Hundreds surrounded the Rabbinical Building on King David Street in Tel Aviv as part of the “Day of Disruption” protests against the judicial reform.
Moran Zer Katzenstein, protest leader for Building Alternatives, rallied the crowd with her megaphone: “Men and women are standing shoulder to shoulder to say no to the court that wants to expand its influence. We’re here to tell them they won’t take us backward – and they won’t make us Iran.”
“Shame. Shame. Shame,” the crowd chanted.
“Men and women are standing shoulder to shoulder to say no to the court that wants to expand its influence. We’re here to tell them they won’t take us backward – and they won’t make us Iran.”Moran Zer Katzenstein
Katzenstein called for a court that would prevent economic catastrophe for women following divorce, stating that the court seeks to subvert their rights.
"We have to save our status as women in this society so we don’t find ourselves waking up in Iran,” said Ayelet Raz, who works for a psychological clinic nearby. Raz comes back and forth from work to the protests in between patients. She’s been protesting since the beginning, and given the pace of the latest legislation, is afraid of violence emerging.
“I don’t understand how people can stay at home,” she said. “Very soon it will be too late. You will ask yourself: ‘Where are we?’’”
Dr. Donna Roth, a rehab psychologist who also works nearby, said that to be standing alongside religious women – Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox – gives her hope for their future. “To be here among thousands of people who are fed up and recognize the oppression that is built into the government – it gives me a little hope. We are not going to give up.”
Incidences and statements on the rabbinical court protest
A protester sprayed an inscription on the wall of the Rabbinical Court, writing "shame." Police detained her for questioning, on suspicion of vandalizing real estate.
Jerusalem and Tradition Minister Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) said, "The left-wing protests are again crossing a line and are marking and hunting anything with a spark of Judaism, with no connection to the judicial reform.
Labor Party leader MK Merav Michaeli expressed her support for the protests outside the religious courts.
"Do the rabbinical judges feel under siege when protesters block their entrance for half an hour? Now try to imagine how a woman feels when you block her freedom for years."
Eliav Breuer and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.