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Tuesday, September 17, 2013 

"Kosher" cellphones block numbers for rape crisis centers on demand of Haredi rabbis

There's been a kind of market being tried out for cellphones the Haredi leaderships consider acceptable. That is, they're even opposed to making easy access for Haredi women who could be victims of sexual/spousal abuse to contact centers dealing with rape cases, as has just been discovered, and because this article so far is only available in Hebrew, I've had to try and translate, and that is no easy feat (I used Google's translator, and even that's pretty tricky):
Wireless devices defined as "kosher" blocking the emergency numbers Sexual Assault and mental emergency assistance, according to Ynet. Emergency numbers of victims of sexual assault - in 1202 for women, men and -1203, be blocked access numbers were "legitimate." Hotline also psychological first aid (ERAN) is defined as the number of emergency (1201), block access from the numbers of the "training" designed for the ultra-Orthodox, the cellular companies.

Attempting to dial these numbers cell phone company lines in defined pathways "clear" up a recorded message saying that the number dialed is blocked access under the terms of the program, although Orange - some valid numbers that we tested - calling Eran is (only) possible, while dialing hotlines for victims of sexual assault victims is blocked.

About a year ago (March 2012), the Knesset approved the law which states that emergency numbers - including lines Eran and emergency centers for victims of sexual assault and rape - are free. The draft law initiated by MK Orly Levy - Abecassis ("Israel Is Our Home") and Gideon Ezra ("Forward"), also states that these lines calls will appear on caller's conversation, in order to make accessible as much as possible the proposed service in all parts of the population discreetly.

But now it turns out that while one hand is accessible, the other actually blocks due to non-gray surfaces that are defined in the legislation, and puts the cellular companies under the pressure and dictates of the body known as "the Rabbinical Commission Communication".

Cellular companies fear the cancellation of "approval route"

The number of the Orthodox ZAKA organization, also a four-digit, with the same prefix 12, is a whole possibility call, which deepens the suspicion of a deliberate and focused obstruction. On the other hand, the old line for violence against students of the Department of Education (1204), which is not in operating activities, and applicants are transferred to an alternate number was found as blocked phone lines from which you dialed.

Factors at two major wireless companies mentioned to us that the decision threshold is the exclusive decision of "Rabbis communications committee" responsible for providing qualified Hechsherim cellular lines. According to one of the factors, the Commission sends to the mobile phone companies a list of numbers that are requested to block subscribers "training program", including are probably the three lines of assistance.

"Addressing the criticism of the Commission is the Ministry of Communications, which allows it to block the lines," notes the source. 'Carriers' hands are tied. As long as the Ministry of Communications enables the Committee to block these numbers, we are committed to meet the conditions set by the Committee. Otherwise they will drop us track approval."

However, the Ministry of Communications argues, however, that the defined emergency numbers: 100, 101, 102, 104, open to both kosher phones, and argues that the law does not define clearly the inclusion of emergency lines of ERAN and Sexual Assault cellular base packages, which last inspection special office.

"Tomorrow will the rabbis block the MADA?"

Yud., an Orthodox user of the kosher cell phone, had to use the emergency line to Eran. In his letter to Ynet he explicitly stated that he was not interested at the time - he was in a difficult situation, he felt - to contact centers dedicated aiding the Haredi population, and wanted to actually talk to a neutral service provider mental condition.

He said he learned quickly that access to emergency services overall cellular telephone blocked." This blocking service contact is very serious, and should result in a huge public protest," he told Ynet. "It is impossible to limit me, as a citizen, who to turn to when in distress." A friend of J added: "What next? Tomorrow will tell me I can not call the MADA, but only to the organization 'rescue Orthodox'? There is a reason why these lines are emergency lines, and the State of Israel government is possibly lending a hand to such a blatant interception."

Association CEO Eran David Korn, said that he was aware of the problem. "Who is blocking our access number is ultra-Orthodox establishment," says Koren referring to the "Rabbinical Commission Communication", responsible for the nature of the barriers valid phone lines. "What we can do to allow those who need help anyway, is giving a normal number to contact the organization. An alternate line does not provide the full services provided regular line, but it allows assistance anyway." It goes without saying that it is not even free .

According to Koren, the problem of accessibility to the line of Eran, kibbutzim also partners with the old key and turn from abroad. "Eventually, we get quite a few inquiries from the Haredi sector. Did not formally rabbis we please remove the block, but we will be happy to cooperate with the Commission or any other body to that of the sector could turn to for help."

Associations were surprised to find that emergency lines were blocked

Union organizations for sexual assault and rape, responsible for emergency lines 1202 and -1203, received the news of the relief lines blocking their customers valid pathways, amazement and wonder. Their response noted the following:

"Sexual violence is a social phenomenon broader out communities and sectors. Like the secular - even in the religious sector, due to a sense of shame and guilt that accompanies sexual abuse, victims of many are afraid to talk about the injury passed or file a complaint against the attacker. Sector religious community, we can say that those feelings are added concerns and other difficulties, which often leaves the victims to cope alone with the effects of the strike."

Organization claim that the law states that implement the emergency numbers for victims and victims of sexual assault in any directory, and set them free number. "The law expresses, in fact, the recognition of the phenomenon of sexual violence as a national problem and must work to eliminate it," they say, "and the understanding Crisis centers for victims of sexual assault are the main address and the central body that provides emergency relief to victims.

"1202 lines for women and men -1203 - are the first stop and critical, which is used as a preliminary screening room, and an appeals absorbs the sexual assault victims."

"Rape Crisis Centers and Sexual Assault recognized the special needs of the religious community and the Orthodox", add a name, "so in 1993 established Crisis Center for Religious Women, and line assistance for men religious. Now could hurt religious or orthodox contact hotline dedicated and receive advice, guidance and support rendered center and [unclear word] understand it, know the unique sensitivities and uncertainties that characterize the religious population. religious men and boys can contact hotline for men religious. dedicated support lines for men and women religious are not blocked. religious women helpline is 02-6730002 and 02-5328000 for religious men"

Ministry of Communications: we turned to the rabbinical committee to clarify the issue

So is blocking lines is legal aid to victims in Israel, or a blatant violation of the rights of victims under the "cloak of religion"? Here we interpret a gray area. According to the Knesset Speaker, Amendment No. 52 of the Telecommunications Law Colleges arranged subject lines, expressly states that: "a call to an emergency center to help victims and victims of sexual assault or call emergency first aid mentally, will be a free call from any telephone, including public telephone and mobile" (as a license language of the law).

The amendment is not satisfied with the clear teaching of the lines lines becoming free from any toll, and maintaining full discretion to applicants, but requires to provide access to emergency lines even pay phones. In addition to the law specifies the list of lines fall under the definition of "hotlines". For the avoidance of doubt, the Union lines Sexual Assault Eran mental help line, which explicitly appear in their name (amendment 52 section E).

Ministry of Communications said in response: "order" kosher phone "had been approved in 2007 by the Ministry of Communications, at the request of ultra-Orthodox and cellular companies. Consent of the Haredi public and opinion," the rabbis committee "determines and defines the numbers Haredi open for public use.

"It is clarified that the emergency numbers defined: 100, 101, 102, 104, open for both phones kosher. Needless to say, membership services 'kosher' is an independent selection of the consumer. Yet However, the Ministry of Communications studying the issue and validity of the arrangement, and turned Committee rabbis clarify the issue, please explain why numbers are abbreviated centers mentioned in the article are not accessible to all. "

The reaction of the secretary of Rabbis communications committee, Langlife, was not possible to achieve.
What I can comprehend here is that a most vulgar insult has been dealt to victims of abuse in Haredi society. Even if they could turn to a public phone and use the numbers free of charge, that doesn't mean it should be so difficult, and it's horrific that any phone companies would be so desperate to pander and make money from a community teaching isolationism and discrimination, to the point where a victim's safety doesn't matter. How did we come to the point where money mattered more than common sense?

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  • I'm Avi Green
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