Dozens march in J'lem to protest gender segregation

About 50 men, women walk towards Mea She'arim neighborhood amongst a heavy police presence; no violence, friction reported.

By DAN IZENBERG, JONAH MANDEL
September 29, 2010 10:49
1 minute read.
HAREDI MEN and women cross the street yesterday in

Mea Shearim 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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About 50 men and women from the Jerusalem branch of a nationwide university women’s organization, Ella, marched from central Jerusalem towards Mea She'arim on Wednesday to protest an enforced gender segregation within the religious neighborhood during current holidays.

Large police forces accompanied the march on the eve of Simchat Torah and blocked surrounding streets to prevent any potential friction. No violence was reported.

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The High Court of Justice on Tuesday permitted the march over police objections, but ruled that it must end before reaching Kikar Hashabbat, at the heart of Mea She'arim.

During the hearing, the court also extracted a formal statement by the state’s attorney, Osnat Mandel, to the effect that “the state agrees that in an obviously public area such as city streets, it is prohibited to separate on the basis of gender.”

The court heard two petitions on Tuesday, one by municipal councilors Rachel Azarya and Laura Verton and the Jerusalem Movement, and the other by the Jerusalem branch of the campus organization, Aleh, the Meretz Party and its representatives in the Jerusalem City Council.

JPOST.COM STAFF contributed to this report.

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