When the haredi man illegally demanded the woman to move to rear in order to maintain gender segregation, the young secular man punched him in the face and pulled his beard. The haredi man suffered unspecified minor injuries and was treated on location by paramedics.
Haredi Man Punched By Secular Passenger After Trying To Illegally Coerce Gender-Segregation On Jerusalem Bus
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A young secular man reportedly punched a haredi man who demanded that a woman move to the back of the Jerusalem public bus they were riding on.
The incident occurred earlier today on the scandal-plagued Egged Bus Company’s Number 54 bus in the Givat Shaul neighborhood, the Times of Israel reported.
According to media reports, when the haredi man illegally demanded the woman to move to rear in order to maintain gender segregation, the young secular man punched him in the face and pulled his beard. The haredi man suffered unspecified minor injuries and was treated on location by paramedics.
The attacker fled when passengers called police.
Police searched for the secular man but have not yet made an arrest.
Jerusalem public buses have clearly posted notices telling passengers that any attempt to force or coerce anyone to move from the seat of their choice is a criminal offense, except for asking able-bodied passengers to give up specified marked seats for the disabled.
Israeli courts have ruled that gender segregation on public buses is illegal. They have also ruled that it is the responsibility of the driver to prevent anyone from coercing or forcing others to gender-segregate and/or immediately notifying police.
But in practice, few drivers have upheld the law. Egged has also bent over backward to both appease haredim and skirt court ruling prohibiting gender segregation and exclusion of women from public advertisements posed on and in its buses. Last month, its CEO was quoted as saying that in Jerusalem, where many haredim live, Egged – a public bus company – operates as a haredi company. The remark sparked outrage in non-haredi communities.
Last week in Beit Shemesh, police arrested a haredi couple after they tried to compel woman to sit in the back of Egged bus 497 and for making a public disturbance. In response, haredim rioted and vandalized three occupied Egged buses, smashing windows with hammers and throwing stones. No rioters were arrested.
Similar incidents have occurred in Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem with alarming frequency over the past several years. Recently, dozens of bus stop shelters, deemed by haredi activists to be “immodest” because the seats are fixed rather than folding (and presumably much more comfortable, leading to longer sitting and more socializing), were destroyed by haredi vandals.
The main reason Egged cites for appeasing haredim in defiance of court orders and rulings is fear of haredi violence.
Police have been remarkably bad at preventing haredi violence, vandalism and coerced gender-segregation. They have taken few, if any, proactive steps and largely appear prefer to ignore the crimes.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch have largely remained silent about this violence and about the abuse of women.
Update 6:18 pm CDT – The Israeli Hebrew news website Mako reported that Egged claimed that the secular man is mentally ill and he harassed an elderly haredi man. Two other haredim tried to protect the elderly haredi man him and attacked the secular man. But, Mako added, police reject that version of events and adhere to the original version it told reporters – that the woman was harassed by the haredi man and the secular man responded by pulling the haredi man’s beard and punching him in the face.
Egged has been under tremendous scrutiny over the past several months after its arguably illegal appeasement of haredim has become public.
In theory, Egged could possibly lose its public contracts due to its anti-woman and anti-secular discrimination.
[Hat Tip: Yochanan Lavie.]