April 25, 2007
Women Literally at the Back of the Bus in Israel
Lovely segregationist policies, no? Uh, no. I'm continually baffled by people in this country who seem to believe that Israel is a vanguard for of liberal, secural Western views in the Middle East. It's not.
Posted by armand at April 25, 2007 12:29 PM
| Posted to International Affairs
Relative to the other countries in the Middle East, it is. It appears to be struggling to accommodate a small hard-line religious minority... sort of like lots of other "liberal, secular Western" countries, including this one.
Well over time that hard-line religious minority has gotten bigger and bigger and Likud-led governments have often encouraged it as much as accomodated it.
The political and legal system there is in many ways something that Americans would find bizarre and greatly at odds with our own traditions. Like several other states in the area once ruled by the Ottomans they've got a system in which religious communities set norms and laws that people are forced to follow, whether or not they belong to those communities. And of course government-approved clerics are required for intensely personal matters like weddings and funerals ... in a lot of ways, in this sphere of life, Israel isn't much different from some of its neighbors, and in some cases is less "free".