Three HMOs in the predominantly haredi city of Bnei Brak have modesty signs posted urging patients to wear haredi-acceptable dress. The signs are illegal and are also a violation of a specific directive issued by the Ministry of Health.
Above: An illegal haredi modesty sign in Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem (file photo)
Public HMOs In Bnei Brak Caught With Illegal Haredi Modesty Signs
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Army Radio reported yesterday that three HMOs in the predominantly haredi city of Bnei Brak have modesty signs posted urging patients to wear haredi-acceptable dress. The signs are illegal and are also a violation of a specific directive issued by the Ministry of Health.
"This clinic serves the haredi community. We appreciate respect for the feelings of this community. Please come to the clinic dressed modestly,” one sign reads.
Another sign at a different clinic reads, “Please respect the way of life of residents in the city and be sure to dress modestly in a way that befits local standards.”
“Please come to the clinic neat and properly dressed,” a third clinic’s sign reportedly urges.
The HMO’s – which all clearly know the signs are illegal and could lead to their state funding being cut off or reduced, sniffed that removing the signs would hurt their customers, who they are trying to serve. But at least one said it would remove the signs in its clinic anyway.
The haredi news website Kikar HaShabbat covered this story but sniffed that with a war on in Gaza and rockets striking inside Israel, Army Radio shouldn’t be wasting its time investigating haredim who are, no matter what the law says, just trying to uphold their religious beliefs.
Army Radio told Kikar HaShabbat that haredi criticism of the Army Radio exposé based on the idea that Army Radio allegedly wasted its time to report them during a war was nonsensical.
“Alongside coverage of the fighting in Gaza…there is definitely a place for coverage of ordinary everyday issues…and we will continue to report on a full range of issues,” an Army Radio spokesperson reportedly said.
Under Israeli law, public areas like sidewalks, public buses and HMO waiting rooms cannot be gender segregated, and signage, other printed or broadcast material, and oral instructions to gender segregate or that ask the public to dress “modestly” or to respect “local custom” of dress are illegal.
But in reality, in haredi areas of the country and on public buses frequented by haredim, those laws are almost never enforced and women are frequently harassed, degraded, spit on, intimidated and forcibly segregated.