Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – Israel’s High Court of Justice has slammed ‘kosher’ bus lines for ultra-Orthodox Jews (aka Haredi) that force women to sit in the back or ban those who are “immodestly clad” or wearing pants.
A petition against these offending bus lines was brought forward in early 2007 by a group of women led by writer Naomi Ragen and by the Center for Jewish Pluralism.
“A Haredi man shouted at me telling me to get in the back. I felt humiliated and the bus driver did not utter a word,” Ms Ragen said.
According to the Court, “even if Haredi lines are allowed to operate, clothing and gender-separation restrictions cannot be imposed on people who object to them.”
For Justice Rubenstein, quoted in Yedioth Ahronoth, “it is inconceivable for a driver not to allow a woman on a bus because she is wearing pants and is not dressed modestly enough.”
The court told the Transportation Ministry to investigate the matter and find a compromise either by requiring bus drivers to protect passengers or make sure that “kosher” only buses are clearly identified.