Ultra-Orthodox Jewish rally against dangers of the Internet — women and press banned!

Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men attended a rally Sunday at the New York Mets’ Citi stadium on the dangers of the Internet and how to use modern technology in a religiously responsible way.

Women were not permitted to attend the meeting at Citi Field in Queens. However, it was broadcast live to audiences of women in schools and event halls in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods…

Eytan Kobre…spokesman for the event’s organizers…cited online pornography and gambling as well as the risk of social media undermining “our ability to pray uninterruptedly, to focus and to concentrate…”

Shlomo Cohen of Toronto told The New York Times that he uses the Internet for shopping, business and staying in touch with friends, but that “desires are out there…we have to learn how to control ourselves…”

The rally was organized by a rabbinical group called Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane, which means Union of Communities for the Purity of the Camp. Published reports have put the cost at $1.5 million…

A group urging more support for the victims of child sexual abuse inside the close-knit community held a counter-protest outside the stadium.

Abuse of children, women, non-Orthodox Jews, non-whites are all persistent problems within this community. Anyone recall anytime they held a rally to deal with bigotry?

Inside Citi Field, two billboards for Cholula hot sauce were censored, with the female in the company’s ad campaigns covered up. Telling the press reporters would not be permitted inside because of Homeland Security was another Cloud Cuckooland touch.

The mass dementia of minds closed to science, reality, modern knowledge is an affront to all. I have to wonder if the owners of Mets’ Citi stadium would have rented the venue out for a non-Othordox rally with the purpose of relegating women to servility. If it’s religious I guess that’s sufficient excuse to profit from bigotry.

Orthodox Jews in Israel spit on “immodest” 8-year-old girl

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up pledges to curb Jewish zealotry in Israel on Sunday after an 8-year-old girl complained of being menaced by ultra-Orthodox men who deemed her dress immodest.

While his conservative government insists such incidents are fringe phenomena in the mostly secular country, Netanyahu’s repeated announcements on the matter reflected concern about widening religious and political schisms…

Netanyahu said he had ordered law enforcement authorities to crack down on “whoever spits, whoever lifts a hand (in violence), whoever harasses” and to remove street signs segregating men from women in some ultra-Orthodox districts.

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NYC threatens to close bus service that makes women sit in back

New York City authorities said they will shut down a city bus service run by Orthodox Jews if the group doesn’t stop making women sit at the back of the bus.

The Private Transportation Corp, which operates the city’s public B110 bus under a franchise arrangement, has come under criticism following publicity about its practice of making women give up their seats in the front to promote Hasidic customs of gender separation.

New York City’s Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Gastel said the agency’s executive director Anne Koenig has asked the company to respond to the allegations and was waiting to hear back…If such a violation is found, the franchise could be revoked, the DOT said in a statement…

The B110 bus runs through the sections of the borough of Brooklyn that are heavily populated by Orthodox Jews.

A student reporter at Columbia University in New York published a story about a woman told by other riders to give up her seat in the front. Other news organizations then sent reporters who encountered similar situations…

Cripes. This franchise is 38 years old. No one noticed? No one complained before now?

Sorry; but, I find that hard to believe. Can there really be an overwhelming number of women in Brooklyn who rode that bus line and never noticed anything this backward going on?

Pork Cookbook in Israel? Who-Hah!

Dr. Eli Landau has written “The White Book,” touted as the first Israeli pork cookbook.

With 80 mainly Mediterranean recipes and Eastern European dishes, “The White Book” tries to reveal the secrets of the pig for cooks who have never prepared it nor perhaps even tasted it.

Since the mid-1950s, Israel has had laws restricting the sale of pork and banning its farm production in deference to biblical proscriptions. But because of legal loopholes, it was possible to raise pigs for science or in areas considered Christian. Pork buyers included secular Jews, Christian Arabs and more recently, immigrant workers and the hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the former Soviet Union who don’t keep kosher.

Now it is up to individual municipalities to determine whether pork can be sold in each neighborhood and whether shops will incur fines for selling it, much as they would for staying open on the Sabbath. Many Jews who ignore other kosher rules will not eat pork for cultural and historical reasons. Observant Muslims also abstain from it.

Even more than other nonkosher foods, pork is seen by many Israelis as an affront to Jewish nationalism. Pork sellers routinely face protesters, and in recent years, arsonists have attacked shops in cities like Netanya and Safed, where Orthodox Jews live near secular immigrant communities.

People are reluctant to cook pork at home,” said Dr. Landau, who is not an observant Jew. “I want to make it easier for chefs and personal cooks to bring it home and to the menus. If that happens, I’ll be more than happy.”

The book, which Dr. Landau self-published in January, has not caused much of a stir so far.

Dr. Landau said that ultra-Orthodox Jews, who would be most likely to protest, haven’t heard of it because they don’t watch cable news or read the mainstream press.

Pretty interesting tale. Landau reaches out to modern Mediterranean cuisine, shows good sense.

Life in a theocracy has got to be incredibly frustrating to anyone who makes contact on a regular basis with the real world.

Israeli rabbis deal with Jewish women wearing burkas

Israeli rabbis are to clamp down on the growing number of devout Jewish women wearing the burka by declaring the garment an item of sexual deviancy.

At the insistence of the husbands of some burka-wearing women, a leading rabbinical authority is to issue an edict declaring burka wearing a sexual fetish that is as promiscuous as wearing too little.

A small group of ultra-orthodox Jews in the town of Beit Shemesh chose to don the burka, usually associated with women in repressive Islamist regimes, three years ago in a bid to protect their modesty.

Since then, the habit has spread to five other Israeli towns causing alarm among ultra-orthodox religious leaders who once saw it as a relatively harmless eccentricity – even though the number of Jewish burka wearers is not thought to be more than a few hundred…

Ultra-Orthodox women are required to dress conservatively and keep their heads covered with a scarf, hat or wig when in public.

But even that was not enough for some, who insisted that only by covering their faces and wearing multiple layers of clothes to hide the shape of their bodies can they really be chaste…

The trend has also caused tensions in family life. One man went to a rabbinical court in an attempt to get a ruling to force his wife to stop wearing the burka.

The plan backfired, however. The court ruled that that woman’s behaviour was so “extreme” that it ordered the couple to undergo an immediate religious divorce.

I shouldn’t be surprised. Looneybirds in a fundamentalist cult – in a theocratic state – adopting the trapping of other looneybirds in a different fundamentalist cult shouldn’t surprise anyone.

They all deserve each other.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews battle police over parking lot – WTF?


Demonstrator tries to escape police
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Ultra-Orthodox Jews, angry at the opening of a parking lot on the Jewish sabbath, clashed with police separating them from secular Jerusalem residents who held a protest on Saturday in support of the move.

Police moved in to separate the demonstrators after ultra-Orthodox Jews started hurling stones and vegetables. A police spokesman said 24 people were arrested and four policemen suffered minor injuries.

Tensions have been brewing in the city over plans by Jerusalem’s Israeli mayor, Nir Barkat, to reopen a parking lot on Saturday, a move that could draw more traffic into the city on the Jewish sabbath…

Tensions reached a new peak on Friday when thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews walked through a main street in the city in protest at Barkat’s decision. Some scuffled with journalists and photographers covering the march…

Barkat became mayor in November after beating ultra-Orthodox Uri Lupolianski. He ran on a platform of reversing an exodus of secular young Jews who leave to cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa in search of better job opportunities.

The intolerance of fundamentalist religions confounds me. It doesn’t matter a bit how much any kind of orthodox True Believer mouths off about Love Thy Neighbor. When push comes to shove, they are as violent, cruel and egregious as any other leftover cave-dweller.

Israeli newspapers photoshop women out of cabinet

Two ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspapers have altered a photo of Israel’s new cabinet, removing two female ministers.

Limor Livnat and Sofa Landver were grouped with the rest of the 30-member cabinet for their inaugural photo.

But Yated Neeman newspaper digitally changed the picture by replacing them with two men. The Shaa Tova newspaper blacked the women out.

Publishing pictures of women is viewed by many ultra-orthodox Jews as a violation of female modesty.

Other Israeli papers reprinted the altered images next to the original photos, with one headlining it “Find the lady”.

I don’t know if these newspapers are run by opportunists or cowards. Probably the former. That seems to be what the breed has become.

They bend over for foolish, religious idiots. No thought whatsoever for the premise of journalism being a check on the truth of those in power. And these clowns doctor a PR photo because it would offend their readers?