Egged faces contempt charges over haredi newspaper ads

High Court orders Egged to publish ads about cancellation of “mehadrin” gender-separation arrangement but Haredi newspapers refuse.

February 10, 2011 03:03
2 minute read.
egged bus

egged bus 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Following the refusal of haredi newspapers Hamevaser, Hamodia and Yated Ne’eman to publish Egged-sponsored ads informing their readers of the cancellation of the “mehadrin” gender-separation arrangement, the Reform Movement threatened Wednesday to charge both Egged and the newspapers of being in contempt of a High Court decision.

In January, the High Court of Justice issued a ruling that officially abolished the practice in which men and women were made to sit on opposite ends of the bus, determining instead that any segregation would only be tolerated if it were done on a voluntary basis.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

In his ruling, Justice Elyakim Rubinstein ordered Egged to place signs aboard its buses informing the riders of the court’s decision and warning that any attempt to harass a person over their choice of seat would constitute a criminal offense. Egged was also ordered to publish ads to that effect in three daily publications.

The court stipulated that at least one publication had to be a haredi newspaper, since haredim were the primary users of the segregated bus lines.

On Wednesday, Egged sent a letter to the court informing it that the haredi newspapers had refused to run the ad.

“After the High Court reached a decision on the mehadrin lines, Egged was given clear instructions to publish the instructions in two general dailies and at least one haredi publication. Due to lack of cooperation on the part of Hamevaser, Hamodia and Yated Ne’eman, Egged decided, with the approval of the Transportation Ministry, to publish the ad in the national religious publication Makor Rishon and informed the court about it so as not to be considered in violation of the court’s verdict,” said Egged spokesman Ron Ratner.

In response, the Israel Religious Action Center – the legal advocacy arm of the Reform Movement, which initially petitioned the court over the issue – sent letters to all three of the newspapers, as well as to Egged, the Transportation Ministry and the court, informing them that failure to publish the ads would be considered a violation of court orders and constitute contempt.

The Israel Religious Action Center’s lawyer Orly Erez- Likhovski told The Jerusalem Post that the ads had featured in Haaretz and Yisrael Hayom, but that the haredi newspapers had flatly refused to run them.

“Not only did they refuse to run the ads, but we learned that Hamodia even ran a story that presented the High Court’s decision as a victory, enshrining the arrangement,” said Erez-Likhovski.

“We feel that Egged didn’t do enough to ensure that the ads were published in the haredi newspapers. They sent them the ad with a request, but didn’t stress the fact that the court had ordered the publication.

Egged accepted the refusal point-blank and came to the court saying they were incapable of complying with its orders,” Erez-Likhovski said.

She added that the fact that Egged had run an ad in Makor Rishon did not meet the requirements of the court, which specified that the publications had to be haredi so the ads would reach the desired audience.

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night