Jerusalem: Hundreds rally against women's shunning
Protesters, female singers rally against religious elements' demands to limit women's role in Israel's public sphere. 'We won't let radical elements turn Israel into Iran, Jerusalem into Tehran,' says MK Horowitz
Omri Efraim • Ynet
Hundreds of people gathered in Jerusalem Wednesday in protest of religious elements' demands to limit women's role in the public life in Israel.
Various female performers who took part in the rally said they were there "to cry out for the Israeli women, who are pushed to society's sidelines by radical elements."
This is the third event to take place in the Capital following a number of incidents in which women were shunned from the public eye, including the removal of women figures from ad campaigns and separation of sexes during the Simchat Torah celebrations in Mea Shearim.
Singers Achinoam Nini, Ania Bukstein, Aya Korem, Yael Deckelbaum and several female bands performed during the protest rally, while members of the Tarantina band appeared on stage with head covers.
"I am not haredi, but I fear for the situation in Israel today. I can see before my eyes how the State of Israel is turning into a Taliban state," said Nini, adding that while receiving a religious education as a child, she never used Judaism to shun half of the public.
MK Nitzan Horowitz, who also attended the rally, said "the Israeli public will not let radical elements turn Israel into Iran and Jerusalem into Tehran."
Mickey Gitzin, head of Be Free Israel movement, which organized the event, told Ynet:: "We plan to continue singing every time and every place until this ugly phenomenon of shunning women stops.
"The issue of women singing is a symbol of a wider struggle that is taking place in Israel between those who want to keep the State of Israel Jewish and democratic, and between those who want to transform it into a theocracy," he said.