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
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.”
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Haredi women moving up / Yifat Glick
Haredi women sick of sitting in back of segregated buses, file a petition with High Court to change situation
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.