Survey: Many haredim and most Israelis oppose gender segregation on buses

Survey Many haredim and

By MATTHEW WAGNER
October 27, 2009 02:49
1 minute read.

 
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The vast majority of the Israeli public is opposed to gender-segregated bus lines, according to a new survey released Monday. Publication of the survey comes on the eve of a High Court hearing that was set to discuss the recommendations of an inquiry committee into gender-segregated buses. According to the survey, even among haredi Israelis, 29 percent are in favor of doing away with or limiting the use of gender segregation. Among Shas voters, 48% support abolishing or limiting the segregation, while among United Torah Judaism supporters, opposition was lower at 20%. Meanwhile, among religious Zionists, a total of 88% expressed varying degrees of opposition to the use of gender segregation, while 90% of secular Israelis did. The poll was conducted this summer by the Smith Institute from a sample of 1,200 adults and has a margin of error of 2.9%. It was ordered by Hiddush, a new cross-denominational initiative for encouraging more religious pluralism. Rabbi Uri Regev, executive director of Hiddush, said that the survey results were "proof that the majority of the Israeli public thinks that the time has come for a radical solution to the problem of gender segregation on public buses." "In the enlightened democratic world, Israel is looked upon with shock. It conjures up memories of Rosa Parks, who rebelled against racial segregation," he added.

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