THE latest insanity to be exposed in Jerusalem, where an ultra-Orthodox Jewish Taliban is fast increasing its influence, is an attempt to silence women singing in public.
Yakov Halperin, a religious member of Jerusalem’s City Council, said:
The voice of a woman can be fine … the problem we have is with women singing and men hearing their singing. The rabbis say we should avoid any contagion.
An attempt to ban women singing in public came after a few extremist Rabbis declared it too sexual for men to hear.
Women’s rights groups have now taken to organising public sing-a-longs in the street in response. Said one woman as a crowd of about 100 women sang beside one of the city’s main roads.
We cannot let them silence us.
Another protester said:
This is a slippery slope and it’s our democracy that’s at stake.
Even Israel’s military, long a bastion of sexual equality, has been drawn into the row with some religious soldiers boycotting ceremonial events where female soldiers might be singing – but military leaders have refused to bow to the demands for all male choirs.
In religious areas of the city there are growing incidents of self-imposed “separation” of the sexes, despite laws banning segregation.
Frequently women sit at the back of buses, have separate entrances in some shops and different hours at medical facilities.
Hat tip: Pete H