Here’s the latest sign that Israel is slouching toward (stupid) theocracy: Israel’s acting health minister refuses to call swine flu by its name — since pigs are not kosher. Instead, he’s going for "Mexican flu." Benjamin Hartman writes in Ha’aretz:
While "Mexico Flu" sounds like something you’d contract during a long weekend in Nuevo Laredo, and which could be treated through a quick visit to a local free clinic, swine flu can kill, and if the early reports end up to be correct, it may have already made its way to Israel…
While this may seem to be just the semi-weekly "Haredi government minister gone wild" comment that makes for great office banter, the truth is that it’s just one more in a series of state-sanctioned declarations by a government official that serves only to further humiliate Israel in the eyes of the world.
Such is the system that produces a government where a party representing a community whose media cannot print the word sex, airbrushes women out of photos, and binds them into a strict second-class status, can be put in charge of the Health Ministry, a ministry legally bound to protect the well-being of all Israelis, regardless of gender, race or religion. It also brings up the issue putting a man who can?t say the word "vagina" in charge of a ministry that supervises gynecological issues. How can a man whose usage of the Hebrew language is governed by his own interpretation of Jewish law deal with issues like teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, or post-natal care for women?
UPDATE: Mexico complains about idea of renaming swine flu Mexican flu.