Mina Fenton, the only woman in the National Religious Party (NRP) in the city council, doesn't hesitate to express her opposition. She vociferously opposes the gay parade. She virulently opposes Christian charities for Jews. She angrily opposes granting political rights for Palestinians. She righteously opposes provocative artistic expression. She opposes anything that violates, in her opinion, the attributes of the Holy City. Her list of oppositions is long, and she's not the least bit apologetic. Nor is she alone in her stands: her two colleagues in the municipal NRP, although sometimes less vocal and confrontational, are always close behind her, opposing the same issues. A woman with seemingly endless energy, Fenton is also in charge of Jerusalem's relationships with the Jewish Diaspora and head of Emunah, the Religious Women's Movement allied with the NRP. She sees herself as a dedicated fighter for the rights of the cause of women. As head of the municipal commission for the advancement of the status of women, she opposes what she sees as her own party's discrimination against women. And she doesn't hesitate to say so, loud and clear. Mina Fenton doesn't seem to hesitate to say anything that she thinks. "What could happen to me?" she asks, rhetorically and demandingly. "Everyone knows that I am dedicated to the cause of women." Does she consider herself a feminist? She answers decisively, "If you are referring to a movement such as Kolech [the modern Orthodox feminist movement], then no, I am not a part of this. I respect them, but I think they've gone too far. I am much more conservative, I am not part of this." For Fenton, "this" includes bold denunciation of sexual harassment or fights for equality in ritual. "I am a conservative feminist," she defines herself proudly. For over a year, Fenton's most prominent battle has been against the homosexual community and she has engaged in a crusade against the gay pride parade. As a result, her relationship with the gay community's representatives in the municipal council, and particularly with Sa'ar Netanel (Meretz), have deteriorated to the level of mutual name-calling and abuse. "He calls me mishigene [crazy], nuts and the like. I cannot even repeat some of the names he calls me," Fenton says. Netanel retorts, "The opposition to the gay parade in Jerusalem is shared by more than one organization or body. According to a poll released earlier this year, more than 80% of the population of the city is against the parade. For the first time, haredim are working together with the right-wing religious and the Muslims against the parade. But somehow, Fenton is convinced that no one has ever done or will ever do more than she 'for the sake of the Holy City.' To her that means being against homosexuals, the Christian 'covert missionaries' as she calls them, or whatever." In Jerusalem asked Fenton to consider if cancellation of the gay pride, due to threats from its opponents, might not constitute a blow to civil rights, democracy and the rule of law. Fenton doesn't see it that way. In her opinion, the true defenders of the city must "defend themselves against the dangerous and violent attacks" on the part of the homosexual community. But when asked to be specific about the violence on the part of the community, she declines. In a recently-released public statement, Fenton declares that "Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel exists only due to Divine promise. Its very essence is its holiness. Without this holiness, Jerusalem cannot be the capital of the Jewish people." Somewhat paradoxically, to support her arguments, Fenton did not hesitate to include pictures, downloaded from the Web, of naked men and women who had participated in other gay pride parades - and to omit to mention that these parades took place in Tel Aviv and abroad. She also draws on the Diaspora Jewish community for support. "The Jewish community in France is outraged, she says. Many of them recently made aliya and settled in Jerusalem and they feel betrayed, too." Her opposition also provides political opportunities, and Fenton has also called on "all women in Jerusalem and Israel to join her in a prayer service at Rahel's Tomb." Her role as a city councilor, she insists, is "to protect the holiness of this city. I will not rest when I see that our public space has been abandoned." She sees herself as an emissary on a mission. "This is how my mother raised me. I am on a mission for society. I have many other points of interest, but this comes before anything else." Fenton sees dangerous enemies, not only in the homosexual community but also, and perhaps even more so, among the pro-Zionist Christians. "I am outraged to see how the right wing and religious national parties accept money from Christians. I admire some of the left-wing Israelis who openly criticize this unholy alliance between Israelis and missionary Christians. Sometimes I wish my friends could be as honest. These people are missionaries, we should never accept one cent from them, nor should we give them a foothold in our country. I am proud to have stopped the collaboration between these organizations and the Jerusalem Municipality." The mere presence of the Christian Embassy in Israel is, she insists, "a disgrace." Like Fenton, the other NRP representatives, attorney Yair Gabbai and Rabbi David Hadari, pay less attention to municipal issues such as sewage, taxes or education and attend to the same kinds of issues. Gabbai has opposed programming at the Cinematheque and tried to cut off municipal funding and is now engaged in a battle against the Israel Museum's new brochure, which featured a young girl wearing a cross. Hadari battled ferociously against the right of east Jerusalem's Palestinian residents to vote in the Palestinian elections. But they both agree no one compares to Fenton. "I didn't want to run for a second term," Fenton says, "But when I see how in my own party and in society, the struggle over territory has wiped out the battle for spirituality, I feel the need and obligation to serve." She dismisses out of hand any thoughts that by alienating the secular community, she is actually causing harm to Jerusalem. For Fenton, issues are usually simple and single-layered, especially if they deal with what she perceives as holiness or spirituality. Grey complexity is not something she tolerates well. In a rare moment of personal pondering, she acknowledges that she has not fulfilled her full political and ideological potential. "I should have been deputy mayor. I could give so much, with a decent salary and the means to promote my ideas. [Municipal councilors do not draw salaries - P.C.] I would take the city beautification portfolio. After all, I studied geography and urban studies and I could do great things for the city."

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