Monday, January 2, 2012

Israel's deepening religious divide

Israeli police and ultra-Orthodox protesters clashed on Monday in Beit Shemesh, an Israeli town on the outskirts of Jerusalem where protests have flared over demands to crackdown on extremists accused of harassing women.

A police officer was injured and several black-robed protesters taken into custody in the disturbances that erupted after a public outcry over televised footage of Naama Margolese, an eight-year-old Israeli girl complaining of verbal abuse from Orthodox men on her way to school.

Police were also investigating complaints that some of the Orthodox men had spat at and spoken "disrespectfully" to girls en route to an elementary school.

The case brings to the forefront, yet again, the issue of coercion by the Israel's ultra-orthodox Jews. Read More