Don’t Push Me To The Back Of The Bus

In honor of International Human Rights Day, Hiddush released this short film to protest of gender segregation and discrimination against women in Israel. Israeli artists, Ben Ari, Hani Nahmias, Hila Feldman, Dalia Shimko, Einat Shroff, and Yossi, who volunteered for the film, are asking the public to send letters of protest to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling on him to act swiftly to combat gender discrimination on all fronts by ending state-funded gender segregated public transportation (in which women sit in the back of the bus) and by passing legislation that will levy heavy fines to deter those who intentionally discriminate against women in any way.

Examples of gender discrimination in Israel follow the jump.

  • Contrary to myths, gender separated bus lines do not operate only in solely Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) communities. They operate over the country in dozens of bus lines with thousands of passengers each day. In segregated lines, women are required to sit in the back of the bus.
  • The “Egged” bus company refuses to publish advertisements with pictures of women- and after public outcry, said they would eliminate men as well.
  • Deputy Health Minister Ya’akov Litzman declared that men don’t need to work — it’s enough that their wives work.
  • Haredi political parties running in the elections do not include women, and a Religious Zionist rabbi went as far as to issue a halachic (Jewish Law) edict banning women from running for a seat in the Knesset.
  • A sign was hung on a bomb shelter in Ashdod during Operation Pillar of Defense which forbade women from entering, as it was a shelter “for men and boys only.”
  • The Yehud Municipality replaced a statue of a woman with that of a man, bowing to pressures from religious residents who claimed the statue was “immodest”.

As Hiddush President Adv. Rabbi Uri Regev said

If we don’t stop the exclusion of women in the name of religion immediately, the current reality could be a glimpse of a future where things could be much worse, including further decline in dark policies. The 2012 Religion and State Index revealed that two-thirds of the public support turning the exclusion of women into a criminal offense. The time has come for the government to rise up and take action. In order for that to happen, we must put the issue on the agenda of Israel and of the international Jewish community.

Romney Lies to Israeli Press on Obama’s UN Record

Gov. Mitt Romney lies to Amos Regev and Boaz Bismuth of Israel Hayom about Obama’s UN record.

(NJDC) When Mitt Romney speaks these days, it’s fair to question how much of what he says is actually the truth. So when Romney told Amos Regev and Boaz Bismuth of Israel Hayom that:

I cannot imagine going to the United Nations, as Obama did, and criticizing Israel in front of the world. I believe that he should have mentioned instead the thousands of rockets that are being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

We have to wonder which speech he was referring to.

Was it President Barack Obama’s speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2011, where he said:

America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses.  Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were.

That was, after all, the speech that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised by saying, “I think that standing your ground, taking this position of principle… I think this is a badge of honor and I want to thank you for wearing that badge of honor.”

This is, of course, not the first time Romney has willfully lied on the issue. After spreading the same mistruths during a Republican presidential debate in January, Romney was immediately rebutted by both The New York Times and PolitiFact.

If this was the speech Romney was referring to, then he lied again-this time to the Israeli press about the powerful pro-Israel address Obama gave before a hostile crowd at the UN.

If Romney can’t seem to tell the truth when it comes to the current state of the U.S.-Israel relationship, how exactly are American Jews supposed to believe him when he makes other statements on the issue?