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Top rabbi: Gender segregated buses go against Jewish Law

A leading Israeli rabbi condemned Ultra-Orthodox gender segregation on public buses Tuesday, saying that such policies “destroy the foundations of the Torah.”


An indictment was filed Thursday against Jerusalem resident, an ultra-Orthodox man who spit,hurled sexist slurs at a female soldier on a public bus in the capital, after she refused his demand to move to the back of the bus. The Orthodox called her a 'Shiksa' (slut/prostitute in Yiddish) and was arrested by the police for doing so.
The indictment follows a warning issued by Israeli authorities saying they would not tolerate the exclusion of women from the public sphere or any acts of violence towards women. State Prosecutor Moshe Lador stressed that "the prosecution will work with the police to bring this radical phenomenon of haredi extremism to an end."

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Israel's citizens should not be afraid to file complaints, adding: "It's the most important thing right now. Once complaints are filed an investigation will begin and indictments will follow."


Published: 12.29.11

An indictment was filed Thursday against Jerusalem resident Shlomo Fuchs, 44, an ultra-Orthodox man who hurled sexist slurs at a female soldier on a public bus in the capital.



Police officials said Fuchs' behavior was unruly, and that he sexually harassed the soldier, Doron Matalon, by humiliating her and making sexual remarks.




The indictment follows a warning issued by Israeli authorities saying they would not tolerate the exclusion of women from the public sphere or any acts of violence towards women. State Prosecutor Moshe Lador stressed that "the prosecution will work with the police to bring this radical phenomenon of haredi extremism to an end."




Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Israel's citizens should not be afraid to file complaints, adding: "It's the most important thing right now. Once complaints are filed an investigation will begin and indictments will follow."

The Jerusalem police on Wednesday arrested Fuchs for calling Doron Matalon, the female soldier, a "slut" after she refused to sit at the back of an Egged bus travelling from the Neve Yaakov neighborhood to the Central Command base in Jerusalem.



Another female passenger who was approaching the front of the bus in order to pay the driver was told by Fuchs that "a woman shouldn't pass through the front of the bus to pay." He then demanded she return to the back of the bus.




Matalon said, "I wanted to make room for her, but a man sitting nearby said to her: 'Why are you at the front of the bus? You're a woman.' He looked at me and asked: 'You too, why are you here?'" Matalon responded: "Women are not restricted to the back of the bus."



"I told him that just as he doesn't want to see my face, I don't want to see his, and that's when he called me a 'slut, shiksa (a disrespectful term in Yiddish for a non-Jewish woman).'"



Matalon added that Fuchs yelled: "Slut, slut, slut. You have no respect. You're standing among yeshiva students and it's shameful."





She then recounted that Egged bus company employees would not allow Fuchs to get off the bus until police arrived.




"I told him I was just as Jewish as he is. I alerted the bus employee as yeshiva students were crowding all around me. It's happened to me before, when I was shoved off a bus because I refused to sit in the back."



Fuchs was arrested by the police, and during his interrogation he admitted to calling Matalon a "slut", explaining that the slur was a proper response to "her provocative behavior."












Top Israeli rabbi: Gender segregated buses go against Jewish Law -

A leading Israeli rabbi condemned gender segregation on public buses Tuesday, saying that such policies “destroy the foundations of the Torah.”

In his weekly column for the religious newspaper B’Sheva, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed said that Jewish law makes a clear distinction between “what is required and what is optional”, and that gender segregation on public buses hurts the “proper family order.”




Melamed also stated that gender segregation is appropriate only during when performing “public acts”, and said that riding the bus is considered a “private act.”

Moreover, the rabbi added that there is no need to add new laws regarding modesty, stating that former rabbis were able to create a modest society with “respectable distances between men and women” and that any attempt to prevent interactions between the sexes may “only give rise to unwanted urges.”

Melamed's comments come a day after thousands of Israelis amassed near the Orot girl's school in Beit Shemesh on to protest gender segregation in a city that has become a symbol for the struggle against religious extremism.










http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/top-israeli-rabbi-gender-segregated-buses-go-against-jewish-law-1.404200



http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4168565,00.html


Photos:

* Doron Matalon, the IDF soldier which refused the demand by the Ultra-Orthodox to move to the back of the bus, and by that joined the girl from Beit Shemesh, and Tania from Ashdod, as a female symbol in the fight against religious radicals.

* An Ultra Orthodox woman from Ashdod which also refuse to the Ultra-Orthodox men demand to sit in the back of the bus.

* Shlomo Fuchs in court on Thursday, after being arrested for demanding the IDF female to move to the back of the bus and spit her.


Added: Dec-29-2011 Occurred On: Dec-29-2011
By: aydeo
In:
Other Middle East
Tags: Top rabbi, gender segregation, public buses, female soldier
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