Israele, il MeToo scuote il mondo ortodosso – Medio Oriente

There is stormy air these days in the Israeli Orthodox congregations. Social media is in turmoil and on the streets – which is quite unusual in a society characterized by extreme traditions – social activists, who are also engaged, are on patrol. Paste on the walls leaflets entitled “We believe you”: referring to the victims of sexual abuse by members of the community, sometimes even authoritative.
The most striking case is that of the famous Orthodox writer Haim Walder, 52, who committed suicide last month after Haaretz newspaper published the testimonies of three women who accused him of sexual crimes years ago, when they were between 13 and 20 years old. years. And through their posts, activists are now pointing the finger at those in Walder’s entourage who erected a protective wall around him, both when he was alive and after his death, discrediting the accused.
“We believe you,” say the activists, who are now busy collecting a trove of distressing testimonies from those who, in similar circumstances, claim to have suffered for years in silence because the topic of sexual assault was a taboo in their conservative society.
In a desperate farewell letter, published after he committed suicide on his son’s grave, Walder declared himself innocent and wrote: “The dangerous culture of cancellation has come here too from Big Sister America. A dangerous phenomenon, destroying glorious jobs. On society and media – argued against the home version of ‘MeToo’ – the netizen is the accused, the judge, the executioner.” And the testimonies collected by Haaretz against him before, and by the police afterwards?
The drama is not over. Two days later, an orthodox young woman, Shivra Yoshived Horowitz, committed suicide. A writer I later knew testified that, in her youth, Schefer had been subjected to similar sexual abuse. He added that she was desperate to see the rabbinic glorification of Walder’s character and the censorship in the Orthodox media over the specific charges against him.
Faced with an orthodox religious and political establishment floating in a bitter defense of a respected side of its society, individuals, wracked by the traumatic events of their youth, rose up, trying to make their voices heard on social media. A chain reaction has occurred. Emergency phone calls were crowded with calls, and the underground protest sprang up with violent leaflets in the vicinity of the homes of people (men and women) suspected of harassing minors.
A self-confident leadership thus far is being questioned from a troubled base. A protest in true MeToo style – the Israeli secular media is writing now – and in the most unexpected place.

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