MK (Likud) Tzipi Hotovely, who chairs the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, is working against the mehadrin lines in Jerusalem. Ms. Avital Feldman, who is a leader in the battle against mehadrin lines, states the response supporting their opposition is encouraging. She explains there are a growing number of complaints from women who have fallen victim to abuse on buses on which passengers demand they sit in the rear.
Hundreds of supporters, opponents of the mehadrin lines, are expected to take part in a kenos in Hebrew University in Yerushalayim on Monday. Feldman other anti-mehadrin activists organized the event. A panel will address attendees. Panel members include former High Court Justice Dalia Dorner, Jerusalem Councilwoman Rachel Azariya, feminist Dr. Orit Kamir and Prof. Alon Harel, a member of the law faculty.
Organizers are however disappointed that Transportation Minister (Likud) Yisrael Katz has declined an invitation. They explain his office released a laconic explanation, that he receives too many invitations to attend all the functions.
Lending strong support to the opposition is MK Hotovely, who explains as a shomer Shabbat Jew; there is no halachic basis for segregation on buses, which she insists is unacceptable in the 21st century from a social and religious perspective.
Israel’s Reform Movement is also joining the renewed opposition after limited satisfaction from the High Court of Justice over recent years. The renewed opposition to the mehadrin lines however has sparked a rejuvenated effort from the Reform Movement.
The stepped-up opposition is timed to precede the recommendation of the Transportation Committee fact-finding committee which is scheduled to release its report on the matter.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)