LGBTQ-oppression is neglected even more than sexism
Recent new Israeli rabbinic legislation led to eighty women being freed from their status of a ‘chained’ woman, agunah. Israeli rabbinical courts can now impose sanctions on divorce (get) refusers from abroad if they visit Israel. Also, dozens of men granted divorces because they didn’t want to have the risk that one day, they’d be unable to enter the Jewish State.
This concerns well-over 200 wives. Some of these women waited for decades. Two major problems are that the man must give the divorce from his own free will, and even with minimal doubt about that, further children of such a woman could receive the severe Jewish status of mamzer which seriously limits their options of marriage and inherent to their offspring.
That, also in Israel, reform is still needed was painfully illustrated by the severe agunah case of Shire Isakov. After her husband tried to kill her, whereby she was severely injured, after extensive surgeries, rehabilitation, and with deep physical and emotional scars, she chose to tell her story to open the eyes of other women. He then refused to divorce her. Days of intense public shaming and rabbinic pressure made him give in eventually.
A prenuptial agreement that is in sync with Jewish Law (there are several to choose from) would prevent these cruel hostage-takings. It’s often the over-selfish man who picks a naive woman and convinces her that they don’t need a prenup. (Even if he’s sweet as a lamb, they should have one, to show others that this can’t be skipped.) Rabbis should not perform weddings without a prenuptial agreement. Never enter a home without one.
Anti-LGBTQ Violence in Israel is Alive and Kicking
Always moving to see men stand up for women trapped in a marriage. Until you notice that they won’t lift a finger to help lesbians, gay men, and trans people who are trapped outside of marriage and can’t even dream of a kosher wedding ever. The very exceptional (a few hundred) chained women have their attention while a million (!) not-Straight Jews trapped outside of marriage get the “drop dead but I feel for you” treatment.
So-called empathy for suffering the rabbis create and refuse to correct. It’s the old story all over again, men trying to make a good impression on women. That’s not being an ally. That’s rather continuing to being a bigot.
It’s like someone who keeps Shabbat but not the Holidays when they fall on weekdays. From that, you see that they also don’t really keep Shabbat. They just enjoy a work-less weekend.
And, it’s not the only instance of some attention to oppressed women but total neglect of the LGBTQ in Israel. During a lockdown, hate crimes against women spiked. Thankfully, it’s exposed, protested, and debated. But, also anti-LGBTQ violence spiked. But no one seemed to give a hood. No mass demonstrations. No debates. Even no reporting by the English Israeli press, except — as always — by the Jerusalem Post, and this time also: Haaretz. Where are the Times of Israel (editors or bloggers), Arutz7, the Algemeiner, Ynetnews, and some others, obviously absent?
They all are supposedly for democracy, fundamental equality and equal rights to all people. Silence is complicity and their democracy is just self-serving, reserved for people passing as normal as them. You’re not a democrat if you only have tolerance for people who are like you.
Some half a million Israelis are LGBTQ. What’s the last time we heard that anyone cared? And, compared to the rest of the world, the situation in Israel is even good. This scandal reminds me of the racism in the US 60 years ago. There were some protests, and the severity of the bigotry varied from place to place and community to community. And no equality — that promise of democracy — or safety — that promise of a just lawful society.