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Woman forces bus to halt after she resists an ultra orthodox demand to sit in the back despite the outlawing of such practices.

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An outraged Tanya Rosenblit takes to Facebook to express her discontent at having been told that she could only remain in an Israeli bus as long as she sat in the back. What’s going on? Is this segregated apartheid aka Alabama of the 1950’s?

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been forced to come forward publicly and address an incident that happened over the weekend in the Israeli town of Ashod that puts square into focus the continuing practice of gender segregation. This despite the fact that the instigating incident that led Tanya Rosenblit to take to Facebook has already been banned for the last year in Israel. Seems old habits and attitudes die hard…

It all happened when Tanya Rosenblit a 28 year old woman boarded a bus in the town of Ashod, an ultra orthodox enclave within Israel. Having sat down she was soon approached by a man bearing the signature of an ultra orthodox Jewish individual and asked to make her way to the back of the bus,where she was told as a woman was where she belonged.

That’s when a police officer was called to intervene, and unfortunately for Tanya Rosenblit things only got worse:

dailykos: When an officer arrived and approached Rosenblit, his first words weren’t empathic notes of comfort, nor were they chagrined articulations of an apology. Instead, the officer asked if she might, you know, respect the man’s wishes and move to the back.

Respect the man’s wishes and move to the back? This despite the fact that practices forcing women towards the back of the bus have been banned for over a year now.

According to her facebook posting, Tanya Rosenblit is said to have responded in the following way:

I answered that I respected them enough by wearing modest cloths, because I knew I was going to an Orthodox neighborhood, but I wouldn’t be humiliated by those who can’t even respect their own mothers and wives.

Which begs the question what is it about ultra orthodox faiths (and perhaps many faiths, including the Muslim faith) that have put such a low premium on women and continues with their mores and adherence to tradition that on occasion served to humiliate women and on some level humiliate a modern nation that chooses to behave in a degenerative way. Indeed one ought to respect the rights of men and women as equals, even if various vocal and aggressive elements insist otherwise.

Perhaps it’s time for Mr Netanyahu stopped turning his back and stood up to such bad behavior, the nation’s self respect and adherence to human rights and laws demands it.

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  • Anonymous

    Corrections to your article: Ashdod is hardly an “ultra-Orthodox enclave”. Like other cities, it does have ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, but they are far from being a majority of the city of Ashdod. Ashdod’s majority is made up of secular Mizrahim (Middle Eastern Jews, mostly from North Africa) and former Soviet Union immigrants from the 1990s.

    Ms. Rosenblit did NOT stop the bus–an ultra-Orthodox idiot saw her sitting in the front of the bus and held the doors open, refusing to move until she did. Ms. Rosenblit rightly refused to do so. The bus driver called the police only after other passengers complained the delay would make them late for work, instead of calling them immediately.

    There’s no excuse for the police officer’s behavior, unless he was also religious (although not ultra-Orthodox).

    All I can say is that the guy who started it all is lucky that it wasn’t my wife, who would have told him to go f**k himself in no uncertain terms, with my full agreement.