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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


First Haredi Woman with a Realistic Chance of Entering Knesset

“Benny Gantz [1] surprised the Haredi community by choosing Haredi Beit Shemesh resident, Omer Yankelowitz to represent his Hosen L'Yisrael party.

40-year-old Omer Yankelowitz is a member of the Anglo Haredi community, a wife and mother to five children as well as a lawyer and social activist. (If you're wondering about the name Omer, yes she was born on Lag B’Omer [2] hence the name).

By choosing a Haredi woman, Gantz is bringing together the full spectrum of Israeli society to his party. Even though it's uncertain whether this will bring any Haredi votes to Hosen L'Yisrael, Gantz is trying to portray his party's diversity as a center-right party which also accommodates Haredim.

When elected, Omer will be under a magnifying glass from both sides, right and left. She will be scrutinized from the right, from the Haredi community, and from the left by women's rights groups who want her to take a liberal approach toward women's issues.

In the past, Omer has criticized the anti-gender segregation movement targeting the Haredi community calling it 'religious persecution'. The anti-Haredi persecution by women's rights groups protesting gender separation is not liberal, it is extremism. It is anti-religious radicalism that wants to force secular ethics upon a believing people. This is exactly the opposite of liberalism and tolerance, this is religious oppression under the guise of progressivism.

According to Omer, ‘this isn't a war for women's rights. This is a war against a people's belief, people wanting to live their lives as they see fit.’

Friends describe Omer as brave, moral, exceptionally qualified, and deeply religious. ‘She will bring great honor to the Haredi community. Haredim in the Knesset can be happy that she is arriving.'”

▶️ Source: Kikar HaShabbat

0202 Editor’s Notes:
[1] Benny Gantz is the former Chief of General Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces. In December 2018, he announced his entry into politics and created the Hosen L'Yisrael (lit. Israeli Resilience Party) and is running in Israel's 2019 national elections.
[2] Lag B'Omer is the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer, the period of time between Passover and Shavuot. The 33rd day marks the death of Rashbi, a Talmudic sage credited with authoring the Zohar, a key book of Jewish mysticism. The day is celebrated in Jewish communities across the world with music and bonfires. In Israel, many also make the pilgrimage to the northern village of Meron where Rashbi is buried.

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