Women’s Rights and Double Standards

Steven Plaut is a native Philadelphian who teaches business finance and economics at the University of Haifa in Israel.  He holds a PhD in economics from Princeton.  He is author of the David Horowitz Freedom Center booklets about the Hamas  and Jewish Enablers of the War against Israel.


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Of course Hillary and the secularist media never object to signs in mosques and churches in Israel and elsewhere that ask people not to enter in immodest dress.  Hillary and her Obama colleagues have never condemned the Amish for their own pre-modern life styles and opinions and gender roles.  The enlightened media regard the Amish as downright endearing, a charming tourist attraction.  And you would never know it from reading Hillary’s statements, but one can find some neighborhoods and communities of chareidim inside the United States, mainly in Brooklyn and upstate New York, in which similar forms of gender separation in the name of “modesty” are practiced.  No one seems to think this is grounds for a public outcry by politicians.

The enormous majority of Israelis reject the life style and opinions of the chareidim, much as the bulk of Americans have no interest in living the Amish life style.  But the Amish generally are beneficiaries of a “live and let live” attitude on the part of the bulk of Americans.  Most of the “conflicts” in Israel regarding the “gender separation” sought by the chareidim would go away with similar tolerance.  The religious soldiers who asked to be excused from listening to women singing did not demand that the singing event be cancelled, and they were happy to do kitchen duty or guard duty instead of attending.  But their officers and secularist politicians attempted to coerce them into attending to make a political point.  The chareidim who were denounced for requesting bus lines with separate seating have now decided to finance their own independent small bus company without public funding, in whose busses they can sit in the manner they please.  No one disturbed by those seating arrangements need use those private bus lines or minibuses.

And no one really needs to heed any of those signs on those few Israeli streets in chareidi neighborhoods that call upon people to behave in manners the chareidim consider “modest.”  I have walked through such neighborhoods with my wife dressed in pants and otherwise “immodest” secularist dress and with my daughter wearing her army uniform, and not a single resident said a single word to us about it.  Even when my daughter was not carrying her gun.

The Israeli media managed to uncover a tiny handful of cases in which local chareidi residents spoke disrespectfully to some women or girls.  Well, I am a native Pennsylvanian and I have to tell you that I have seen a few Pennsylvania Dutch hotheads speak disrespectfully to other people.  So what?  Why is this news?  The media rarely report cursing or disrespectful speech by radical secularists.

The Israeli chareidi attitudes towards women and gender separation are actually not any more “pre-modern” or feminist-challenged than are those among Israeli Moslems, Druse, and some other non-Jewish minority populations.  It was rather curious that Hillary and the rest of the Obama team did not denounce Israeli Moslems and Druse for also practicing gender separation in public spaces in the name of “modesty.”  Condemning non-Jews for gender segregation is just not politically correct.

In a sense, Hillary was just following the lead of numerous Bash-Israel leftist feminist organizations.  Radical feminists and their organizations have never been able to identify any mistreatment of women in Arab countries beyond the supposed “suffering” of those women due to Israeli “occupation.”  The feminists cannot conceive of a better way to promote the interests of Moslem women than annihilation of Israel and the accompanying genocide of Israel’s Jewish population.  Feminist groups have rarely spoken out against Arab anti-Israel terrorism, even though many of the victims of that terrorism are themselves women.  Even most of the feminist groups operating inside Israel are radically pro-“Palestinian,” pro-terror, anti-Israel, and some are fronts for the Israeli communist party.  They do not seem to feel uncomfortable in the role of streetwalkers on behalf of Islamofascism.

The treatment of women in Arab and Moslem countries is so atrocious that space here would not allow for even a superficial survey.  In the very same week that Iran announced that a woman convicted of adultery would be mercifully hanged to death instead of stoned to death, the Obama team could find nothing more deserving of condemnation than the treatment of women in the only country in the Middle East in which women are treated as humans deserving of equal rights.

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  • koran kid

    I blame Biblical Bill. He humiliated her in front of the whole world. This is a cover up. She has been wounded deep down by the very thing she worships, the let it all hang loose hippy culture of her youth. So as always happens with her type, the pendulum swings to seek solace in the opposite extreme. So on Monday she would like to exact terrible vengeance on adulterers a la Islamism, whereas on Friday she wants women to rule the world a la Feminism. So the only thing these unnatural movements both share is a hatred of what is natural, and that is a woman's latent sexuality, and how it can be used to control men. You couldn't wish for a more appropriate person to suffer her state of mind. No need to rub conservative salt into the liberal wound. Way to go, Maid Monica!

  • Jeffrey Imm

    Let's be clear, Mr. Steven Plaut – are you for or against women's rights and respect? Because if you are, then the issue is the same, whether the challenge takes place in the United States, Afghanistan, Israel, or anywhere in the world. Spitting on little girls, calling them and women filthy names, and denying women's rights are wrong consistently anywhere and everywhere in the world – or do you think that women only have rights in some parts of the world? Please clarify.

    • steven plaut

      I think that those who curse at or spit at girls or women should be slapped in the face and kicked in the nuts. I also think that when one or two nuts behave that way, this is not news and not a concern for the political system nor the media, unless they have an ulterior axe to grind.

      • Jeffrey Imm

        Mr. Plaut – but I notice you don't mention that part. You state "And in yet other incidents, some signs were put up in the neighborhoods of chareidim asking women not to congregate on a street next to a synagogue, or calling on men and women in the name of modesty to walk on opposing sides of some streets in those neighborhoods."

        You don't speak about grown men spitting on little girls and calling them names. It is easy to have a double standard when you don't report all the facts – and that is precisely what you are criticizing others about. You article will get distributed and people will think there is nothing going on – it is just the "left" media making something out of nothing, when you omit a lot of the facts.

        I believe is nothing less than double standards by those who claim that Jihadists and extremists who use Sharia to justify abusing women, disrespecting women, are really bad, but when others spit on little girls, calling Israel women soldiers filthy names for riding on buses, etc., are just a cultural misunderstanding.

        Nonsense. I am genuinely sick of the double standards about denying rights for women and children by all those who justify it – and while you state it is not a concern "for the political system," it is a concern for human beings and human rights.

        If you want to end double standards, look in the mirror.

        • Debbie Ann

          Jeffrey – get a life. WOmen are better treated in Israel than anywhere else in the Middle East and better than in most of Europe.

        • steven plaut

          Jeffrey Imm has a serious reading problem

      • Jeffrey Imm

        Mr. Steven Plaut – I suggest you actually see and report on the interview with this child, who along with her classmates have been spat upon and called filthy names by grown men.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5HKtaaws-g

        I look forward to your article here explaining how this is morally unacceptable anywhere and everywhere.

        • steven plaut

          I think Jeffrey needs to buy himself a bra he can burn to posture his devotion to women's rights

    • Rifleman

      Please clarify, you see a girl being called filthy names and a girl being murdered, maimed, gang raped, or enslaved. Which do you help first?

      • tanstaafl

        Both at once, of course. But this is not easy as it was when I was younger…….

        Still, a gentleman defends a woman's honor with the same fervor as he defends her from physical harm. A lady should expect no less.

        • Rifleman

          But you can't be two places at once, which takes precedence? The one under physical threat. Hillary has no help for those, and at the least, jeffrey has inverted priorities.

      • Jeffrey Imm

        Our universal human rights are not an either/or issue – they apply equally to all human beings, all women, and ALL CHILDREN – everywhere in the world. I have spent many many many many hours dealing those who would murder, maim, gang rape, and enslave girls and children. Respecting children's rights requires consistency all the time on such issues. Such abuse is not OK in the United States, Europe, Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, South America, or ANYWHERE in the world…without exception.

        • ziontruth

          No, it is not the same. Judaism is local, Islam is global. You talk about Islamic abuse of women, that's your right, because the Muslims would easily abuse your own women on your soil. On the Jewish matter this is nothing but poking your nose into another nation's affairs.

          Just like I don't like hearing about Hindu temple prostitution but don't get worked up about it, because it really doesn't concern me. Whereas the Muslims do because they're in my country.

        • Rifleman

          Freedom from public criticism isn't a human right, and if what you say is true, you know stopping abuse involves triage. Enforcing anything in the real world requires prioritizing. Nobody has been injured or physically forced by these people, and your indignation is a mockery to the women and children being maimed and killed for similar offenses less than ten miles away.

    • Joe Przygodzinski

      I know Steven Plaut for over 40 years, while he is not a feminist in the Hillary Clinton/Gloria Steinham mold; he takes the common sense approach realizing there are physical attributes that make men and women different. The Steven I know respects women's rights and always has. We both have children who are young women and you can bet your ass we take great pride in their accomplishments and only encourage them to pursue their dreams. There are a small minority of orthodox Jews who believe in segregation of sexes and go to extremes. There are some Christian including Mormon sects that do the same. To say Jews do not honor women's rights because of the few would be the same to bash the USA Christian populace because the aforementioned few do. In most of the Muslim world the opposite is true, there are a few Muslims who do not deny women their rights. I sometimes wonder if there are those who just go out of their way to agree with those finding fault with those they do not agree with no matter how absurd their assertions are.

  • StephenD

    Hillary is a pig.
    She may speak for the Obama Administration but she certainly doesn't speak for most Americans. I didn't hear her condemnation of the treatment of women in Pakistan when a 16 year old girl was found to have been buried alive in a sitting position because she "dishonored" her family. THAT is gender discrimination. I’m sure you can recount many similar incidences in which she was deafeningly silent. She has no credibility in my book.

  • Rifleman

    “The Israeli media managed to uncover a tiny handful of cases in which local chareidi residents spoke disrespectfully to some women or girls.” – Spoke disrespectfully? The horror…
    If, instead of speaking disrespectfully, these offended folks just would have yelled “allahu akbar,” then murdered, threw acid in their faces, and/or beat and gang raped immodest females, hillary would leave them alone and not say a discouraging word.

    • Jill

      Not if they were Jewish!!.

      For Hillary to not say a word/throw them millions of dollars attackers of women would have to be Muslim.

      • Rifleman

        You're right, but there's one other group that has carte blanche with hillary, socialists.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/dog-articles dogvault

    Shouldnt any administration speak out attacks against women anywhere? In fact if they didnt do it against Israel, wouldnt the arab world believe that the US was being too soft on them and being unbalanced in how it treated the entire area?

    It seems that there are many more powerful rich Israeli and Jewish people in America who are getting upset that real reporting is being dared done in their home country, rather than looking at themselves and considering how they could improve their standards?

    • ziontruth

      "Shouldnt any administration speak out attacks against women anywhere?"

      No. The duty of the nation-state is to protect the nation residing in it, not to poke its nose in other nations' affairs. Let Hillary point her finger at Dearborn.

      "…looking at themselves and considering how they could improve their standards?"

      What gives you the right to judge us? Above the level of the nation, God is the only rightful Judge. Internationalism such as Hillary engages in is nothing but Marxist imperialism, and is inherently unjust.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Hillary Clinton of all of the self serving and evil serving creatures that inhabit
    human form, vile and invidious it is impossible to take anything she has to say
    without nausea and reproach. Considering how women are treated in America
    which is below the common standards of respect for women in Israel, this
    loud mouth fraud should just shut her big fat mouth…………………William

  • WilliamJamesWard

    To continue, that this pit of venom is Secretary Of State is and indictment of
    American voters, the Obama administration is beyond vile, criminal and due for
    a complete investigation of it's behavior. The great falling away of America from
    its once great stature as a great nation embodying moral pulchritude, ethical
    standards with civic pride, it is a damn shame to see the pestilence the leftists
    have produced in our nations institutions. If we do not have a revival of
    character our posterity will live in a post modern sewer if not destroyed by
    some pipsqueak band of Islamist loons. The tragedy is our generation leaves
    behind a nation in ruin due to neglect of what is right and good…………..William

    • daniel rotter

      No one's forcing you to stay in America, rightist. If you hate America so much, you're perfectly free to leave. You certainly won't be missed (not by any normal, reasonable people, anyway).

      • daniel rotter

        correction: "(not by normal, reasonable people, anyway)."

        • WilliamJamesWard

          You are delusional…………………………..William

  • Ron Carnine

    I am the father of two females and the grandfather of two more. I don't like to see a woman disrespected anywhere. However, I would have to say that the treatment of women is much worse in Islamic countries than in Israel. Go to Israel and you'll see women in uniform carrying an automatic weapon, go tell her she needs to cover her head or wear a Islamic covering. To single out Israel for human rights violations is just as ignorant as Russia trying to teach the United States about human rights. Hillary is ridiculous.

  • Ben

    Leftist couple of Clintons where always hostile to the Jews though they declared the opposite. Bill Clinton`s Oslo agriments cost much trouble to Israel,after USSR collapse he forgot about the million of Jewish and Russians petitions on entrance, and he recently blamed Russian Jews on extremism.Yarmulke often demonstrate this friendly position,so the couple`s worry about Jewish women grave fate have deep roots.

  • daniel rotter

    "Of course Hillary and the secularist media never objected to signs in mosques and churches in Israel and elsewhere that ask people not to enter in immodest dress."

    Uh, no, but never have Hillary and "the secularist media" objected to synagogues "that ask people not to enter into immodest dress." Plaut's sentence here is a non sequitur.

  • Dispozadaburka

    "The US does not stand up for freedom of speech, assembly, the right to travel, women's rights and religious liberties in Saudi Arabia and these breeches in freedom almost always stem from Islamic laws. For example, Saudi and Islamic laws give fathers custody of their children in divorces, and the State Department even accepts those laws when fathers abduct their children from the US.
    Submissiveness to Saudi rules has placed the US in a state of dhimnitude that extends into the area of energy, security, policy, education, finance and religion. These are the very conditions of dhimmitude that are a prerequisite, part and parcel, of an Islamic
    ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT> NWO needs a NEW WoRLD RELIGION." Walking The Plank to a Dhimmi Nation. Mary Christina Love

  • Dispozadaburka

    "The alliance between the socialist left and Islamists helps the "global agenda." Osama bin Laden himself declared in a fatwa that he issued in March 2003; "The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders."
    As a result of their wealth, a Saudi-funded Fifth Column has developed in America during the past 30 years. Their petrodollars have been used in this alliance to exert power>" Even though their ideas of a utopia are different their desire to rid the world of US "imperialism" and "capitalism" necessitates their alliance."
    Walking the Plank to a Dhimmi Nation by Mary Christina Love

  • PAthena

    Remember that Barack Hussein Obama, Hillary Clinton's boss, as President of the United States bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. Obama and Clinton give not a fig about the status of women. Women are not even allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia. Obama and Clinton pander to Mohammedans everywhere, and are antisemitic haters of Israel – see Obama's favorite paster, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.