Barbra Streisand takes jab at ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, defends women’s rights

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Hollywood icon Barbra Streisand, 71, brought her movie past to life this week during a trip to Jerusalem that left her outraged over the treatment of women by ultra-Orthodox Jews.

She took a swipe at the faith for seating women in the back of buses. The theme of her outrage was similar to the story line of the 1983 film “Yentl,” in which her Jewish character pushed for the religion to give equal rights to women and men.

In real life, though, she said: “It’s distressing to read about women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of a bus or … having metal chairs hurled at them when they intend to peacefully and legally pray. Or women being banned from singing in public ceremonies,” Reuters reported.

Certain public bus lines in Israel operate under Orthodox Jewish mandates and abide the law of the rabbis.

Ms. Streisand, who is Jewish, made the comments during a ceremony at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to present her with an honorary doctorate degree. She also criticized the United States for unfair treatment of women.

“I know that solutions don’t come easy, and they don’t in the United States, where women are still making 80 cents for every dollar that a man makes,” she said in the Reuters report.

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