'Radical lifestyle.' Free Israel rally
Photo: Ran Keren
Woman fighting 'kosher' bus lines harassed over the phone
Volunteer coordinator for movement campaigning against 'haredi coercion' in Jerusalem says cursed by people 'with heavy Yiddish accent'

The volunteer coordinator for a movement campaigning against Jerusalem bus lines instituting separation between men and women has received dozens of harassing phone calls over the past few days, Ynet reported Thursday.


Avital Livni of the Free Israel movement has been running an intensive campaign against what she calls "religious coercion" and a "haredi takeover." As part of the campaign, Livni published her phone number on Facebook and flyers to recruit activists and supporters.


The result, Livni said, was dozens of phone calls from people impersonating prospective activists who tried to find out more information on the group's activity. These conversations, she said, usually deteriorated to cursing by people "with a heavy Yiddish accent" at the other end of the line.


However, Livni said, not all ultra-Orthodox Jews are opposed to the campaign against the so-called 'kosher' bus lines and the separation between women and men on the streets of the capital's haredi neighborhoods. One couple phoned to commend the movement's activity after a woman who walked "on the wrong side of the street" in Mea Shearim was attacked. The haredi couple said many of their friends were also against the separation, but could not voice their opposition in public.


Miki Gitzin, director-general of the Free Israel movement told Ynet, "The violence we are witnessing shows how important our work is these days. We cannot tolerate a situation whereby a minority forces its radical lifestyles on the free majority in Israel."



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