Gender apartheid is growing in Israel (but not, as per Leslie Cannold in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, just between Jews but far more profoundly against Arabs, something she conveniently ignores).
Israeli leaders criticized a haredi Orthodox demonstration in which protesters wore yellow stars to indicate that they are being oppressed like the Jews in Nazi Germany.
More than 1,000 haredi Orthodox protesters gathered in Jerusalem Saturday night to protest what they described as persecution against their way of life, including separation of the sexes.
Many of the protesters wore yellow stars with the word “Jude” written on them, using Holocaust imagery to hammer home their point. Young haredi Orthodox children were also brought on a makeshift stage wearing striped prison garb along with their yellow stars. One child held up his hands in an imitation of a famous image from the Warsaw Ghetto.
“Zionists are not Jews, they are racists,” read one sign in English. Protesters also shouted “Nazis” at police securing the demonstration.
“Prisoner uniforms and yellow patches with the word ‘Jew’ written on them in German are shocking and appalling,” said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a statement. “The use of yellow patches and small children raising their hands in surrender crosses a red line which the ultra-Orthodox leadership, who are largely responsible people, must not accept,” he said.
“With all due respect to the right of groups in the haredi community to protest, and that is their elementary right, to put a yellow star on their children does serious injury to the memory of those killed in the Holocaust,” said opposition leader Tzipi Livni.
Eli Yishai, of the haredi Orthodox Shas Party, condemned the use of Holocaust symbolism. But, he added, while only a small minority of haredi Orthodox people are involved in the controversial actions, there has been “incitement” against the entire haredi Orthodox community.