When Israel's basketball league recently required that each local team have a cheerleading squad, ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel objected; they didn't want to watch any pre-game bumping and grinding. Jerusalem's Hapoel team has a compromise: modestly-attired cheerleaders with less-suggestive moves.
Though one might envision cheerleaders swaddled in shapeless shifts and headcoverings, these sleeveless red vinyl getups are pretty edgy under the circumstances.
A religious lawmaker appealed to the feminist-leaning Sports and Culture Minister on the following grounds:
"In my eyes, it is chauvinistic that a crowd of mostly men needs to pass the time-outs watching young girls dancing and shaking. That seems pretty repulsive to me," he said.
The Hapoel Jerusalem cheerleading choreographer told the AFP that they had found a middle ground:
"They do lots of acrobatics and create energy, not through feminine movements, but more through strength."
The appeal succeeded in convincing the Sports and Culture Minister to get the league to drop the fines for teams without cheerleaders — her spokesperson said that "she did it from the feminist side of things. She told them it was unacceptable to have fines and girls under the age of 16 performing." But Hapoel appears to be keeping its team, possibly because now you get a bonus for having one.
Here's another modest suggestion they appeared not to consider: Why not have guys up there too? They wouldn't have to touch the girl cheerleaders, which would violate another religious custom. Hey, it worked for George W. Bush.