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Aug 28, 2013

Burqas at the ballot box

Throughout the Western-hemisphere countries, it is fairly common to require women or men who are irregularly covered up to expose themselves, in private accompanied by an official of the same gender, for the purposes of identification when so required, such as in airports or government buildings. You can not apply for a United States passport wearing a burqa or a hat. In many states when applying for drivers licenses or passports of ID cards, any hats and sunglasses must be removed. It makes sense, as somebody has to confirm the persons identity. If there were no such need, terrorists, smugglers, runaways, criminals, etc would all apply for identification using fake names and wearing clothing that keeps them from being identified.

In Israel, Jerusalem city council candidate Aryeh King, representing "the outlying neighborhoods" wants to make a similar requirement for the upcomng municipal elections. he has filed a petition with the election board to require any person coming to vote while wearing a burqa to go to a private area with a female official and remove the burqa for identification purposes.

Makes sense to me, no explanation necessary.

King, however, did explain - he said the obvious. Letting someone vote without identifying them will allow someone to vote more than once.

King's petition applies mostly to female Arab voters, largely from East Jerusalem as well as to a small amount of extreme haredi women.

King, considered a far-right wing candidate is being accused of fascism. MK Issawi Frij (Meretz) says King is doing this out of hatred and his petition should be rejected.

I don't know if King's real reason is the practical aspect of it, as he says, or if he has an agenda of hating Arabs and trying to minimize their vote, if even a bit, or make them uncomfortable. Either way, this proposal makes so much sense I am surprised it was not already a rule. Of course this affects us here in Bet Shemesh as well, but with such a small number of burqa ladies, and most of them probably don't vote anyway, it is far less of a critical issue.

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  1. The truth is in Israel you hardly ever see Arab women fully covered up. When you do see it's usually the Jewish Burqa babes.

  2. the Jewish burka ladies also have the chumra to minimize how often they go out of their homes.


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