An Israeli female soldier who refused to take a seat at the back of a bus, as an ultra-Orthodox Jew demanded, was called a whore. Tensions are rising in Jerusalem over the concerted campaign by some Haredim to enforce gender segregation.
When a bus driver told a young woman he “doesn’t let blacks ride on the bus” the natural presumption is the event took place before Rosa Parks made her stand as the first lady of civil rights. The assumption would be wrong as the bus driver in question, Ben Yakar, made his remarks in 2011, and worked for the Egged bus company in Israel. (New York Jewish Week)
The issue of gender segregation in Jerusalem is escalating following thisweeks riots. News com reported that an Haredi ultra-Orthodox Jewish man, Shlomo Fuchs, has been charged with sexual harassment following insulting remarks he made to a young Israeli female soldier who failed to heed his demands that she sit at the back of the bus. He verbally insulted the woman, calling her "whore" in the latest example of Haredim attempts at gender segregation and control of women's modesty.
France 24 reported that extremist Jews are now demanding that posters and advertisements be stripped from the city's walls if they feature women. Women and girls are enduring insults and jeers if they fail to dress modestly enough to suit the taste of the Haredim.
Authorities are now standing up and condemning the increased campaign to segregate the sexes. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the practice represented "intolerable barbarism" AFP reported, whilst Israel's chief military rabbi, Brigadier General Rafi Peretz, has condemned discrimination against women as immoral.
As the ten percent of ultra-orthodox Jews attempt to force their beliefs on all, increasing opposition is becoming evident. The government has now decided to stamp out the pervasive campaign which heralds a return to the dark ages for women.