Watch Out When an Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi & Taliban Agree

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From the BBC:

West Bank rabbi bans women from local election
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of the Elon Moreh settlement, near Nablus, said women lacked the authority to stand for the post of local secretary.
He wrote in a community newspaper that women must only be heard through their husbands.
No women have registered for the election due to be held later on Wednesday, Israeli media reported.
The rabbi made his comments in the community’s newspaper after an unidentified young woman wrote to him asking if she could run for the position of community secretary, the Israeli news website Ynet News said.

From Al Jazeera:

Journalist Gregg Carlstron interviews Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban’s former ambassador to Pakistan at 5th Al Jazeera Forum
Carlstrom: Women are half of the population of Afghanistan. They have somewhat more freedoms now than they did under the Taliban, to go to school, to work; would the Taliban be willing to compromise on women’s rights if they became part of the government?
Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef: There is changing of world, changing of people, changing of policies, changing of strategies… I think the Taliban, they would not be against the woman. The Taliban, they were looking at the time [during their rule] for the priority, and the priority was the security and stability of the country to become united.
The Taliban had, just for one year’s budget, they had $80 million for the government. I think this was not enough for the education… when I was the ambassador in Pakistan, we had a meeting with another ambassador, and we told him, if you want to do something for women in Afghanistan, you are welcome to do it. But the conditions were poor.
If you opened a school and prepared a situation for women to do to school, we were not against women, against education. We were not against the working of women.
But the priority is men; men are more responsible than women in Afghan society, because the men is responsible to provide shelter for the woman, to provide a house for the woman, to provide food for the woman, clothes for the woman.
Right now we are not able to provide jobs for men, let alone jobs for women. This was not some kind of thing to be against the women… but the priority was to provide something for men.

Both are wrong.
Clearly, Israel is a far more healthy place for the rights of women than any place in Afghanistan — but the trends of some ultra-orthodox in Israel’s settlements are just as anti-modern in some ways as what the US is fighthing in the Afghan tribal regions.
— Steve Clemons
Ed Note: Hat tip to Jim Lobe.

Comments

41 comments on “Watch Out When an Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi & Taliban Agree

  1. Dovid says:

    It is sickening how so many of you defend the hatred for women shown in the Ultra-Orthodox community; rather than address it and condemn it, you sickeningly return to the only thing you know how to do – point to Islam as a defense. Do you realize you make Judaism look just like Islam when you do that? YOU are COMPARING them. And in the process, refusing to stand up for Jewish women who are being oppressed and beaten! You should be ashamed!

    Reply

  2. ... says:

    poa question “What I want to know is, how is it that these Kahane terrorists operate openly in Israeli and the West Bank – and even hold a seat in the parliament?”
    israel is fast becoming a terrorist state with usa condolence and support financially and in all other ways….

    Reply

  3. ... says:

    indeed.. canucks are just as boneheaded as the american’s when it comes to knee jerk support for all things zionistic… the only difference is the canuckle heads don’t have a war machine to use, which is no source of angst for those same war crazed americans who think canucks need to man up with all the latest military bullshit..
    apparently israel needs all the handouts it gets from the usa… i think israel would be in real trouble if they didn’t get all the free handouts..

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Does this asshole “Marcus” seriously think he does Jews or Israelis any favors with his posts here?
    Wiggie, Birnbaum, and Nadine are exposed by their silence about the posts of such assholes as Marcus. Birds, feathers, that bit.

    Reply

  5. ... says:

    zzzzzzzzzzzz

    Reply

  6. ... says:

    Shas leader and Interior Minister Eli Yesha reportedly defended Yosef

    Reply

  7. ... says:

    nadine, here is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef of the jewish orthodox faith speaking about arabs … your words are very similar..

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “So, tell me, Khalid, who are the real fanatics here?”
    Well, you certainly qualify, you loathsome and despicable bigot.

    Reply

  9. nadine says:

    “I confess that I am saddened by the intellectual and moral implosion of the left documented so elegantly by Pollack. While the left was once the “progressive” force in politics, it has now abandoned progressivism and become little more than a society of back-slappers who spend most of their time congratulating each other on their sagacity and bravery. ”
    Glad you liked the Pollack essay, Wigwag. One other large reason that progressives lost any true notion of progressivism is that they adopted multi-culturalism, which essentially abandons the progressive impulse for anybody deemed to be culturally ‘other’. It leads to progressives screaming about Western misdemeanors while ignoring non-Western felonies. Of course they still *claim* to be progressives; which leads to the hollow claims of bravery you write about.

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  10. nadine says:

    Khalid, men and women can leave that Rabbi’s community and even convert to other religions without getting killed for it.
    Unlike Islam.
    The Rabbi wants voluntary compliance with his ideas of Orthodox Judaism; he doesn’t want to make them the law of Israel and beat or kill men and women who don’t obey them.
    Unlike Islam.
    The Rabbi has no orders from God to conquer the entire world and make everybody obey the laws of Orthodox Judaism.
    Unlike Islam.
    So, tell me, Khalid, who are the real fanatics here?

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  11. ... says:

    nothing any author is going to write is going to change the fact israel is increasingly becoming a pariah nation with those of the orthodox faith gaining ground with their fanatical aspirations… nothing in the pollak addressed this either… why would he? it is like touching radioactive material… continue to bury your heads in the sand wiggy and nadine… that is what zionists do when faced with the ugly reality of what israel is fast becoming – an intolerant nation of fanatics…
    and in other news, israel works to become what it was supposed to be running away from..
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/east-jerusalem-eviction-orders-threaten-new-embarrassment-for-netanyahu-1.292885

    Reply

  12. WigWag says:

    Thanks Nadine! You’re right, Pollack’s essay is an intellectual tour de force; it shatters Beinart’s thesis and it makes the pretensions of his fellow travelers look ridiculous. I’ve read many critiques of Beinart’s essay; none offer a more effective rebuttal than this one.
    I confess that I am saddened by the intellectual and moral implosion of the left documented so elegantly by Pollack. While the left was once the “progressive” force in politics, it has now abandoned progressivism and become little more than a society of back-slappers who spend most of their time congratulating each other on their sagacity and bravery. The good news is that to the wider world, Beinart and friends are hardly more than a curiosity; they have about as much influence on American public opinion as freaks in a carnival show. Public opinion polling and the history of recent American elections amply demonstrates this. It will be demonstrated again in November, 2010.
    The only substantive point about the article that I will make here, is how interesting Pollack’s discussion of Israel’s political system was. His analysis of Israel’s system of proportional representation is not exactly new, but Pollack is right; it is responsible for empowering the more extreme political parties and it does give those parties political power out of proportion with the number of votes that they get. Who knew that the proportion of the total vote received by Avigdor Lieberman’s party is roughly equivalent to the vote received by right wing political parties in Europe in many recent elections? In fact, in the upcoming Dutch elections (next week) Geert Wilders political party is almost guaranteed to receive an even larger share of the Dutch voted than Yisrael Beiteinu received in the last Israeli election.
    One particularly ironic fact that Pollack did not mention is that the system of proportional representation that Israel uses was invented by the Left. It was put in place by the Labor Party early in Israel’s history at the insistence of the Histadrut. In fact, it was considered to be a socialist innovation designed to empower minority voices.
    And it

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  13. nadine says:

    Wigwag, I highly recommend that you read this essay by Noah Pollak on the Liberal abandonment of Zionism.
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/peter-beinart-and-the-destruction-of-liberal-zionism-15442
    Pollak makes the point that Oslo was the ultimate Liberal idea — that everybody just wants to get along if you make an effort to understand things from their side. He says,

    Reply

  14. nadine says:

    “There is nothing in this post that criticizes human rights abuses
    by Arabs; as you surely know, the Taliban are not Arabs. Steve
    assiduously avoids criticizing the horrific behavior of his Gulf
    Arab friends, instead he shills for them; the hypocrisy is
    stunning; although by now it

    Reply

  15. downtown says:

    “well the test worked but when i go to post what i wanted it doesn’t!! lets see if this does as it has nothing in it other then the observation i am being given the run around again!”
    It must have been the Syntax Police…

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I am being given the run around again!”
    Stop being paranoid. I suspect there may be a link or two in the post that has pushed you over the limit. TWO links are all Steve’s spam blocker allows. Look your post over, and make sure that it doesn’t have a link you are missing noticing. If not, than its an unknown kind of glitch, not a purposeful act from Steve’s people.
    Think about it. Do you really think they’d block YOU, yet continue to let ME post?
    What, you think they might be offended by too many periods being used by you????
    Or perhaps your vulgar and obscene failure to use capital letters has earned their ire. I warned ya, once, long ago!!!

    Reply

  17. ... says:

    well the test worked but when i go to post what i wanted it doesn’t!! lets see if this does as it has nothing in it other then the observation i am being given the run around again!

    Reply

  18. Alan K says:

    Steve’s comparison in this article is false, because as WW says, he is comparing a tiny group’s behavior which is not the accepted norm in Israel with the majority behavior in Muslim countries. Include me in those surprised by this uncharacteristic lapse for Steve.

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  19. JohnH says:

    Wigwag would have you believe that medieval behavior is the norm in the Muslim world, but the rare exception in Israel. So let’s turn to someone who has studied Judaic law:
    “According to the Jewish religion, the murder of a Jew is a capital offense…A Gentile murderer who happens to be under Jewish jurisdiction must be executed whether the victim was Jewish or not. However, if the victim was Gentile and the murderer converts to Judaism, he is not punished.
    All this has a direct and practical relevance to the realities of the State of Israel. Although the state’s criminal laws make no distinction between Jew and Gentile, such distinction is certainly made by Orthodox rabbis, who in guiding their flock follow the Halakhah. Of special importance is the advice they give to religious soldiers.”
    http://www.bintjbeil.com/E/occupation/shahak.html
    So much for Israel being “a light unto humanity!”

    Reply

  20. ... says:

    modern day israel – sounds like fanatics are running the orthodox religion and it shows…they are also the largest growing religious group within israel if that makes any sense… i think we have a few here at twn..
    Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    “Steve is being deliberately disingenuous and he knows it; presumably this is a desperate attempt on Steve’s part to demonstrate that Peter Benart is on to something. The only people who will find the particular piece of evidence that he cites as compelling are the anti-Semites and other Israel bashers who have already made up their minds.”
    Ah yes… wig must always attack the messenger..typical zionista smear artist….next thing you know she will be insulting his private parts like she did POA’s.
    Actually Steve is being even handed in his criticisms and exposures of both zionist fanatics and all other groups fanatical beliefs and actions.
    What uberziowiganasta can’t handle is that the taboo on criticizing anything at all connected to Israel, and it’s fanatics, is long gone…no longer exist.
    An information jet called the net has blown through the sound barrier and now it would take some kind of Universal Fascist rule to ever bring it down.
    New era, new rules….anyone/thing can and will be examined and criticized, by any and everyone in the universe who desires to investigate or learn and express an opinion.
    All bad actors that offend civilization can now be exposed and argued over and ruminated on with the click of a mouse.
    It’s a ray gun wig, you can’t beat it or run from it. All you can do is expose your side’s weakness by resorting to your usual personal and ‘striving for superiority’ smears against your selected enemies.
    What this means for Israel and zionism is that it has two choices.. either change… or vanish into the dustbin of history.
    I have seen no signs that they are intelligent enough to reform and change….but nothing is impossible.

    Reply

  22. Don Bacon says:

    POA, I didn’t argue with WW on this thread because she’s generally correct, so my riggin’ ain’t shrunk.

    Reply

  23. downtown says:

    The (admittedly very few) Palestinians I have known were amongst the kindest, most liberal people who’ve ever crossed my path. I can’t help but root for them. The Islamist Radicals so often mistakenly (or agenda driven)lumped in with them are arch-enemies of mine. They will be vanquished.

    Reply

  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, whats the deal? Is the “Let’s just rain death on them” ghoul Wig-wag denying that
    Orthodox Jews aren’t exactly very respectful of women’s rights?
    Seems to me a bigger problem, (seeing as how the Orthodox Jewish women have CHOSEN their lot in life), is the unemployment of these mass reproducing religious sperm producers. Seems they are perfectly content to spend their lives perfecting the fine art of religous wackjobbery, screwing, and leeching off the slightly less deranged segments of Israeli society by gluing themselves to the welfare rolls.
    Now, if the non-Orthodox murderous segments of Israeli society would spend less time killing Palestinians and dreaming up ways to steal their land and treat them like seventeenth century American nigras, and more time screwing like rabbits on viagra, (ala Orthodox), they might just shift the demographics in their favor. Either that, or legalize polygamy in the Orthodox settlements. At the rate they’re reproducing with just one wife, imagine what they could do with ten of ’em. I mean hey, its time to get creative. Frying them nasty heathens in phosphorous doesn’t seem to be working, so why not try screwing’ em out of existence?
    Don, don’t argue with Wig-wag. Doncha know its makes your riggin’ shrink?

    Reply

  25. DonS says:

    “What’s worse is that Steve decided to treat his readers like they were Rubes; too dumb to know the difference between a free society inhabited by a few women-hating religious nutcases and a society where the women-hating religious nutcases are firmly entrenched as the rulers.” (wigwag)
    Ah, nostalgia, it was only a couple of years ago that I noted that you, wigwag, were treating the TWN commenters as a bunch of Rubes.
    Anyway, while I don’t know Steve’s modus, you apparently are confident you do, and manage to insult not only Steve, again, but all his readers who, I doubt, are as naive as you imply.
    Fundamentalism is the problem, in different proportion in different nations, but equally corrosive. Shall we be grateful that Israel only tolerates, but then investigates religiously motivated assaults on women. Not much of a recommendation. I know, it must be the ‘other’ influence that renders otherwise sensible Jews into rabid ultra-orthodox nutters. I’ve made this point a million times before: since when is the comparison of the Israel with more culturally ‘deficient’ nations any sort of an argument?

    Reply

  26. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag said: “You are incorrect, Paul, when you say,

    Reply

  27. JohnH says:

    “A group of Haredi thugs assaulted a woman” and then got arrested for it. The woman evidently was not a Gentile…

    Reply

  28. WigWag says:

    Actually DonS, the link that you provided proves Mitch Stoltz’s point; when a group of Haredi thugs assaulted a woman for

    Reply

  29. DonS says:

    “The Israeli situation is equivalent to an evangelical woman in Virginia writing to Pat Robertson to ask whether it would be proper for her to run for mayor, and Robertson saying no. That’s not a theocracy.” (Mitch Stoltz)
    . . . except when things get a bit violent and women get assaulted it seems like nitpicking:
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/video-ultra-orthodox-modesty-guard-suspected-of-beating-jerusalem-woman-1.285329
    Now, using Pat Robertson as a comparison is not the best sort of authority to bolster your argument. While “theocracy”, or theocratic influence, may be a matter of exactitude, the salient point is that there is undue influence of religious fundamentalists on political life in a so-called democracy. And I could be talking as much about Pat Robertson in the US (viz, see his influence on Gov. McDonnell) as about some ultra orthodox rabbi-inspired gang in Israel.

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  30. Mitch Stoltz says:

    That young woman in the Jewish settlement, unlike any woman under the Taliban, can vote. And she can call on the government to enforce her right to vote. Rabbi Levanon is not a government authority, at least according to the quote; he’s a spiritual leader. The Taliban, in contrast, were the government, however illegitimate.
    The Israeli situation is equivalent to an evangelical woman in Virginia writing to Pat Robertson to ask whether it would be proper for her to run for mayor, and Robertson saying no. That’s not a theocracy.

    Reply

  31. Don Bacon says:

    From the Bible:
    Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
    Eph.5:22-24 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
    1 Pet.3:1 “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.”
    Ecclesiastes 25:22 “Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die.”
    Ecclesiasticus 22:3 “….and the birth of ANY daughter is a loss”

    Reply

  32. DonS says:

    correction @ 11:33 —
    Lester Maddox NOT Huey Long was the “fool” he wrote about . . .

    Reply

  33. DonS says:

    “How hard would it be to find a comment by an isolated Christian extremist in the United States or even Norway?” (wigwag)
    Don’t know about Norway, but it sure wouldn’t be hard to find more than an isolated ‘christian’ extremist in the US. And you know as well as I that it is a problem, and increasing problem in the influence on politics and policies.
    To me the Taliban comparison, while the point of the post, is less important that the phenomenon of fundamentalism growing worldwide. Just when did fundamentalism acquire legitimacy and gain serious attention of the positive, deferred to sort, instead of called out and marginalized for the aberration it represents?
    Seems to me like the only difference as to whether fundamentalists get lambasted or not so subtly deferred to is whether they’re ‘our’ fundamentalists or ‘their’ fundamentalists. Like Randy Newman wrote about Huey Long, “he’s a fool but he’s our fool”

    Reply

  34. WigWag says:

    “Even WigWag has recently expressed her concern regarding the growing influence of ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel. Nevertheless, I expect the usual suspects here to express some anger against Steve for not highlighting the religious fanaticism among Islamists – (which is exactly what he does), as well as human rights abuses on the Arab side.” (Paul Norheim)
    It was Steve Clemons who brought up the Rabbi’s behavior and compared it to the Taliban, not anyone else. Apparently Steve thinks that the premodern behavior of this Rabbi is at least partially emblematic of Israeli society in the same way that the premodern behavior of Taliban extremists is emblematic of Afghan society.
    Your comment is illogical, Paul. If Steve thinks the behavior of a single Rabbi or even a small number of Rabbis makes Israel in anyway comparable to societies governed by Muslim extremists, then talking about the validity of the comparison is entirely reasonable and on point.
    Steve is being deliberately disingenuous and he knows it; presumably this is a desperate attempt on Steve’s part to demonstrate that Peter Benart is on to something. The only people who will find the particular piece of evidence that he cites as compelling are the anti-Semites and other Israel bashers who have already made up their minds.
    Steve knows perfectly well that the mistreatment of women and gender based bigotry are ubiquitous in the Muslim world. Whether it

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And the Muslims have a monopoly on wackjobbery?
    With these assholes like Michael Steele going to pro-settler rallies, these are the kinds of settlers that the AIPAC crowd would rather you don’t hear about.
    But really, sending women to the back of the bus isn’t near as despicable as starving them, depriving them of basic needs and medical care, or dumping white phosphorous on them.
    This essay, above, makes a big deal out of the Orthodox Jews treatment of their women, as well as the Taliban’s treatment of women. But actually, wackjobbery isn’t gender specific. If these women choose to belong to a sect of religious ghouls, thats their business. Perhaps their religious beliefs go hand in hand ith being treated like cattle.
    So, you have a small, (but albiet growing), segment of Israeli society that reproduces like rabbits, and treats their women like brood mares.
    But what of the larger segment of Israeli society?? The bloodsucking racists, the mainstream, that think Jewish women shouldn’t be treated like cattle, but Palestinian women can be fried in white phosphorous occassionally, their children deprived of basic needs and futures, penned up in a Jewish controlled slum that invokes memories of the Warsaw Ghettro?
    There is more than religious wackjobbery being practiced in Israel. There is also the detestable wackjobbery of widespread bigotry. And it is being waged on a far greater scale than the religious kind, isn’t it? There is something absurdly surreal, lamenting about women being deprived of jobs or social equality, while condoning dumping cluster bombs and white phosphorous on them.

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  36. larry birnbaum says:

    Exactly. I think that’s the point of Steve’s post: We will soon see videos of Orthodox Jews beheading Palestinian Arabs on Youtube. And in the yeshivas of Brooklyn the young students will breathlessly watch them.

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  37. DonS says:

    “Can beheadings be far behind?”
    Of Palestinians or Israelis? They’re already assaulting the Palestinians with impunity, even encouragement.

    Reply

  38. larry birnbaum says:

    Can beheadings be far behind?

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    Even WigWag has recently expressed her concern regarding the
    growing influence of ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel. Nevertheless,
    I expect the usual suspects here to express some anger against
    Steve for not highlighting the religious fanaticism among
    Islamists – (which is exactly what he does), as well as human
    rights abuses on the Arab side.
    As for Nadine, she has a habit of demanding not only ritualistic
    condemnation of Arabs and Islam as a criterium for being
    unbiased: Her criterium for being “objective” requires no less
    than a perpetual, sincere and passionately expressed
    condemnation of every oppressor and abuser within the Islamic
    world and beyond – to the extent that the mere reference to
    problems within Israel, and in its relation with the outside
    world, appear like minor nitpickings.
    These distractive maneuvers are regrettable, because the
    problem Steve refers to deserves serious attention.

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  40. DonS says:

    “Clearly, Israel is a far more healthy place for the rights of women than any place in Afghanistan — but the trends of some ultra-orthodox in Israel’s settlements are just as anti-modern in some ways as what the US is fighting in the Afghan tribal regions.” Steve C.)
    for get the “in some ways”
    And this is the fastest growing segment of the Israeli population in both numbers and influence, and the reason many sensible Israelis are emigrating.
    This is the segment that the various Israeli politicians genuflect to and accommodate. It will perhaps not be long before they dominate the Israeli Supreme Court as well as controlling the narrative in the Knesset.
    This is the “democracy” that American politicians love to preen over. Other more objective minds might recognize theocratic influence for what it is.

    Reply

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