Were the Bet Shemesh protests about gender?

January 1, 2012 by

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Last week, Israel’s first mass demonstration in protest of the increasing waves of Haredi violence against women took place in Beit Shemesh.

It was a remarkable event, in its strength and diversity. There were speakers representing a range of organizations, Knesset members from five different political parties — including three women, two of whom are heads of their respective parties — and citizens religious and secular who have become symbols of the struggle against the removal of women from the public sphere.

Yet, while history was being made, the event also raised some difficult questions, such as who the demonstrators are, what are they protesting, and to whom are they addressing their demands? To Full Post

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