which includes separate sidewalks and bans on women’s singing, are so-called kosher buses, which force women to sit in the back so as to avoid all contact with men. (This segregation affects all women passing through Haredi areas, regardless of their religious beliefs and affiliations, if any.) Now a new Ynet-Gesher survey reveals that the Haredi demands are much more acceptable to ordinary citizens than many people in Israel and abroad ever imagined.

Participants were asked: “Are ‘kosher’ bus lines for Haredim legitimate?” 51% agreed. On closer look, 18% responded that they would be legitimate throughout Israel, no strings attached. 26% said they should be permitted only in Haredi neighborhoods, while 7% said the separation of the sexes should only be permitted “if the women agree to sit in the back.” These figures are remarkable, since only around 10% of Israelis describe themselves as Haredim.

Only a minority take a dissenting view: 47% of Israelis regard the separation as illegal discrimination and 2% had no opinion.

Religion had a strong influence on responses. 57% of secular Jews ruled out segregated buses altogether. So did 41% of traditional Jews. Not surprising, 83% of Haredim supported segregation without any reservations. 

It’s even less surprising to learn that Israeli men take a more tolerant view towards intolerance than women do: In the survey, 56% of men accepted bus segregation based on gender as legitimate in principle, whereas 52% of women rejected it out of hand. 

The representative survey, conducted by the Panels Institute for the Ynet news portal, surveyed 505 respondents via Internet. The maximal sampling error is 4.4%

I'd put the minimum danger of this trend to Israeli society at 100%. 


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Considering that the proposed segregation applies to ALL women passing through Haredi areas, whether these women are religious or not, and not just the Haredi community itself, and in view of the fact that more than half of the population is okay with that, I regard your spin on these figures as moot.
No Judy, it is not Baltimore whois is putting "spin" on the numbers - it is you. I would have no trouble with this if it were done in your essay as part of your opinion.

To put misleading figures in a headline - even if accidentally done - is a propaganda technique.

Other than that, I thought your article well done and nicely written.
baltimore and skypixie,
Nice try, but human rights that do not apply across a society are not true human rights but rather arbitrary privileges. You'll find more on this principle in the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act. Regarding the 51% who are okay with segregated buses, i.e. who don't regard it as a violation of human rights (and most of whom are men), the vast majority of them do not call for a consensus of adults. The Israelis will have to work all this out on their own, but I wonder how many American taxpayers would agree to "voluntary segregation" in their own country under conditions such as these. Actually, we already had something a little bit like this. We called it "separate but equal," and as I recall, some people didn't appreciate it.
These sects clearly control Israel. And yet, Israel again and again warns the US that the problem in the Arab nations is their religious fanaticism. The question to me remains: where are the secular forces, leaders, and organizations in Israel? At this point, Turkey appears to be a more secular society, and at least in Egypt they are fighting to prevent the fundamentalists from taking charge. Where is this battle being waged in Israel? Who is waging it? What hope is there for a future not controlled by fanatics?
I'm not referring so much to the "Arab" world since that excludes Iranians, so "muslim" is more specific. I'm not even sure there is a voice of reason in this point in Israel, though I know there are some reformers, and of course citizens like the "Swimmin' Women" (I have a blog on them) but I'm sure they are discredited if not outright repressed.
I am an Orthodox Jew. I do not support gender segregation on the streets, and it is certainly counter-productive to those of us concerned about Torah Observance.

However, as long as there are buses available to those who want mixed seating, what is the problem for those who want to sit segregated. I'm sure that you support the rights of people who want to live other types of alternative lifestyles, why not this one?
The problem...religion!
I read about support for segregation by the increasingly vocal religious community in Israel (as well as the stoning of a young girl heading to school) and I ask myself: This is different from orthodox Islam how exactly?
Ever-interesting what you bring us! r. (And I don't give a damn abt the quibbles over the title)

Semites, like the poor, will always be with us. Me? I believe these tribes are genetically selected over millenium to give the rest of us grief. Arab Semites are entirely without redeeming characteristics, as far as I can determine. I spent but three days in Egypt on my own and feel lucky to have escaped with my very life.

Imagine. A simpleton abroad [me] arranges with the Hilton Hotel Concierge for a horse before sunrise for photos of the pyramids. The 'guide' provides me a horse and has me follow his him on his horse out onto the dunes in the dark. He then insists we change horses and he gallops off.

My mount goes absolutely rodeo one me. But I have been on a horse before. I stand up in the stirrups, wrap my hands around the reigns and half choke the bastard to death. Then he was mine. Spent hours riding about among the dunes with my camera bag.

I wish the hell I had ridden the bastard into the Hilton lobby. Instead I simply rode to the nearest road, past dead mules, dogs and cats in the sand, till I found a taxi. Kicked the beast on the ass and escaped.

Now, we in the West are stuck with Jewish Semites. My Semites are better then your Semites. Son of a bitch.
Hirsch - You wrote: "I am an Orthodox Jew. "

I like Orthdox Jews better then any other kind. In my experience you are more cogent and honest. For instance, an Israeli Ultra Extra Heavy Duty Orthodox Jew confirmed the 'scandalous' Talmud translations I presented. I would trust my life to him against the others who claimed to be Jewish.

So. As far as I am concerned, I've got your back in as much as I can provide it.

the In fact, the other kind are only Jews by blood, not by religion. If they had any integrity they would announced their apostasy and move on.

Instead they proudly wear their un-belief on sleeves, prancing about proclaiming inferiority and quilt upon the various goyim civilizations amongst whom they live. Gives me the creeps. The names Marx, Engles, Trotsky and Lenin come to mind. Let alone Rosenbergs and others.

But I know who is not my enemy.
Nikki - You wrote: "I read about support for segregation by the increasingly vocal religious community in Israel (as well as the stoning of a young girl heading to school) and I ask myself: This is different from orthodox Islam how exactly?"

The exact difference is the Islamic ones want to kill you and me. Yours only want to kill the Muslamers. One of these days you may need to decide.....
No one was stoned. What happened is that some bizarre and extremist haredi men (who I, and many others, wouldn't necessarily consider 'Jewish' as their behavior is antithetical to the teachings of Judaism) spit on an eight-year-old girl for not being 'modest' enough. The matter received considerable publicity and the miscreants' behavior was condemned by almost the entire country, including many haredi rabbis.

To say that Judaism as practiced in Israel or anywhere else is similar to 'orthodox' Islam is astoundingly ignorant. The Torah has no verses which approve of domestic abuse, subjugating other religions, creating a world-wide caliphate, or imposing the death penalty on apostates. Jews do not murder our spouses or children for not being religious enough or force small girls to hide their hair and neck. In contrast to every Muslim-majority nation, Israel does not even have a death penalty.

To say that Judaism is similar to Islam is like saying communism is similar to capitalism - completely wrong.
Wow, where do you find this stuff??? Thanks for your reporting, really interesting and troubling stuff.