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Monday, August 19, 2013 

MK Moshe Gafni unable to accept women's right to serve on religious councils

The United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni keeps on with his prejudice against women serving in professions like his:
The appointment of a woman for the first time to jointly head a local religious council has aroused the ire of senior haredi politician MK Moshe Gafni.

Religious Services Minister Naftali Bennett appointed Leah Biton to the position of co-supervisor of the local religious council in Acre, as he is authorized to do in a situation when, due to political stalemate on the municipal level, a full council cannot be agreed upon.

Gafni responded harshly to the news and severely criticized Bennett over the appointment in comments made to the haredi Yated Neeman newspaper.

“Bennett is a bum who tries the whole time to prove that he’s not religious and is not interested in the tradition that exists in this regard,” the paper quoted the MK as saying.

“He doesn’t succeed in anything but he’s trying hard to prove he’s secular and doesn’t care about the tradition that’s been here for years. He’s not succeeding in anything he’s doing and is looking for all kinds of headlines to get all kinds of applause like from the Hiddush organization, something that proves who his friends are.”
Gafni just doesn't have the courage to look at himself in the mirror and recognize that in ancient times, there were female judges like Deborah, among other women who'd managed to obtain prominent positions, even on religious issues. He really needs to get over his bigotry and start accepting what our ancient ancestors did.
Hiddush director-attorney and Reform Rabbi Uri Regev wrote to the attorney-general in 2011 on the issue, stating that discrimination against women for appointments to the position of supervisors for local religious councils was a serious phenomenon since the position is an administrative appointee subject to the principles of equality according to state law.

Following Biton’s appointment, Regev welcomed Bennett’s step but said a lot more needed to be done in order to reach a situation of equality on the issue.

“Local religious councils are an excellent example of a field in which the female public pays a heavy price for the shameful way in which the parties of government would cheaply sell their civil rights to the haredi parties,” said Regev.
I may not like the Reform movement due to their still questionable stand on Israel, but Regev himself has made a legitimate point about how, shall we say, secular men here caved in to demands of Haredis at the expense of women. Something that has to change now.

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