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October 16, 2011

High Court Again Rules Against Mea Shearim Gender Segregation

Shtreiml"I call on the court to intervene immediately in what is happening in the haredi neighborhoods and ensure that women feel comfortable walking anywhere in the State of Israel. If Rosa Parks succeeded in racist US of the 1950s, we in democratic Israel of 2011 must succeed too."


'Stop sex segregation on haredi street'
Jerusalem Council member petitions High Court, claiming last year's ruling against separation between men and women in Mea Shearim is not being honored. 'Ushers acting like a militia are seriously violating the dignity and freedom of passersby,' she says
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet

Jerusalem Council Member Rachel Azaria petitioned the High Court of Justice on Friday against the Israel Police and Jerusalem Municipality, which she said were allowing extreme ultra-Orthodox elements to illegally impose sex segregation on the streets of Mea Shearim during the holiday of Sukkot.

Azaria claims that the sex segregation in a public space, by "ushers acting like a sort of militia," seriously violates the dignity, freedom and freedom of movement of the passersby, and dishonors the court, which accepted the claim on this matter last year and ordered the police to fulfill their duty and enforce the law.

The petitioner, who warned before the holiday that haredi elements were planning to separate between men and women in their neighborhoods, is demanding an urgent court discussion so that the ruling can be implemented before the end of the holiday.

She clarifies, however, that "in light of past years' experience, the petition applies to all days of the year, not just the Sukkot holiday."
Mocking the law

Azaria describes the legal proceedings held last year, which ended with a police obligation to enforce the law in the neighborhood. Now, she claims, "life goes on" as the police and municipality "are not lifting a finger" to prevent the phenomenon from repeating itself, despite warnings.

"If this isn't a case of mocking and ridiculing the law – then the rule of law has never been disgraced," the petition states.

According to the petitioner, talks with haredi residents and their representatives in the City Council reveal that they are interested in maintaining the status quo as well, and not giving into the violence of extremists.

Azaria stresses that she respects the lifestyle and tradition of Mea Shearim's residents, but that these norms must not be imposed on passersby in a public domain.

"Even if the segregation arrangements are aimed at excessive maintenance of the modest rules, in order to allegedly allow the Water-Drawing Festival, in its current form it seriously hurts other people as a 'religious act which involves committing a felony,' which is forbidden by Jewish Law and strictly contradicts 'the values of a Jewish state.'"

If Rosa Parks succeeded

The petition slams the police and municipality, claiming that "in recent years, and especially on the days of Sukkot, Mea Shearim has been turned into a sort of 'ex-territory.' Police forces and municipality inspectors hardly enter the neighborhood during the Water-Drawing Festival."

Azaria said after filing the petition, "Mea Shearim in particular, and the haredi public in general, are not above the law. Although the extremists in the haredi sector are finding it difficult to understanding that, sex segregation in the public domain is immoral and illegal.

"I call on the court to intervene immediately in what is happening in the haredi neighborhoods and ensure that women feel comfortable walking anywhere in the State of Israel. If Rosa Parks succeeded in racist US of the 1950s, we in democratic Israel of 2011 must succeed too."

Later this afternoon Jerusalem time, the High Court ruled on Azaria's petition. It forbade the placement of fences and partitions and the use of of private supervisors to enforce sex segregation in Mea Shearim.

The court also ordered the appointment of a special police liaison to address complaints about this issue.

Update 3:00 pm CDT – Ha'aretz is reporting that the High Court ruled against the gender segregation. But it also allowed a one time limited exception:

Israel High Court upholds ban on Sukkot gender segregation in Jerusalem
Police permitted ultra-Orthodox community to erect 26-meter long barrier in Mea She'arim, in what High Court says will be last time practice is approved.
By Oz Rosenberg • Ha’aretz

The High Court of Justice upheld a ban on gender segregation in Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim neighborhood on Sunday.

During this year’s Sukkot celebrations, police gave ultra-Orthodox leaders of Mea She'arim's Toldos Aharon community permission to erect a barrier dividing the street by gender, despite the fact that, last year, the High Court ordered community leaders to revoke the segregation they imposed on women on Sukkot.

Police permitted community leaders to erect the barrier outside the Toldos Aharon synagogue, where thousands of people attend Simchat Beit Hashoeva (the Water Drawing Celebration), but specified that it could be no more than 26-meters long.

Large billboards posted throughout the capital's ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods last week forbade women to enter Mea She'arim Street during the Sukkot celebration.

"Women ... are requested to use alternative streets on their way home and to synagogues ... to help prevent mingling," the posters said.

"This year will be the same as last year," a senior ultra-Orthodox official told Haaretz last week. "We're not doing it to harm women. 15,000 men are coming and 1,500 women, so we're simply moving the women to Shivtei Yisrael Street, from which they will enter the women's section."

The High Court has now ordered that this will be the last year that police can permit the erection of such a barrier.

Last year, community leaders put up tarpaulin partitions along the sidewalks on Strauss and Mea She'arim streets, creating a narrow path on one side for women to walk on, and women were forbidden to walk on certain sidewalks and streets during Sukkot's intermediate days.

Womens' rights groups and organizations opposing religious coercion have demonstrated against the segregation. Jerusalem councilwomen Rachel Azaria of the Yerushalmim (Jerusalemites) faction and Laura Verton (Meretz) petitioned the High Court of Justice against the practice.


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Minister after Minister. Judge after Judge. Policeman after Policeman. Isrealis over and over show themselves to be spineless cowards when it comes to rule of law in a (supposidly) civil society.

What they do in their avodah zorah shtibelakh is their own damn business.

But in a public thoroughfare?

It is all politics.

These scum, who refuse to serve to defend Israel, who avoid taxes, who live off of those who they condemn, and who now have a higher birth rate than the Arabs, do vote.

And they vote as they are told to vote by their thuggish rebbes.

Morons and sheep but good morons and sheep. They will never change until they are forced to do so.

And no one will ever do that in Israel if they want to get reelected.

It takes two to tango.

Israeli High Court bastards doing their usual thing.
Maybe Shmarya Sheigetz could be appointed as Chief Judge

Like in wrestling we need referees to make sure that men and women "mix it up" and be forced to mingle. We must make sure that they act like we want them to act whether they like it or not! They are children and must be treated as such.

Sounds like you are the one that want grown people treated like children; apparently, Jewish men in your opinion will just jump on and rape a woman if they see them in the street. So instead of having Jewish men act like humans and stop raping everything they see, you force women behind barricades...again, like children! Why don't you just become Muslim already? You are 90% there!

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