May 29, 2024
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Haredi Women Campaign to Run: Rabbis Threaten Them With Cherem

Arutz 7—Haredi women in Israel have begun an unprecedented campaign to have women candidates on the lists of religious parties for next March’s early general election. “We want haredi women—5% of the population—to have a say in the Knesset and demand that the heads of the haredi parties choose at least one candidate of their choice,” activist Esty Reider-Indorsky, a driving force behind the move, told public radio. In a manifesto published on social networks online and supported by personalities including secular Israelis, the haredi women say they are prepared to go as far as an election boycott. “And we (women) represent half of the electorate,” Reider-Indorsky told the station.

Although they have not been able to be candidates for haredi parties, some have been elected standing for other parties and others work as assistants to members of parliament. However, they have been held back by both the ban on women’s candidacy in their own community’s parties and by social stigmas on women in public office–with some candidates facing threats against their and their family’s safety over their public roles.

Haaretz reported that Rabbi Mordechai Blau, a senior member of the United Torah Judaism party, issued a statement Sunday threatening to put any women who defy Haredi political leadership in cherem. “All women who go near a political party that is not under the leadership of the Torah sages” would find her children banned from Haredi schools and her employer boycotted by the community, said Blau.

 

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