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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-18-11 12:52 PM
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Jerusalem Official Opposes Segregation, Loses Role

"Jerusalem City Council Member Rachel Azaria quickly paid a high price for standing up for what she believes in. On October 17, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat stripped her of her portfolios on the city council that concern community councils and early childhood issues. She was being punished for petitioning Israels High Court of Justice to enforce a previous ruling that ordered police to prevent gender segregation on the streets of the Haredi Jerusalem neighborhood Mea Shearim.

In an exclusive telephone interview with The Sisterhood later the day she lost her portfolios, she said that less than 24 hours after the Court issued its ruling in her favor, she received an email from one of Barkats assistants on behalf of the mayor stating that because you went to the High Court of Justice, I am relieving you of your duties. Barkat did not personally contact Azaria to inform her of this. But his office sent out another email announcing the change minutes later to all 31 members of City Council.

Azaria wrote a message on her Facebook wall letting her constituents and supporters know that Nir Barkat took a position against the High Court of Justice and in favor of the extreme right faction among the ultra-Orthodox public and stripped me of my portfolios, and that she would continue to fight for Jerusalems young families and children as a City Council member at large. She signed off with the words Yerushalmim lo mevatrim (Jerusalemites dont give up). It was both her rallying cry and the name of the grassroots party on whose ticket she ran in the 2008 municipal elections which carried her to the city council.

Azaria told The Sisterhood that while in some ways she isnt surprised by Barkats move, in other respects she is. I came to him weeks before to tell him that I was going to do this. He knows very well that segregation is illegal, she said."

Read more:

Court: No sex segregation in Mea Shearim,7340,L-4135718,00.html

Judges criticize failure to enforce previous High Court ruling, express fear of further radicalization in haredi Jerusalem neighborhood


"The High Court of Justice on Sunday ruled against attempts to separate between men and women in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem by setting up fences, stretching jute cloths and stationing private ushers on the streets.

The court also ordered the appointment of a contact person who would deliver residents' complaints to the police.

The judges Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish, Asher Grunis and Hanan Melcer ruled that the sex segregation hurts the residents of the neighborhood itself, explaining that this was part of an offensive takeover by the neighborhood's minority which was affecting many residents.

This wasn't the first time the High Court was asked to discuss the matter, and according to the judges, "This situation is not normal and does not match the commitment given to the court."

The judges were referring to a High Court ruling issued last year, in which the police were instructed to enforce the law and prevent the separation between men and women in the neighborhood."

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-18-11 05:26 PM
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1. Despite High Court ruling, gender segregation in Israel only expanding
The police will not prevent segregation in Jerusalem this year instead, the Chief of Police will even join in


"The High Court of Justice (HCJ), no doubt with a stern visage, ruled today that gender segregation in the streets of the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighbourhood of Mea Shearim is no longer to be tolerated starting next year. But despite a rather similar decision of the Court last year, which the police does not enforce, the segregation continues unabated. The commander of the Jerusalem Police District, Major General Nisso Shaham, said that images of segregation are shocking sights, but his promise that next year well see far less harsh images is not quite reassuring. One should note that the judges did not order the police to end the segregation, which reaches extraordinary levels during the Sukkot Holiday right now.

Gender segregation is a relatively new phenomenon in Jewish life: Its been with us for about a decade, possibly a few years more. Strict ultra-Orthodox, particularly Hassidic Jews, claim the very presence of women (or girls, often very young girls) is disturbing to them, as it fills them with impure thoughts. Segregation takes basically two forms: Public transportation segregation, when the women are obliged to sit at the end of the bus, which was endorsed by the courts (who turned a blind eye to the coercion necessary for it to take place); and the much more recent phenomenon of street segregation, where women are obliged to walk on one part of the street only. This abomination, which the courts declared illegal, has been around for some three years, and is still limited in scope."

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