Israeli riot police girded with metal barriers and human chains held back thousands of Orthodox Jewish protestors who tried to prevent a liberal Jewish woman’s group from removing a book from a local library in Jerusalem.
This is the first time police have supported the women, and not the protestors.
A recent Israeli Supreme court order supports a Jewish woman’s right to borrow books from a Jewish library using practices that Orthodox Jewery maintains is solely the domain of men (minimum 10 actually).
The “Women of the Library” have been holding monthly meetings on the first day of the Hebrew month, preparing for the day when they too might ultimately and legally be able to withdraw a book.
Like their male counterparts, these women also parade around town with their own set of library cards. Ultra, Ultra, Ultra Orthodox leaders have accused them of violating “local customs” and many of the groups members have been arrested (although it should be mentioned that these arrests are on separate charges and have nothing to do with women trying to be literate like men).
The tables have been turned. Police protected the Jewish women and arrested everyone else for disorderly conduct.
“It’s a historic moment” group antagonist Sheila Grossman squealed as Israeli media reported that some rabbis called on their followers to flood all local libraries to take out all books except those dealing with gender equality and crock pot cookery.