Dissidents Sue To Dissolve "Theocratic" NY Hasidic Town - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-18-2011, 11:31 PM   #1
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 04:58 AM
Dissidents Sue To Dissolve "Theocratic" NY Hasidic Town

Andrew Sullivan, July 18
Quote:
The fascinating town of Kiryas Joel, a rapidly-growing community of Satmar Hasidic Jews in upstate New York, has been getting a lot of media coverage lately. The town is technically the poorest in the nation, but the residents thrive through a combination of collectivism, a largely cash-based economy, the tax-exempt status of their religious and non-profit institutions, and their ability to secure a disproportionate share of state and federal funds by voting and fundraising in a bloc. [Americans United for Separation of Church and State] has been tracking the coverage:
A sign at the village entrance admonishes visitors to dress modestly. Cleavage-revealing tops for women are verboten, and both sexes are told to cover arms and legs. Couples are advised to “maintain gender separation in public places.” The sign was erected by the town’s largest synagogue. Its wording is tough, but in fact the village can’t legally enforce rules like this. Still, women who dare to visit the community while wearing skimpy summer outfits have reported scowls and glares.
[AUSCS] also points to a more substantive story: dissident Jews in Kiryas Joel have filed a federal lawsuit attempting the dissolve the town because its leadership "violates the First Amendment's prohibition against the government respecting an establishment of religion":
The case alleges discrimination against dissidents—estimated in court papers to comprise 40% of the village's roughly 20,000 residents—in various facets of public life, from tax exemptions for synagogues to election improprieties to selective enforcement of village noise ordinances. Among the most serious allegations is that Kiryas Joel's Public Safety Department, a quasi-police agency, has acted as enforcers for the main congregation and tolerated acts of violence and intimidation against dissidents by unruly crowds of young supporters of Satmar Grand Rebbe Aron Teitelbaum, the leader of Kiryas Joel's majority faction. In one incident in August 2010, a mob of screaming boys—angry about a marriage held in a dissident wedding hall—allegedly hounded relatives of one of the newlyweds as they walked home from a synagogue after midnight. The complaint says the boys punched, kicked and threw bottles and eggs at the family, which included a pregnant woman. The suit alleges that public safety officers passed by during the harassment and did nothing.
A little hard to predict where this lawsuit might go, since there are at least two readily imaginable responses: A) that this is no worse than numerous other notorious cases of local political corruption in recent US history, and none of those municipalities were dissolved, so this is like using the proverbial sledgehammer to crack nuts; or B) that the US Constitution explicitly aims to absolutely prevent this particular form of corruption--religious figures abusing political power to persecute dissidents--so dissolving this sorry exercise in publically funded religious authoritarianism is precisely the appropriate and American response.

I doubt this story will attract much interest outside New York (Kiryas Joel has been regionally notorious for years), quite possibly I'm wasting my time posting it here, but what I keep coming back to about it is smirking wryly at the contrast between the "So-what,-buncha-Jews-in-NY-squabbling-over-nothing" in this case, vs. the shit-your-pants sharia-takeover panic that would undoubtedly ensue were there a Muslim equivalent of Kiryas Joel in America. I wouldn't say the average American's perception of Hasidic and haredi American Jews is "positive" exactly--my sense is they're generally viewed as "freaks" and rather discomfiting to be around; nonetheless, like the Amish, these are fundamentalist, deeply traditional, assimilation-resistant groups who (in contrast to strictly observant Muslims) are protected from scrutiny by being generally stereotyped as harmlessly or even charmingly exotic.
__________________

__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 04:55 AM   #2
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Vincent Vega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6,615
Local Time: 04:58 AM
Oh, it was certainly an interesting read and something I wouldn't have heard about weren't it for this thread. No waste.
So, to dissolve a town or municipality, does that mean the administration is forced out and replaced with an interim administration until new elections take place?
__________________

__________________
Vincent Vega is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 05:49 AM   #3
Refugee
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel
Posts: 1,300
Local Time: 03:58 AM
First of all Yolland - anything posted here is never a waste. It may not generate a lot of discussion but it is the very essence of this forum to "Free your mind" and express opinions on any topic.

To the point, there are certain factions in Judaism that are very extreme and fundamentalist (just like in Islam). In Israel, for instance, the Mea She'arim section of Jerusalem is inhibited by ultra-orthodox Jews and they too have signs prohibiting "revealing" outfits for women and "unmodest" clothing in general, and when an unsuspecting woman tourist just happens to pass by in shorts and a halter top she WILL get accosted for being dressed imodestly on their turf.

A more extreme example is the Neturei Karta sect of Hassidm that does not recognize the state of Israel and, in fact, maintains very close ties with Iran and are welcomed into that country by Ahmadinejad. They say Israel has no right to exist under secular rule and can only be established when the Messiah comes.

For more information:

Neturei Karta - Orthodox Jews United Against Zionism
__________________
AchtungBono is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 06:37 AM   #4
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 04:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Vega View Post
So, to dissolve a town or municipality, does that mean the administration is forced out and replaced with an interim administration until new elections take place?
What this lawsuit asks for is that Kiryas Joel be reincorporated into the neighboring town of Monroe, to which its territory once belonged. I suppose forcing out the current government would in theory also be an option but, given the town's demographics, might well only result in re-creating the problem once new elections were held--Hasidic rebbes are basically dynastic clan patriarchs, and their congregants will vote for whomever they tell them to vote for. (That's not a function of following Jewish law, but rather of the social structure which evolved in those communities during their history in Eastern Europe. Ditto for their extreme insularity.)

I'm actually not sure whether there's even historical precedent for forcibly dissolving a municipality by court order in this way--if there is, it's at least exceedingly rare.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AchtungBono View Post
To the point, there are certain factions in Judaism that are very extreme and fundamentalist (just like in Islam). In Israel, for instance, the Mea She'arim section of Jerusalem is inhibited by ultra-orthodox Jews and they too have signs prohibiting "revealing" outfits for women and "unmodest" clothing in general, and when an unsuspecting woman tourist just happens to pass by in shorts and a halter top she WILL get accosted for being dressed imodestly on their turf.

A more extreme example is the Neturei Karta sect of Hassidm that does not recognize the state of Israel and, in fact, maintains very close ties with Iran and are welcomed into that country by Ahmadinejad. They say Israel has no right to exist under secular rule and can only be established when the Messiah comes.
We actually have NK here too, though their numbers are much smaller (there were some in the neighborhood in Brooklyn my family used to live in, and on Holocaust Remembrance Day you'd see them out burning Israeli flags). There are also some haredi neighborhoods in Brooklyn where you'd almost certainly draw some nasty looks walking around in skimpy clothing, though open harassment would be unusual and there definitely wouldn't be an "official" posted modesty order. But I think perhaps(?) in Israel groups like those you've described are more readily accepted as just another part of the cultural landscape (even when widely disliked), whereas in the US that kind of overt, hostile anti-modernism doesn't go over well at all and tends to be seen as almost a declaration of treachery. There are of course Christian fundamentalist sects here, but I'm not sure they're quite comparable to their Jewish and Muslim counterparts, in that these sects are usually of quite recent historical origin and therefore not as profoundly anti-modern in their ideology and practice. The Amish maybe, fundamentalist Mormons maybe...though I'd be inclined to see even those groups as more comfortable interacting with "outsiders" on the whole than their Jewish and Muslim counterparts.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 08:40 AM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
maycocksean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The Most Important State in the Union
Posts: 4,882
Local Time: 10:58 PM
This thread would already be on page 3 if it were a Muslim community.
__________________
maycocksean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 08:51 AM   #6
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,641
Local Time: 09:58 PM
So true...
__________________
BVS is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 09:36 PM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The American Resistance
Posts: 4,754
Local Time: 09:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
This thread would already be on page 3 if it were a Muslim community.


Or on page 30 if Sarah Palin were mayor of the community.
__________________
INDY500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
maycocksean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The Most Important State in the Union
Posts: 4,882
Local Time: 10:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Or on page 30 if Sarah Palin were mayor of the community.
Indeed.
__________________
maycocksean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 06:45 PM   #9
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 10:58 PM
I'd like to know what the legal status/structure of an Amish community is; it seems roughly equivalent.
__________________

__________________
melon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com