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Barbra Streisand Slams Treatment of Women in Israel

Society & Culture  (tags: world, society, women, rights, equal rights, Israel, religion, news, interesting, celebrity, americans, politics, freedoms, government )

- 1829 days ago -
Barbra Streisand waded into one of Israel's touchiest issues during the first major stop on her tour of the country -- Jewish religious practices that separate men and women.

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AWAY AWHILE Cal Mendelsohn (1067)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 4:23 am
I'm really pleased to see this. It;s about time this was exposed.

For those who think the status of women in most nearby regional countries is better, think again. The facts don't support that idea either.

MmAway M (507)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 4:38 am
Thank you Cal~ Umm the song fits "People who need People! xx Mm

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 4:54 am
Wasn't this a movie?

Carol H (229)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 5:07 am
thanks Cal, noted

Alice C (1797)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 6:24 am
Good for Barbara ! Thanks Cal

Ira Herson (13)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 6:44 am
The ultra religious in any religion are stupid.

Daniel Partlow (179)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 6:57 am
Always enjoyed Barbara. You go girl!

Winnie A (179)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 7:03 am
Good for Barbara! A good use of her celebrity.

Stephen Brian (23)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 7:40 am
Yup, it's long past time this was addressed.

Just one quick detail: It's not about a danger to the Haredi's power. It's about their worldview and values. Religious law and traditions encode social values of long ago and efforts to uphold them in the face of the world as it was then. This does not usually make it a bad thing. As a large majority of ideas are useless or worse, playing it "safe" and holding onto what has withstood the test of time is generally a good idea in the short-term, though it does prevent progress in the long-term.

The Haredi still follow rules from a time when people could not be trusted, and it was genuinely dangerous for women to mingle in society unescorted. They follow rules from before the rise of electricity, when education was not that economically useful as the vast majority of labour was manual, keeping women out of the general labour-force, and taking care of a house was a full-time job that women could do. On top of that, back when these rules developed, there was a high child-mortality-rate, so people had a lot more children, pretty much tying women up in childcare, a job which left the permanently "on call" at home. The rules assume, correctly in their time, but no longer so, that it is both dangerous and useless for women to mix among men. The trouble at the Wall is that the synagogue, the place of prayer, was also traditionally the place of public socialization, so they again follow rules which assumed it was dangerous and useless for women to take centre-stage.

These guys will, eventually, really move into the 20th century. It could just be a while, unless they are forced to face modern reality with the change to the conscription-laws.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 10:19 am
You go Barbara! Finally someone speaks up about this...I especially loathe that at weddings the men are in 1 area and women in difference from just erecting a big ass wall with barbed wire. Shameful. Thx Cal

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 10:35 am
Thank you for the news. I have always loved Barbara Streisand. She has been an activist for some time. I'm surprised that she didn't address this issue years ago on the behalf of Jewish women. Isn't it ironic that Jewish women are treated in this manner? One would think that any kind of persecution and bias would be unacceptable.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 11:05 am

I mentioned before that I saw a short documentary about some horrific things in Israel. Women that had to walk from the bus home, are often accosted by thugs. Some have been brutally assaulted and while struggling with the attackers, have had their hair removed, sheared.

These punks are youths from the ultra-conservative, Hasidic movement. They are not in school, spend way to much time hanging out on street corners and harassing others.

Any religion that grabs hold of the ancient roots, wants to go back to the beginning and not celebrate the magnificent achievements of humans in the past few millennia, is regressive.

One gender is not better, cleaner, holier or of more superior status above the other. It's a big mistake made by Israel to have Rebbes and Rabbis setting or approving laws.

Don't point fingers when you live in glass house.


Stephen Brian (23)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 12:52 pm
Hi Kit :)

It wasn't so much a mistake as a "deal with the devil"-style compromise. Originally, Israel couldn't have gotten support from Jews abroad without support from the ultra-Orthodox movement. The Israeli government could only get that support by giving Hasidic or Haredi rabbis authority over domestic law among Jews.

Originally, this was not expected to be an issue: The ones who totally reject modern secular culture are a new phenomenon, only able to exist because the modern economy, with the productivity of modern infrastructure and technology, can let them live in their isolation. Until shortly after WWII, ultra-Orthodox Jews were mixed into society as a whole. While they were still ultra-Orthodox, they were still influenced heavily by modern society as they were a tiny minority. Then came the drop in birthrates among secular Jews and not among the ultra-Orthodox, so the ultra-Orthodox proportion of the population grew dramatically after the compromise had been made. They had been handed extra power when they didn't have the votes to wield normal political power, but then demographics changed before they could be assimilated. The sad part is that the original ISraeli government that handed the ultra-Orthodox this power may well have known the American saying, "Give no power to Lincoln which you would not see passed on to Nixon", or some equivalent of it, but their hands may well have been forced by politics.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 2:25 pm
Good for Barbara This is no different from muslims though They pray seperate All these people are still in the dark ages probably still think women are unclean or something They are the ones that can only be holier than thou

noted thanks

lee e (114)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 2:28 pm
A nudge here, a nudge there -- and fanaticism in any religion might start to wake up to their horrific reality!
Only a millennium(or so) too late! No wonder the rest of us find these barbaric myths so futile and lacking in any empathy!

lee e (114)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 2:30 pm
oh - I include all those mid-east religions - Christianity included - and even most of Buddhism is patriarchic!

Gene J (290)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 2:55 pm
"It's distressing to read about women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of the bus," she said, "or when we hear about `Women of the Wall' having metal chairs thrown at them when they attempt to peacefully and legally pray."

She's right. In truth, virtually ALL religions treat women abominably, it certainly isn't just Islam, this is common in nearly every religion. How many Catholic female priests are there? This discriminatory treatment has been going on in all walks of life for millennia, and it is time to change. It WILL change and it will be a peaceful revolution, women don't need the tricks and tools of men to overcome these ancient barriers. A shift in power is coming, it is inevitable and about damn time.

Kat K (54)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 3:44 pm
This is good~~we need voices like Ms Streisand's to speak up for the wrongs in this world. They have the capabilities of doing good things for a lot of causes, and this is one of them. Thank you, Ms Streisand~~we need caring people like yourself.

Joan Campbell (0)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 3:46 pm
For those who think she overstepped her bounds... no way .Yes it was a movie and an old one at that. Just proves the point that there still needs to be equality for woman in religion and all areas.

. (0)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 4:10 pm
Hey Babs; what you did in Israel is a good thing but if you really want to make a statement for women's rights and equality how about taking your show on the road to say Saudi Arabia; Iran; Afghanistan or Pakistan or even India? There are lots of women in those countries and many others who really need your help. Please don't limit yourself to just one tiny country. You're Babs, a star was born was it not???? Is that star now fading instead of growing brighter?
I abhor all religion equally but I don't condemn a person who lives their faith and tries to make a positive, proactive daily difference in the world. That as they say is faith in action.

Marilyn K (50)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 4:51 pm
Unfortunately, many religions and countries have not modernized their ideas of women's roles in the world today. It is a good idea for women such as Barbara Streisand and Hillary Clinton to bring up the subject more often to remind those that need reminding of the value of people regardless of gender.

Jason S (50)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 7:57 pm
Good posting, thanks

Caroline S (78)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 12:26 am
Good for her! Ultra religious people are still in the dark ages

Alison Baker (25)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 7:32 am
Strong women like Barbara Streisand are assets to humankind. If Hillary Clinton runs for President, Barbara would be a great VP. Both great women & leadership role models young girls need.

Robert B (60)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 9:30 am
Keep faith personal and live happily in a secular society. We are in the computer age, not the stone age. A religion that does not treat EVERYONE fairly is only a band of fanatical thugs, nothing more.

Shawna S (45)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 10:18 am
Good post. Thanks :")

Theodore Shayne (56)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 10:31 am
Well Stephen they have already started being dragged into the 21st century as Netanyahu and the boys have created and sworn in the first Haredi batallion. Let's see how they deal with some of the modern women soldiers who believe in having fun and being free. LOL

Birgit W (160)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 2:27 pm
Good, I love it. Thank you Barbara Streisand for speaking up.

valda p (13)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 3:48 pm
Most -religions-cultures -there seems to be this -male -superiority and degradation of women -it will continue if -we let it.

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 3:50 pm
Hi Kit :)

I just realized I made an oopsies: THere is no way that the original Israeli government could have known that saying without time-travel, but you get the picture.

Hi Theodore :)

I hope the forced end of isolation works out that well. Apparently the Haredi battalion has been around since 1999, with volunteer-soldiers from among the Haredi. They had their annual swearing-in of new recruits recently, but unfortunately I doubt that the general Haredi population will work nearly as well in the army. Volunteers tend to be free of the worst elements of a conscript-army (those who would be turned away if the army had a choice, and others who would be discharged during training), which I expect to be rampant among the Haredi conscripts.

Joy M (169)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 5:03 pm
Good for Barbara....noted

Myriam Derome (1)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 7:09 pm
Huzzah for the fact that the behaviour of these ultra-orthodox ninnies is illegal there. I was expecting worse. Cool on her for the university too. Noted!

Bette-Ann Libin (11)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 7:10 pm
I am a Feminist and a Jewish woman....I agree with the decision to permit women to pray at the Wailing Wall, who wouldn't? OK, well that is the point isn't it? I share this story about an ultra orthodox Jewish sect here in CT to demonstrate balance within this discussion.....a Rabbi's wife delivered a baby during the High Holy Days last year. Though he had five (5) children to concern himself with along with his Rabbinical responsibilities at his Synagogue he WALKED 35 miles EACH WAY in the blistery cold on an Interstate Highway TWICE a day to see his wife and newborn because he could not drive a car....he could have accepted a ride but chose not to do least he is consistent as a religious figure within his belief system.

Twyla Sparks (208)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 9:51 pm
you go Barbra!! Thanks for sharing

Lynn S (235)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 1:38 am
So often, it is about holding onto power, deserved or not. Good for Streisand!

Lindsay K (6)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 3:00 am
Good for Barbara! Discrimination of all kinds is wrong!

. (0)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 1:56 pm
The ultra Orthodox view anyone who isn't, basically a non-Jew.

Connie O (44)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 9:30 am
Thank you Barbra!

Sergio Padilla (65)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 6:07 pm
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