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Reply #9: Ousted Jerusalem councilwoman: Israel surrendering to extremists [View All]

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-11 12:41 AM
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9. Ousted Jerusalem councilwoman: Israel surrendering to extremists
Rachel Azaria was dismissed from the city council to her High Court petition against the segregation of men and women in Mea She'arim during Sukkot.


"With a quivering voice and tense face, Rachel Azaria, freshly ousted from the Jerusalem city council, gave a speech the other day summarizing her campaign against gender segregation in the capital. She had received notification of her firing two days earlier in a laconic e-mail from the office of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Her exit has no economic consequences because council members don't receive salaries, but Azaria lost her position as the person responsible for preschool education and community councils.

The official reason for the dismissal was Azaria's High Court petition during Sukkot against the separation of men and women in Mea She'arim, the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood. Yet the hostility against her from the Haredi community is surely a factor.

The Hadri Haredim website described her firing as a "day to celebrate." "I didn't think (the Court petition) would have personal consequences," she told Haaretz. "I definitely felt that we (she and Barkat) were partners. This is disappointing."

The disappointment after her dismissal was offset somewhat by shows of solidarity: More than 7,000 people have signed a petition protesting the dismissal, and her phone has been ringing off the hook. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni has spoken with her, maybe because Azaria's ouster looks like a capitulation to Haredi dictates.

In her speech at a city council meeting, Azaria spoke about segregation on "buses, streets, health clinics and supermarkets .... This doesn't stay within the Haredi community; it seeps into our side very quickly, and it's threatening to women."
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