Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of stories about attempts to force segregation and exclusion of women by some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel. Much of the attention came from an incident in which an 8 year old girl was harassed and intimidated by some of these men for not dressing modestly enough. These actions run counter to Israel’s founding principles of pluralism and democracy.
While much of Israeli society rejected the extremist calls of a few, a group of over 1,000 ultra-Orthodox gathered instead for a shocking protest. In an event meant to equate the Israeli response to religious intimidation with the actions of the Nazis, the men wore yellow stars and dressed boys in striped pajamas meant to invoke images of Nazi concentration camps.
The JCPA condemns this misappropriation of the Holocaust and praises Israel’s continued commitment to freedom of religious expression.