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Rabbi Amar raps Clinton’s criticism of Israeli women’s treatment

by Marcy Oster

December 6, 2011 | 10:31 am

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during an international conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in Vilnius on Dec. 6. Photo by REUTERS/J. Scott Applewhite

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during an international conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in Vilnius on Dec. 6. Photo by REUTERS/J. Scott Applewhite

Israeli Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar slammed Hillary Clinton for the U.S. secretary of state’s criticism of the haredi Orthodox establishment in Israel’s treatment of women.

“She has no real knowledge of a Jewish woman’s modesty,” Amar told the haredi Orthodox Kol Barama Radio station in an interview Monday. “The Jewish people respect women and treat them like queens and princesses.”

Amar also said that segregating men and women on buses is not required by Jewish law, but is done by people who chose to be stricter in their observance.

The rabbi said he does not oppose women singing in the Israel Defense Forces, but that the request to allow religious soldiers to leave during a recent performance “politely and without any humiliation of course, as the Torah does not insult anyone and respects women,” was not unreasonable.

Clinton over the weekend during a closed session of the Saban Forum in Washington reportedly rapped the marginalization of women in Israel, citing the examples of religious Israeli soldiers leaving programs that feature women singing and women sitting in the back of the bus on some religious bus lines.

If Clinton had learned from “the right people, scholars, she would see that the Jewish people respect their women,” Amar said.

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