System could have ‘mehadrin’ cars – CEO

Jerusalem Light Rail separate-sex car debate may revive.

August 24, 2010 03:36
1 minute read.
Haredim gather during a demonstration to protest a

mass haredi riot bnei brak 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)


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While Monday’s test run of the Jerusalem Light Rail went off without a hitch logistically, comments made by CityPass CEO Yair Naveh during the event threatened to rehash the fiery debate over gendersegregated public transportation in the city.

Responding to a reporter’s question regarding the prospect of adding “mehadrin” cars – in which the sexes are seated separately – to the light rail’s two-car trains in a nod to the city’s haredi residents, Naveh responded, “The train was built to serve everyone, and I think it’s required to create alternatives for everyone.”

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“That option exists because of the train’s division into cars,” Naveh explained. “And so it would not be a problem to declare every third or fourth car a ‘mehadrin’ car.”

No way, says City Councillor Rachel Azariya.

“Naveh seems to be unaware of the High Court ruling that forbids this kind of segregation,” Azariya told The Jerusalem Post on Monday evening. “And I don’t think he has the right to decide how Jerusalem residents should behave in the public sphere.

“[Naveh] was given a mission, and that mission was to build the light rail,” Azariya said. “I think he should just work on getting it done properly.”

Azariya said she and her Yerushalmim movement were ready and willing to continue “the long fight.”

“The haredim always ask for this, we always ask for it not to be allowed, and sometimes people in the middle get confused,” Azariya said.

“We simply have to remind them that this [gender separation] is in violation of the law,” she said.

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