I have long believed that Judaism is superior to Christianity because it makes its craziest members wear special hats. The crazier you are, the more prominent the head-gear. It’s pretty fucking brilliant — imagine if Gary Bauer had to wear a huge hat whenever he was on teevee! That might make CNN tolerable. But maybe it doesn’t always work quite as well as I think it should (via commenter burnspbesq):
She is Naama Margolese, the daughter of US immigrants who are observant modern Orthodox Jews. A television program at the weekend told the story of how Naama had become terrified of walking to her primary school in Beit Shemesh, a Jewish city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, after ultra-Orthodox men spat on her, insulted her and called her a prostitute because her modest dress did not adhere exactly to their more rigorous dress code.[….]
For many Israelis, this is not a fight over one girl’s walk to school. It is a struggle that could shape the character and soul of the country, against ultra-Orthodox zealots who have been encroaching on the public sphere with their interpretation of modesty rules, enforcing gender segregation and the exclusion of women.
The battle has grown increasingly visible. Orthodox male soldiers walked out of a ceremony where female soldiers were singing, adhering to what they consider to be a religious prohibition against hearing a woman’s voice; women have challenged the seating arrangements on kosher buses, serving ultra-Orthodox neighbourhoods and some intercity routes where they are expected to sit at the back.
I guess these loons are an important part of Netanyahu’s coalition, but I don’t know much about how their influence usually works. Teh google tells me that the Ultra-Orthodox are 10% of Israel’s population. Are they uniformly crazy and right-wing or is there some diversity among them?