Monday, June 21, 2010

Israel's anti-Haredi hypocrisy

The ultra-Orthodox community is being blamed for their discrimination against Mizrahi Jews, but the left is guilty too

Rachel Shabi, Monday 21 June 2010

"....A staggering 100,000 ultra-Orthodox – or Haredi – protesters demonstrated last week against what they see as unfair prison sentences and state interference in religious affairs.

The Israeli supreme court had decided that parents should be jailed after refusing to allow Mizrahi children – of Middle Eastern origin – to sit in the same classes as Ashkenazi children – of European origin – at a religious school in the occupied West Bank.....

The ultra-Orthodox sector is nothing if not candid in its discrimination and intolerance, while secular Israel pretends to be cured of this devastating ethnic division that has gouged a painful fault line through Israeli society – one that cannot be remedied because it isn't even recognised. And how convenient that this issue has instead been dumped wholesale on to the ultra-Orthodox community – simultaneously the punch-bag and the claimed sole source of tension currently tearing Israel apart.

But if secular Israel was so concerned about race inequities, it would long ago have harnessed state institutions to help redress them. That such intervention only happens when it's in a religious context only shows that this supposed liberal left in Israel doesn't really hate racism – it just hates the Haredi."

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