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religius extremism

Original post made by janette, Barron Park, on Nov 2, 2007

I hope the people who are always ready to condemn Muslims for religious extremism and violence read this article in today's online New York Times.

(I can just hear the remarks if Muslims felt they deserved state aid for deliberately not working):

Web Link

"Some 60 percent of ultra-Orthodox men do not work regular jobs, preferring religious study. More than 50 percent live below the poverty line and get state allowances, compared with 15 percent of the rest of the population, and most families have six or seven children, said Momi Dahan, an economist at the School of Public Policy at Hebrew University."

"On Oct. 21, five ultra-Orthodox Jews assaulted a woman and an Israeli soldier on a bus bound for Beit Shemesh. The men demanded that the woman sit in the back of the bus; when she refused and asked the soldier to sit next to her, they beat them both. When the police came, dozens of ultra-Orthodox men attacked them while the assailants escaped."

Comments (48)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by huh??
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2007 at 7:10 am

and your "relevancy" point is?

Shall I start posting every extremist Christian and Muslim article I read?

Or, is it that I am supposed to conclude somehow that all religious extremists are equal, regardless of number of dead as a result of the brand of extremism?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2007 at 7:22 am

Janette--besides trying to be inflammatory is there a point to your posting?
Of course, one can read between the lines and come to certain conclusions regarding your posting.
Yes, their are religious extremists in the jewish religion, as well as in christian religions also. However Huh?? makes a good point when he mentions the number of dead caused by religious extremists.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joel
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:39 am



Very interesting article from NYT thanks for the link.

I was not aware that there is no separation of church and state in

Israel, it sound rather like a "shia" state of affairs


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:52 am

Joel
you may want to do some homework and look at how many countries DO have a separation between church and state. You might be surprised.
Of course one big difference between "shia" states is that no one in Israel is forced to be orthodox, unlike some countries that have religious police trolling the streets for "offenders".



 +   Like this comment
Posted by joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:59 am

Excuse me, Marvin, what's the difference between the religious police trolling the street for offenders and what the people in the article did to that woman in the bus? According to that article, which cites other examples, set foot in a religious neighborhood without conforming 100% to their customs, and your life and/or safety isn't worth a nickle, apparently.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joel
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:05 am

Marvin


After Israel's founding in 1948 the secular David Ben-Gurion agreed that

rabbinical law would prevail in matters such as marriage and divorce

partly because he assumed the Orthodox would melt away.

In fact according to the NYT it has not melted away but in fact become

much stronger.

Of course they can do what they want but if they maintain this

prejudice such countries should not benefit from our generous aid.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:10 am

What prejudice are you referring to? ARe you judging the whole country based on the actions of a minority few?
BTW, you are wrong about Ben_gurion's motives. But is the fact that Israel's marriage/divorce matters are judged based on orthodox beleifs any different than what occurs in many other countries in the Middle East?
In the US we seem to allow right-wing christian groups to practice their forms of prejudice.
WE also support and aid many nations (i.e Saudi Arabia) that exhibit much more extreme religious beliefs.
BTW, Joel, I can read between the lines of what you are getting at.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Daily Reminder
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:28 am


In Israel it is ILLEGAL for a Jew to wed a Gentile since its inception some 60 years ago.

Rabbinical courts have complete jurisdiction over marriage, and they won't allow a Jew to wed a Gentile.

Rabbinical courts also forbid civil marriage, meaning all marriages of Jews performed in Israel follow strict orthodox religious custom.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:36 am

Daily reminder--
And your point is?
ARe you upset because you are a jew who was denied marriage to a gentile?
BTW, this argument about Israel seems to pop up on numerous threads in this forum.
Just to make sure--are muslims in countries like Saudi Arabia allowed to marry non-muslims? Are catholics allowed to marry a non-catholic in the catholic church?

If the Rabbinical Courts in Israel upset you so, I suggest you go to ISrael and work to change the laws


 +   Like this comment
Posted by huh?
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:09 am

Marvin, people who think like you and I do are not at all on the same page as people who see no difference between Government sanctioned police violently enforcing government extremist rules on a population and a minority few who are breaking the law by beating someone up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joel
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:11 am

Marvin

Why are you being so defensive, can you not read between the lines ?

I do not want my tax dollars supporting governments that have sharia

type laws or racist laws regarding intermarriage, period.

Our allies such as England would never tolerate such intolerance.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:23 am

Joel--
I suggest then that you contact your representative sin Congress and let them know your feelings.
I thought that England was a supporter of Israel--they also support many of the muslim nations in the middle east that practice even more stringent religious laws (but that i snot the issue, because they are muslims--the problems is when the jews do it--or actually the problem is that Israel exists--let's cut through the bs and get right to your point, Joel)

BTW did you know that India and the Philippines are the only countries in the world which have separate Muslim civil laws, framed by Muslim Personal Law board, and wholly based on Sharia. Saudi Arabia and Iran maintain religious courts for all aspects of jurisprudence, and religious police assert social compliance. Laws derived from sharia are also applied in Afghanistan, Libya and Sudan. Some states in northern Nigeria have reintroduced Sharia courts. A bill proposed by lawmakers in the Indonesian province of Aceh would impose Sharia law on all non-Muslims, the armed forces and law enforcement officers, a local police official has announced.

So I assume that you oppose US aid to India, Phillipines, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan Iran, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.
Do our allies send aid to any of these countries/
You need to look into this quickly.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:41 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joel
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:54 am

citizen-

and your point is ?

The discussion is about holding countries that get $billion of our money accountable for racist intermarriage laws and Sharia type laws in general.

We are the superpower we can impose condition, for example we demanded that England give up its colonies in exchange for lend-lease. England did and they remain our primary ally. We have supported a variety of corrupt and racist countries in the past but we have learned this does not work so we are in the process of ending this policy


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2007 at 12:05 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joel
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 2, 2007 at 12:12 pm


Marvin

you are being defensive again


So you are saying that you support racist intermarriage laws and

sharia type laws in general ----- good luck


That is not the American way, you must feel rather lonely here


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2007 at 1:05 pm

Joel--Yes I support the religious laws in Israel--if you consider them to be racist, that is your choice. At least here and in Israel, you have a choice as to how religious you want to be, what religion to practice and how to practice that religion.
Unfortunately in some countries, no other religions are allowed (i.e Saudi Arabia) and those countries are entirely controlled by these religious laws.
I have also given you examples of other countries that have sharia laws.
ARe you upset about the laws in those countries as you are about Israel?

AS i stated above (which was censored by the "no humor" editors of this forum) you have a couple of options--you can move to Israel and work to change the laws and/or you can petition your legislatures to cut off all aid to Israel unless they change the laws.
Which of these steps will you be pursuing?

BTW did you know many Muslims consider the Western concept of separation of Church and State to be rebellion against God's law. There is a contemporary debate in Islam whether obedience to Islamic law is ultimately compatible with the Western secular pattern, which separates religion from civic life.
So to me it sounds like Israel, based on muslim belief, is following God's law. So you are saying that we should not follow God's law?
Following God's law is the american way--you must be rather lonely here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joel
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 2, 2007 at 1:35 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2007 at 1:47 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

If you are outraged about religious and racial discrimination, then demonstrate it by speaking out against ALL cases-not just your made up ones involving Israel. You may also want to look into Chinas oppresion of religion in Tibet and the slaughter being perpetrated in Darfur by muslims.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sharon
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2007 at 2:16 pm





Jonathan Jay Pollard (Hebrew: יהונתן ג'. פולארד) (born August 7, 1954 in South Bend, Indiana) is a convicted Israeli spy and a former United States Naval civilian intelligence analyst. Pollard waived the right to trial in return for restrictions on sentencing, pleaded guilty and was convicted on one count of spying for Israel,[1] receiving a life sentence in 1986 with a recommendation against parole. Israel publicly denied that Pollard was an Israeli spy until 1998, when he was granted Israeli citizenship.[2] He was incarcerated at the federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois in solitary confinement for seven years, then transferred to Butner Federal Correctional Institution in North Carolina.[3]



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Daily Reminder
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 2, 2007 at 2:41 pm


In addition to overseeing all matters of marriage, Israeli rabbinical courts oversee all matters of divorce. And as it happens, these rabbis refuse to allow a woman to divorce her husband without his permission.

He could have fed all the kids into a woodchipper, and his wife cannot divorce him without his permission.

Creepier still, rabbinical courts allow husbands to dictate a number of conditions that the wife must agree to in order to be granted a divorce, including no alimony payments or no child support payments.

But it gets even worse, because rabbinical courts allow Israeli men to dictate many other conditions, including how their children will be religiously trained, what schools their children must attend, where his former wife is permitted to reside, etc.

If a rabbinical court determine that a divorced women has failed to meet those conditions, the divorce is revoked, which means any children she has had subsequent to the divorce are deemed to be "mamzers" or bastards.

These mamzers are indeed recognized to be Jewish, but rabbinical courts forbid mamzers to wed non-mamzer Jews for 10 generations.

Rabbinical courts do permit mamzers to wed mamzers. The last I heard, rabbinical courts have determined about 13,000 Israelis to be mamzers.





 +   Like this comment
Posted by I rest my case
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Some controversial sharia laws favour Muslim men, including polygamy and rejection of alimony.

Most countries of the Middle East and North Africa maintain a dual system of secular courts and religious courts, in which the religious courts mainly regulate marriage and inheritance.

Though Islamic law is interpreted differently across times, places and scholars, following fundamentalist's literal and traditional interpretations, Muslim scholars believe it should legally be binding on all people of the Muslim faith and even on all people who come under their control


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Daily Reminder
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 2, 2007 at 3:01 pm


Why shouldn't Israel be held to Western standards?

After all, no Muslim country claims it is a democracy.

Yet Israel harps on being the only democracy in the Middle East... ad nauseum.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by I Rest my case
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Turkey, Mauritania, Bangladesh are democracies
Jordan, Kuwait and Baharin are constitutional monarchies--so they are also democratic in some respects.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Daily Reminder
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 2, 2007 at 3:40 pm


Can you imagine how you would react if it were illegal for a Jew to wed a Gentile in Europe or North America?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Heehee
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 2, 2007 at 3:48 pm


I googled "only democracy in the Middle East" and got over 50,000 hits:

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joel
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 2, 2007 at 5:25 pm


Actually there were laws in Europe that made it illegal for a Jew and a Gentile to wed.

That was under the Third Reich from January 1933 to May 1945.

A regime that many English, Canadians, Australians, etc and Americans

gave their lives to defeat!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by I rest my case
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Daily Reminder

No orthodox rabbi anywhere in the world would marry a jew and a gentile. period--there is no discussion about that. Orthodox rabbis all over the world are guided by the same rules that are upheld in Israel.
If a jew wants to marry a gentile in Europe or North America, they can have a reform or maybe even a conservative ceremony. they would know that so there would be no outrage.
they also could have a cvil ceremony.
No one is stopping them from marrying. if they live in Israel, they must adhere to the religious laws of the state of israel--it is that simple. They know that and the vast majority of the population of Israel, religious and non-religious understand that and accept that
These laws regarding marriage are no different than religious laws regarding marriage in the muslim faith.

Butthe issue is really not about religious law in Israel. the issue is your intense hatred for Israel, your anti-semitisma nd your deesire to see Israel destroyed.
Stop cloaking these repeated arguments, spread over numerous threads, on "outrage" over jewish religious law.
Israel will not go away--get used to it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nes pas?
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 2, 2007 at 7:47 pm


A non-jewish woman who wishes to convert to Judaism must agree to remove her clothing, enter a mikvah (a ritualistic bath), and allow 3 rabbis to "inspect" her.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joel
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:24 pm

Actually there were laws in Europe that made it illegal for a Jew and a Gentile to wed.

That was under the Third Reich from January 1933 to May 1945.

A regime that many English, Canadians, Australians, etc and Americans

gave their lives to defeat!

never again ----anywhere ---israel is no exception to this moral imperative-- not in my name



 +   Like this comment
Posted by I rest my case
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Nes pas?--Where did you come up with this fantasy about 3 rabbis in a mikvah? Is this part of an orthodox, conervative and reform conversion?
Let us say for a minute that your fantasy is true and a woman who wants to convert to judaism agrees to having the 3 rabbis inspect her, what is the problem?
Of course this is all a fantasy since this would not be a part of a reform or conservative conversion and orthodox rabbis would never be in a mikvah with a naked woman.
By the way do you know what a mikvah really is?

Ah, joel, you now admit that you are "jewish" (for the purpose of your last post, of course). A jew and a gentile can marry anywhere they want except in certain muslim countries. In fact in those countries the practice of any other religion is strictly forbidden and muslims are forbidden, under penalty of death from marrying non-muslims.
In fact in some of those countries, families still practice "honor killings" in which a daughter is killed because she brought dishonor to the family by having sex out of wedlock or seeing a non-muslim? As was noted above in many muslim countries religious courts regulate marriage. Please save some of your outrage for real example of religious bigotry.
However if you are jewish and are so outraged by the fact that jews cannot marry gentiles in Israel, then why are you in the Green Acres neighborhood writing these posts? you should be in Israel campaigning to change this religous law that you so abhor.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joel
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:32 pm




I am a jew ,and proud of it, however I am ashamed that as you say " by the fact that jews cannot marry gentiles in Israel"

I am outraged--- some of my best freinds are gentiles-- many of their relatives died --

fighting such racism--- for good reason we jews are held to higher standards--- shame

on you--you do not honor the sacrifice our gentile friends made , forget about the

moslems, if you are an agent of another country declare youself as such but do not claim

to speak for me me or cloak yourself in the shroud of the shoah.

The world is tired of wild accusations of anti jewish prejudice every time some one has a

legitimate criticism of israels policy. You know as welll as me that israel is doomed

demographically in 15 yrs if it does not change


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nes Pas?
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2007 at 8:40 am


"i rest my case" '

The mikvah law is no fantasy.

Israeli rabbinical courts are dominated by orthodox rabbis.

Clearly put, if an Israeli man wishes to wed a convert to Judaism, then his bride will submit to 3 rabbis in a mikvah or the wedding is off.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Frenchwoman
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Nes pas, your knowledge of French is a great as full and accurate as your knowledge of your other topics.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nes Pas?
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2007 at 1:24 pm


I'm not sure what you mean.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rabbi
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2007 at 1:30 pm

Web Link

"The procedure with a woman convert was as follows: she would prepare herself, I would check her over, and she would go down into the water. I placed a towel over the railing in such a way that after she dunked, while she was still underwater and the three rabbis who constituted the Beit Din [religious court] looked in quickly, all they could see was the water's smooth surface and that no part of her head was above the water. I stayed in the room with her, but they could not actually see the rest of her body. There were other methods as well. One rav [rabbi] brought a long, loose, flowing robe for a woman to wear while she dunked."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by I'm confused
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2007 at 3:57 pm

From your link:

Web Link

"Another battle I waged was against allowing children to enter with the crowd. Women were embarrassed to meet local neighborhood children who lived on their street. In one Jerusalem mikva, a group of children accompanying a bride met their teacher in the waiting room, a piece of information they gleefully shared with their classmates the next day in school. In the interest of modesty, the rabbinate insisted that children not join in the festivities, but it was another battle with custom."

"it was another battle with custom"?

What?

For adults to disrobe in front of neighborhood children?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Still confused???
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2007 at 8:23 pm

Yes, adults disrobing in front of children--shocking isn't it??
of course that is not what is said in the link, but do not letthe facts bother you.
You also glossed over that the rabbinate put a stop to children going to the mikvah.

my friend Dr Ferragamo told me what a muslim woman has to undergo with the imams in order to conver to islam--not very pretty


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Richard Dawkins
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 3, 2007 at 9:42 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Richard Dawkins
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 3, 2007 at 10:45 pm

thanks for removing my post Palo Alto online staff. i guess Palo Alto is full of tolerance for everyone except atheists.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2007 at 3:46 pm

We should have problems with forcing people to support practices they don't follow. One of my aunts had to go through the mikvah. What she told me is that the water was filthy; she did not see any possible relavance to conversion. She thought it was a statement of hostility to women, because it isn't required of men who convert.

One of my friends who was born in Haifa is orthodox; she now lives in Jerusalem. She does not consider the ultra-orthodox to be Jews; she has been stoned by them on her way to a wedding. She thinks they are thugs and parasites. She says that they want war, as long as they personally don't have to risk their lives. She can no longer speak to Muslims she knew as a child in Haifa.

She is distressed by the corruption of the rabbinate. Her husband moved to Israel so that she could be near her mother, who is ill. He is also orthodox. When last we met he said that he is still an observant Jew, but Israel has destroyed his faith; he is no longer a believing Jew. If it were not for Rina's family, he would leave.

I think it's very sad. And I think the United States has done a great deal to change Israel for the worse.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2007 at 4:57 pm

And Marvin, when people attribute onerous requirements to their God, I think the inconvenience should be theirs alone.

If people want an unreasonable God, that's certainly their right. Why they should believe in an Almighty who can be fooled by a human government is beyond my understanding.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by good grief
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2007 at 6:20 am

Good grief, Carol, the US has so much power it is destroying Israel? When did this happen???? Oh yes, since about January 2001, I am sure. Before that all was rosy in the Middle East and in Israel.

Every religion has its extremists, and its people who allow the extremists to be the excuse they use to leave the religion. Judaism is no different.

It is called human nature. Every good can be perverted.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 5, 2007 at 4:31 pm

good grief: Just as Saudi Arabia funded Hamas, and changed the Palestinians from the best educated to the most fundamentalist of Arab groups, so U.S. funding has gone to the most reactionary groups of Jews in Israel.

You are too naive. Take a look at the Iranian offer to the United States in 2003, through the Swiss Ambassador, our delegated "back channel" to Iran. Among the items on the Iranian agenda was support for a two state solution for Israel, and pressuring Hezbollah to become an entirely political group. The Bush Administration of course was not interested. The memorandum is in the back of Barbara Slavin's new book, "Bitter Friends,Bosom Enemies."

I'm not betting that the next American administration will take up the negotiations, but it would be a very good thing if it happened.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by naive?
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2007 at 5:17 pm

No Carol. I greatly respect your using your name, and if I ever meet you in person I will tell you who I am and why I don't use my name.

But, that said, I would beg to differ with your assessment of what makes a person "naive". "Naive" is having a template that will only allow in information, that is not in context, which supports the template. This information is carefully burnished to reflect the premise of the writer/speaker, in this case a very hostile "reporter" for USA Today ( such a fine and respected paper, always so factual.)

See the following interview for an example of fine journalistic search for truth, without an agenda to prove.

Web Link

We have supported a 2 state solution for many years. The problem is that you cannot have only one state support the solution, and not the other. Otherwise the one simply keeps trying to eliminate the other, as we have continued to see. I am not saying Israel is blameless,..I blame the continued construction of settlements as an aggravation, but by far not the primary cause of a failure.

THAT is the background premise for why there are not yet two separate nations, Israel and Palestine.

To take one paper, without context and without thought toward the consequences if enacted, is the naive approach. Especially to take such writing by an author whole-cloth without any other perspectives to inform it.

I read all sides to an issue, not just one. This lends itself to not being duped. I was a "useful idiot" ( a phrase falsely but commonly attributed to Stalin who none-the-less clearly used gullible and good-hearted people in the USA to help him in covering his tyrannical atrocities back in Russia) at one time, believing only one "side" of a story, not looking at all sides and reasoning out the logical outcome. My eyes were opened about 10 years ago.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Moon Mullens
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2007 at 6:22 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 24 Times
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 5, 2007 at 8:05 pm


For me, the problem stems from the sheer lunacy and sheer evil of establishing a Jewish state for Jewish people in a land that had been the home of Arabs for multiple thousands of years.

Did you know the Israeli Declaration of Statehood (1947) uses the term "Jew" or "Jewish" 24 times?

Can you imagine if European or North American constitutions used "Christian" so many times?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by naive?
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Well, I will just let that stand as an example of what I was referring to in my last post.


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