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Saturday, 26 January 2008

High Court slams 'kosher' bus lines for ultra-Orthodox

High Court slams 'kosher' bus lines for ultra-Orthodox
Following petition challenging controversial bus lines, court demands
Transportation Ministry review claims. 'It is inconceivable for a driver
not to allow a woman on a bus because she is wearing pants,' says
Justice Ribenstein
Aviram Zino
Justices of the High Court of Justice spoke out strongly against the
'kosher' bus lines serving the haredi community during deliberations on
a petition against them Monday.
The High Court panel, composed of Justice Elyakim Rubenstein, Justice
Salem Jubran, and Justice Yoram Dantziger, began its deliberation by
noting that "even if haredi lines are allowed to operate, the clothing
and gender-separation restrictions in play on them cannot be imposed on
people who object to them."
The justices also noted that a solution to continual harassment problems
on these 'kosher lines' must also be found, be it by training drivers to
defend passengers, or by clearly designating the buses in question as
'kosher'.
The petition against these offending bus lines was brought forward by
the Center for Jewish Pluralism as well as by several women who were
harassed—even injured— on these buses. The High Court Justices were
especially critical of governmental institutions that have arranged for
these special lines for the haredi community.
Justice Rubenstein noted that "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." He suggested that the Transportation Ministry
investigate the matter, a compromise to which the petitioners agreed.
The petitioners furthermore requested that the court examine whether
these 'kosher' bus lines are an actual necessity for the haredi
community. If these lines are ultimately launched, they asked the court
to ensure that those objecting to gender-separation requirements are
also accommodated

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