Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest the integration of a girls’ school because they don’t want their Ashkenazi daughters studying with Sephardim.
Tens of thousands of black-clad ultra-Orthodox Jews staged mass demonstrations on Thursday to protest a Supreme Court ruling forcing the integration of a religious girls’ school.
Protesters snarled traffic in Jerusalem and another large religious enclave, crowded onto balconies in city squares, and waved posters decrying the court’s decision and proclaiming the supremacy of religious law.
There were a few small scuffles, and a police officer emerged from one of them holding his eye, apparently slightly injured.
It was one of the largest protests in Jerusalem’s history, and a stark reminder of the ultra-Orthodox minority’s refusal to accept the authority of the state.
Also, the throngs of devout Jews showed to which extent the ultra-Orthodox live by their own rules, some of them archaic, while wielding disproportionate power in the modern state of Israel.
Parents of European, or Ashkenazi, descent at a girls’ school in the West Bank settlement of Emanuel don’t want their daughters to study with schoolgirls of Mideast and North African descent, known as Sephardim.
The Ashkenazi parents insist they aren’t racist, but want to keep the classrooms segregated, as they have been for years, arguing that the families of the Sephardi girls aren’t religious enough.
Of course it’s just about morals and religion, and not about bigotry. We’ve heard this line before, haven’t we?
And this quote is rather telling:
Esther Bark, 50, who has seven daughters, said the issue is keeping the girls away from the temptations of the modern world. ”To suddenly put them in an open-minded place is not good for them,” she said.