NGO slams segregated shelters at rabbinical court

Hiddush, an NGO promoting religious freedom in Israel, denounces the segregated shelters in an Ashdod rabbinical court.

“This case proves how important it is to advance legislation under which discrimination against women in the public sphere will be a criminal offense,” Rabbi Uri Regev, the head of Hiddush, says in a statement.

Regev sounds a call for civil marriage in Israel, which would allow Israelis to stay away from the “dark” institution of the rabbinical court.

“The signs in the rabbinical court [shelters] are further proof that the rabbinical courts are a discriminatory and hostile place for women, and how crucial it is to create an alternative, [namely] civil marriage and divorce. In that way, the majority of the public, which loathes the rabbinical courts’ treatment of women, could avoid any contact with this dark institution.”

Regev says the move indicates “how distant the Haredi fanaticism has grown from Judaism, in which the sanctity of life trumps all, and certainly [comes] above the obsession with modesty.”

The case in question was the subject of heated debate in the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense as well, when pictures of the court’s gender-segregated bomb shelter sparked fury on social media.

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