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Friday, May 31, 2013 

Army segregates sexes at Western Wall despite not being asked

At least that's what's said here. Call it Haredhimmitude if you will, but the IDF has done something very galling, and it's good that it's getting some notice now:
The Israel Defense Forces segregates men and women at swearing-in ceremonies for combat units held at the Western Wall, even though they serve together, Israel Radio reported Thursday.

The Western Wall rabbi does not require segregation at these ceremonies, which are held in an area where the public is not segregated.
According to an earlier report I read, the Jewish Agency stopped holding ceremonies at the Western Wall in 2010, because Shmuel Rabinowitz didn't want men and women sitting together. Whether or not it was accurate, being Haredi does not give one the automatic right to dictate how the sexes go about their business at the Kotel, and the IDF's going miles out of its way to accomodate backwards Haredi beliefs as though they're meant to be pleased in every way is offensive and insulting to both men and women alike in the army.
Attorney Yizhar Hess, executive director of the Masorti movement, said that it was surprising that the IDF capitulated to the Western Wall rabbi, though the latter never actually made any request to segregate the soldiers in the public plaza, as though it was subject to the rules and regulations of an ultra-Orthodox synagogue.

Following an inquiry by Israel Radio, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit issued a statement saying that the regulations surrounding the swearing-in ceremonies will be reviewed by the appropriate officials.

The Western Wall rabbi issued a statement stressing that there is no requirement to separate male and female soldiers. In this area of the Western Wall plaza, the statement said, there is no segregation between men and women or between religious and secular Jews.
Does this mean he's turned around from what was said earlier about his objections to the Jewish Agency holding ceremonies there? I have no idea. In any case, I don't see Rabinowitz as worthy of being in charge of the Western Wall, due in part to his forked tongue.

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