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Time for a trip to Burkha King?

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  • Time for a trip to Burkha King?

    Tempers flare over settler beauty contest

    By Matt Prodger
    BBC, Jerusalem

    Jewish settlers are used to being at the centre of controversy.
    Their mere presence in the Palestinian territories is considered illegal by much of the international community, and they have been in the headlines Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate them from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.

    But an event that took place in the West Bank on Saturday has had tempers flaring between the settlers themselves.

    It was a simple beauty pageant called Miss Samaria - a competition to find the prettiest teenager in the settlement of Ariel and surrounding areas.

    Twenty finalists competed in bikinis and high heels for a contract with a Tel Aviv modelling agency.

    The organiser, local photographer Avner Auster, was determined to press ahead despite opposition from more religiously Orthodox settlers.

    When he started advertising his beauty contest the posters did not stay up for long.

    They were ripped down by religious settlers angered by what they saw as indecency.

    "I've had some unpleasant reactions from religious people," he said.

    "A guy came into my shop and told me I should stop. He said I'm not keeping Israeli girls' purity.

    "My reaction to that was an unpleasant one which I won't go into, but after that I told him: you live in Immanuel, I live in Ariel. I'm not telling you how to live your life. Don't tell me how to live mine.''

    Religious divide

    Ariel is a secular settlement built on occupied land in the West Bank, but nearby are smaller, more Orthodox settlements.

    One of them is Immanuel, deeply religious and ideological.

    The settlement has been attacked by Palestinians opposed to the presence of Jewish settlers on occupied land.

    The people here are armed, suspicious, and deeply unimpressed by Ariel's celebration of the female form.

    Twenty-five-year-old Nava Vili came here from Miami.

    She is not shocked by beauty contests, but she did not come to the biblical land for them.

    "It's too much. The religion doesn't support all this nudity, and bikinis and all that. I think it's humiliating for a woman to do that.

    "When she's with her husband, it's for her husband, but when it's open like that for everybody ...people don't want to see it. You have to respect people in this area."

    Her friend looks the part of the stereotypical settler: an M16 on his shoulder, skullcap on his head, and distrustful enough of the media to refuse to give his name.

    "This is what religion's against. It's not chauvinism, it's not extremism. Taking a girl like that and putting her naked on a stage... that's not beauty anymore. Those beauty contests, it makes them cheap, it makes them stupid."

    'Dream come true'

    The beauty queens of Ariel are dismissive.

    Two Russian-born 16-year-olds, Tanya and Moriel, are annoyed by the reaction of the religious settlers.

    "They're not doing the competition, we're doing it and if they don't like it they don't need to come.

    "I think they're wrong. We're not religious, and we have the right to do whatever we want. I don't see anything bad in what we're doing. We're just making our dream come true that's all."

    The controversy over this beauty contest is a long way from Israel's political arena.

    But Ariel Sharon's plan to remove some settlements has reignited the debate within Israel about the occupation of Palestinian territory and the role the settlers play in it.

    Divisions within Israel are more than skin deep.

  • #2
    I heard about it a few weeks ago on a satire morning show I listen to. I cracked up laughing.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.


    • #3
      Re: Time for a trip to Burkha King?

      Originally posted by Trooth
      "They're not doing the competition, we're doing it and if they don't like it they don't need to come.

      "I think they're wrong. We're not religious, and we have the right to do whatever we want. I don't see anything bad in what we're doing. We're just making our dream come true that's all."
      Sad when it's the 16 year olds that get it.
      No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
      I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
      even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
      He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry


      • #4
        I am no social scientist and nor a religious hack. Further, I am not a Dell operator ;). Yet, what has happened in Israel is nothing unusual.

        Religion is an excellent platform for social order. This is more so easier if there is ONR religion in that country. And even better, if all of that religion has ONE viewpoint. However, the psychology of man is underlined by competitiveness and individual freedom. Therefore, dissensions is axiomatic.

        Religious bigotry comes out of insecurity. Sometimes it comes out of competitiveness to prove how 'great' that religion is. And another aspect is individual competitiveness wherein one craves for personal glory amongst co-religionists of how one is ready to 'sacrifice' for the sake of God and thereby being a better person. Judaism throughout history, right from the time of the Biblical days to now, has survived under 'hostile' environment and have been forced to seek comfort amongst their own. Therefore, religious bigotry is but a safety valve lest they are swamped by other views, religious or otherwise. So is the feeling amongst the followers of Islam, though they have not lived under 'hostile' environment. Their case is different. Their case is that from being the world leaders in intellectual (Al Baruni et al) and imperial (more than half the world they had conquered) greatness, they have been reduced to their present ignoble state.

        The age old fight between the priesthood and the State is an old hat. In the current state of worldly affair, the priests have been forced into a second status. Therefore, the priests exert their pressure through their 'superior knowledge' of scriptures. What more could be better than invoking the name of God and his Chosen Way and become Morals Policemen? The unfortunate reality is that today's world is not the Dark Ages with illiterates who could be brainwashed into believing what the priests ordained as the Vox Dei (Voice of God). Yet, there is always the fear of the supernatural and so people still fall in line.

        Judaism and Islam apparently are but flipsides of the coin. Judaism has an advantage (it depends on how one views it) in that they have been exposed to the liberalism of Europe, India and US. (Yes, India. We had and still have a sizeable Jewish population and there have never been any Pogroms). It germinated in the same region and many of the rituals are near similar. Therefore, the cultural beliefs should be near similar. Thus, the aversion to 'baring of bodies' is not surprising.

        I could be corrected on this by better versed individuals.

        BTW, my brother in law is a Canadian Jew so I am subjected to his discourses sometimes.
        Last edited by Ray; 09 Feb 04,, 03:38.

        "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

        I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.