It is obvious that a child is a human being that should be always offered protection, care and respect. No matter how one behaves, she or he deserves embracing and love. The case of Naama Margolese proves that this perception of childhood might be far from true in some societies.
The girl in question was spat on because she was considered to be dressed immodestly. Arguing what is provocative and what is not seems to be out of place in the context of a child who became a tool in a game of rancor between adults. Apparently, the tensions that have been covered under a thin coat of political correctness and deceptive gestures were released in a most unimaginable way. Naturally, the ultra orthodox tendencies have been present in discussions, they evoked various actions or protests, but the harassment of Naama might have opened a way to privately managed social anathema. From the perspective of a student living in the UK, this type of extremism channeled to an unprotected and evidently innocent being is simply unconceivable. The added religious background of the whole event makes it even more dreadful. What is more, some environments tend to argue that the harassing behavior of those spitting on a girl was an expression of religious emotions. No other logic can be more ludicrous.
I am a women, a mother, a Jew. I have been educated at University and in my Jewish home. I see things happening around me, both the good and the bad. However, one would imagine that in today’s society there is a certain level of freedom, tolerance, respect, the ability to live without fear, to feel safe and to have human rights protected.
Who gives someone the liberty to humiliate, bully, or harass another human being, especially a younger person? Surely this is not fear but possibly some combination of a lack of education, discrimination, hyper-nationalism, extremism, and self-anti-Semitism within the one country that Jews were waiting for. Why is this happening?
Naama’s story reached many people in the world, through the written press and TV outlets. After reading about the story you ask yourself, “is this actually possible”?
Having grown up in quite a secular Jewish family in Ukraine, I’ve never truly associated myself either with Israel or with religious Jewry. However, I have always cared about what was happening in both Israeli and Jewish religious society, realizing that these two groups are often the most visible and most easily associable faces for Jews around the whole world. My experience has shown me that whatever happens in these two domains immediately becomes attributed to all other people of Jewish origin.
ACCESS Global Voices, continues its debate of the role of religion in politics…
As a Polish sociologist trying to understand the case of Naama (the young religious girl who was spat on and verbally abused by extremist Haredim in the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh) only one thing comes to my mind: that today’s culture and society have been created entirely by men and for the sake of men.
The rules behind today’s culture are no longer logical because they were invented with an assumed willingness on behalf of women. Its entirety must instead be based on heterogeneity, geographical diversity, genuine differences, and continuous changes. Culture as opposed to Law doesn’t need to be completely inclusive or fair-- it doesn’t have to relate to each individual or group in the same way. However, Culture must never be formed in order to restrict or narrow, rather it must serve to motivate and improve.