Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

ultra-Orthodox Jews

  • Ultra-Orthodox anger over Western Wall deal isn't about American Jews

    The Israeli government's decision to abandon a deal creating an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall led to an unprecedented rift with Diaspora Jewry. But American Jews, and the Reform Movement in particular, are merely collateral damage — caught in the crossfire of an internal ultra-Orthodox power struggle. By Eli Bitan With all the coverage of the brouhaha among Diaspora Jewry over the suspension of a deal to create a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall, one might reasonably think that the ultra-Orthodox parties in the Israeli government chalked up a victory last week. They didn’t. The real…

    Read More... | 6 Comments
  • '50 years of occupation is 50 years too many'

    As the Right celebrates 50 years of military rule over the Palestinians, the Left must not be afraid to create alliances between struggles and remind Israelis that ending the occupation is everyone's task. By Eli Bitan The following is the full text of Local Call blogger and editor Eli Bitan's speech in front of 10,000 left-wing protesters at Saturday's anti-occupation rally: Today we count 47 days days until the Omer. Today, in the early hours of the morning, we finished counting 41 days since thousands of political prisoners went on hunger strike to protest their conditions. A strike that ended this morning. [tmwinpost] Forty-one days…

    Read More... | 8 Comments
  • Let's fight women's oppression without demonizing ultra-Orthodox

    The struggle against women's oppression is one thing, but painting an entire group as barbarians in the name of 'enlightened' ideas is another thing.  One can argue over whether asking a woman to move seats so that an ultra-Orthodox man does not have to sit beside her is a legitimate request. Clearly, the trend to remove women from public spaces has to be resisted. But to characterize this confrontation as "the war between light and darkness" is wrong. [tmwinpost] The incident in question, which took place on El Al flight 028 from Newark to Tel Aviv was seemingly minor: a flight attendant asked an…

    Read More... | 1 Comment
  • A Month in Photos: This is what 'living by the sword' looks like

    Violence engulfed Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza this month. Clashes around Al-Aqsa Mosque turned into stabbing attacks against Israelis, and Israeli security forces killed over 70 Palestinians. Photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz, Anne Paq, Ezz Zanoun, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Hosam Salem, Keren Manor, Muhannad Saleem, Omar Sameer, Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen Photo editing: Anka Mirkin                                                      

    Read More... | 2 Comments
  • License to Kill: Stone-throwing while Palestinian could get you killed

    An IDF brigade commander earns praise from the political establishment for killing a Palestinian stone-thrower, while soldiers are commended for using 'restraint' in the face of Jewish stone-throwers. The fourth installment in a series examining the case files of soldiers who killed unarmed Palestinian civilians. [Read parts one, two, three, and four] By John Brown* and Noam Rotem Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman On Friday, July 3, Colonel Yisrael Shomer, commander of the Binyamin Brigade, shot two bullets into the back of 17-year-old Muhammad Ali-Kosba, and another in his head. Shomer claimed the boy was throwing stones at his vehicle. The political…

    Read More... | 4 Comments
  • At least six stabbed in Jerusalem Pride Parade attack

    At least six people were stabbed Thursday afternoon during the annual Jerusalem Pride Parade. At least two are seriously wounded, one of them in critical condition. The stabbing took place on Jerusalem's Keren Hayesod Street, where Magen David Adom emergency services treated the victims. According to Israeli Police, the suspected stabber is Yishai Shlissel, an ultra-Orthodox man who was recently released from prison after serving 10 years for stabbing three marchers during the 2005 parade. He was caught at the scene. According to witnesses, the attacker emerged behind the marchers and began stabbing them while screaming. A police officer then tackled…

    Read More... | 3 Comments
  • Why religious Jews are divided over the Temple Mount

    As tensions between Jews and Muslims come to a head in Jerusalem, it is worth remembering that one of Israel's most prominent rabbis strictly forbade Jews from visiting Judaism's holiest site in the wake of the Six-Day War. By Nissim Leon Recent news reflects a surge in conflict between Muslims and Jews in Israel surrounding the question of control of the site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram Al-Sharif (the “Noble Sanctuary”). Against this background, some of the country's leading Mizrahi-Sephardic rabbis are voicing a strident position forbidding Jews from visiting the site. Thus,…

    Read More... | 12 Comments
  • Photos of the week: Border Police bloopers

    This week: Border Police bloopers in Bil'in, asylum seekers in Tel Aviv, Palestinian activists launch campaign in the Jordan Valley, anti-Arab graffiti in Silwan, ultra-orthodox Jews against the draft in Jerusalem, a far-right politician hands out award for McCarthyism in Israeli schools, and solidarity outside Holot 'open' detention center.                        

    Read More... | 3 Comments
  • When Zionism is racism: Ron Dermer and Bibi Netanyahu, on the record

    Imagine if a politician in another country had bragged about lowering a minority group's birthrate - like Netanyahu and his new ambassador to the U.S. did. Ron Dermer, who was named by Netanyahu yesterday to be Israel's new ambassador to the United States, is known as an even more right-wing Republican version of his boss. Haaretz's Barak Ravid wrote: Dermer's positions on policy are far more extreme than Netanyahu's. European and American officials have expressed shock by his positions on the settlement issue, on peace talks with the Palestinians, and on the principle of an independent Palestinian state. It gets…

    Read More... | 27 Comments
  • Hasidic music: Pushing the boundaries of the Israeli comfort zone

    Why don't most of Israelis know this music that has been passed down from generation to generation? How open are we to a culture that seems so far away from us, despite the fact that it is just across the street?  By Merav Livneh-Dill He dances like Madonna, dresses like Lady Gaga and has more glasses than Sir Elton John. He's Lipa Schmeltzer. Heard of him? Lipa is the outlier who proves the rule, and the rule is very simple: the non-Haredi public in Israel is almost entirely oblivious to the music that Haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) listen to, or as it is…

    Read More... | 6 Comments
  • Tens of thousands protest plan to draft ultra-Orthodox into Israeli army

    As top rabbis declare that attempts to draft ultra-Orthodox men into the army constitute a 'religious war,' masses turned out for an anti-draft rally in Jerusalem. Violent confrontations broke out between a few demonstrators and police. Thirteen were injured and 10 arrested. Around 30,000 ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) demonstrators, many more than anticipated, showed up for a mass rally against the planned induction of Yeshiva students outside the Israeli army's recruiting offices in Jerusalem Thursday night. The government plans to revoke a special exemption given to these ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, part of plan to "equalize of the national burden" orchestrated by Yair…

    Read More... | 22 Comments
  • Now Bibi is calling Yair Lapid an anti-Semite

    People who see Netanyahu as the great Jewish avenger should know how low he's willing to go in exploiting the memory of Jewish suffering.   I can never get over the shamelessness with which Israeli nationalist power freaks will exploit people's memories of anti-Semitic persecution for their own low purposes. Nobody's better at it than Netanyahu; he can barely make a speech without waving around a document or two from some Holocaust-era archive. And he's always got that furious expression on his face, as if to warn his audience not to even dare think that he's faking it, that he's…

    Read More... | 41 Comments