Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger criticized on Sunday the segregation
of men and women on public transportation, in an interview with Army
According to Metzger, the haredi community does not have
the right to impose its practices on public bus lines. "If we want there
to be segregation, it would be legitimate for us to establish our own
transportation company," he explained.
'Exclusion of women is form of violence'
Supreme Court may allow segregated buses
[the ultra-Orthodox] don't have the authority to force our ideas on
others," he continued. "This state does not belong to the haredi
Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu also addressed on
Sunday the recent controversy over the exclusion of women in the public
domain, saying that "a fringe group must not be allowed to dismantle
what we share in common."
Speaking at the opening of the weekly
cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that the public domain must be kept
"open and safe" for all Israeli citizens.
"The Israeli society is
a complicated mosaic of Jews and Arabs, secular and religious. We have
always agreed to coexist in peace, with mutual respect between all
sectors of Israeli society," the prime minister stated.
we have been witness to attempts to unravel this coexistence. We must
seek that which unifies us and bridges the gaps between us, not what
splits us up and separates us," he added.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni praised on Sunday Tania Rosenblit, a
young woman who refused last week to submit to the demands of haredi
passengers to take a back seat on a bus traveling from Ashdod to
Livni wrote on her Facebook wall, "Even if she [Tania] didn't intend to
become a symbol for her actions, there's no doubt that her perseverance
represents the need of everyone fearing for Israel's character to fight
and not give up. Tania revealed personal courage and in this decisive
moment I call to all to join the struggle over Israel before it is too
Rosenblit accepted on Sunday an invitation from Culture and Sport
Minister Limor Livnat to speak before an inter-ministerial committee
established to formulate a plan for dealing with the exclusion of women
from the public domain.
"I am proud of you for standing firmly by your principles. You did an
important thing and it doesn't matter if you intended to or not," Livnat
told the young women. "You have brought honor to women with your
Yisrael Katz ordered on Sunday an investigation into the incident. The
investigation will check whether the bus driver and Egged company
violated the Transportation Ministry's policy against gender