Blue and White women rally against halakhic state in Tel Aviv

The demonstrators marched in the Habima Square and Rothschild Boulevard wearing red outfits inspired by the American TV drama "The Handmaid's Tale."

June 7, 2019 14:37
2 minute read.
Blue and White women rally in Tel Aviv on June 7, 2019

Blue and White women rally in Tel Aviv on June 7, 2019 . (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The Blue and White women's branch organized a rally in Tel Aviv on Friday to protest the idea of turning Israel into a state run by religious law.

The demonstrators marched on the Habima Square and Rothschild Boulevard, wearing red outfits inspired by the American TV drama "The Handmaid's Tale," which have become a symbol of dissent across the world.
"If the red line is not drawn now, Bezalel Smotrich's fantasies of returning to the days of King David will become our reality," Blue and White Member of Knesset Karin Elharrar said in a statement.

"Slowly, the values that we have become accustomed to, such as equality between sexes, will disappear and will be replaced by the exclusion of women. Because the natural partners of [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, even though he tries to hide it now, will get what they want in exchange for ensuring his immunity [from criminal prosecution]," she added.

After Netanyahu fired Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked from the post on Sunday, Member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich of the Union of Right-Wing Parties said that he was seeking to replace her in order to restore Torah law to the Jewish state.

His remarks drew widespread criticism.

"The choice that stands before us in this election is between a halakhic state led by Netanyahu and Smotrich, and a Jewish and democratic state led by Gantz and Lapid, between a halakhic state that discriminates against women and outlaws the gay community, and strengthening the Israeli rule of law," Member of Knesset Yorai Lahav pointed out.

"The Handmaid's Tale" is a dystopian drama that imagines the United States governed by a dictatorship ruled by an extremist Christian sect. The series is based on the 1995 novel of the same title by Margaret Atwood.

Since the series became an international success in 2017, the crimson attire and white bonnet worn by the young enslaved women it features, have been adopted in rallies and protests all over the world. The outfit "has emerged as one of the most powerful current feminist symbols of protest, in a subversive inversion of its association with the oppression of women," the Guardian noted in August 2018. 

"We saw that there are many laws that they want to pass in this realm, such as a law allowing separation between men and women in public spaces. The current situation is dangerous and if we do not wake up now, we will wake up in a halakhic state," warned journalist and activist Lihi Lapid, who is married to Blue and White leader Yair Lapid and also participated in the protest.

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