Watch Out When an Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi & Taliban Agree


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.


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