woman on a mehadrin bus_311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Former Supreme Court judge Eliyahu Matza on Thursday called on women to
begin a campaign of civil disobedience against increasing attempts to
subjugate them in the public sphere.
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In an with interview Army
Radio, the former High Court Vice President said, "Social justice is not
only about the price of cottage cheese or interest rates on a mortgage.
There are values that must be fought for, and women's exclusion is out
of the question."
Over the past weeks, incidents calling women's rights into question have included physical and verbal attacks on women refusing to sit in
the back of public buses, attempts to segregate sides of the street by gender, and the exclusion of women from ceremonies.
Vered Swid, director-general of the National Authority for the Advancement of Women, told The Jerusalem Post
Wednesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was very clear in his
policy towards elements among the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community to
sideline women, including forcing them to sit at the back of public
“On this issue he is very clear. This isn’t something that needs to be
discussed or debated. No one should force a woman to sit at the back of
the bus,” said Swid, who plans to work in the coming weeks with local
authorities, bus companies and woman’s organizations to rid society of
In addition to women's exclusion, Matza attacked what he perceived as an
increasing phenomenon of "anti-democratic legislation" in the Knesset.
"A significant proportion of our parliament thinks that there is no
equality... In their view, there are
citizens of class A and class B and we must legislate laws for each
of them specifically."
The phenomenon, he said, indicates a steep decline in the political
system and should be fought. "It's a short road from here to tyranny."
"I am very troubled that the coalition is convinced it can pas anything
it wants because it's the majority, and this concern is not limited to
judges, but to every citizen of Israel," he said.Ruth Elgash contributed to this report