For Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Women, a New Political Party

Among the newly-formed parties running candidates in the upcoming Israeli elections is bi-Zkhutan. The name means “on their own merit,” with their in a feminine grammatical form. Currently, ultra-Orthodox parties do not allow female candidates on their lists, and the all-female leaders of bi-Zkhutan hope to field political representatives who will defend their interests. Beth Kissileff profiles the party’s head, Ruth Colian:

Colian is well aware of the risks involved in what she is doing. One prominent haredi figure has already hinted ominously that she could be excommunicated for her political activities. When asked about the threats against her and the fear that her children will be asked to leave their schools, Colian says, “. . . I’m afraid, I am terrified. But I don’t have any choice.” For Colian, bi-Zkhutan is not just a political party, but a moral imperative. “These [haredi] parties get money from my taxes as a woman,” she says, but they won’t let her or other women run for office. . . . She feels that the process has now taken on a life of its own, and “thousands and hundreds of thousands of women want my process to be completed and successful.”

[W]hatever her misgivings about haredi society, Colian is a religious woman. Indeed, her faith encourages her to believe that she can complete her “process.” “You need to believe in God to do the right thing,” she says. “If God is with you, there is no chance you will not get help if you are doing the right thing.”

Read more at Tower

More about: Feminism, Israel & Zionism, Israeli politics, Judaism, Ultra-Orthodox, Women in Judaism

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University