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Friday, January 15, 2016 

Another legal petition to remove illegal "modesty signs" in Beit Shemesh

The case of the illegally posted sexist signs in Beit Shemesh is going to court again:
The infamous modesty signs in the city of Beit Shemesh are once again in the spotlight, as the next legal battle against them is poised to commence.

A magistrate’s court ruled last year that the Beit Shemesh municipality was negligent in not removing them and ordered the city to pay compensation to four women who filed a law suit over the issue.

The court did not have the authority to order the signs removed, however, so a new suit was filed at the Jerusalem District Court requesting it to order the notices removed. A hearing on the case has been set for next week.

For several years, prominent signs have been on display in haredi neighborhoods of Beit Shemesh, placed by extremely conservative haredi synagogues and communal organizations, telling women to dress modestly in the particular area of the city where the signs were posted and not to tarry outside certain places, particularly synagogues.

Four women living in Beit Shemesh requested that the municipality remove the signs, but they were not taken down, resulting in a law suit filed by the Israel Religious Action Center, the legal arm of the Reform Movement in Israel, on behalf of the four women.
Honestly, this is something positive that the Reform movement is doing, and Orthodox movements who don't join in and help with this suit are missing a lot of potential to show responsibility. There's signposts like these in some Haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem too, and they have no place in sane society either. This lawsuit is something the Beit Shemesh mayor throughly deserves for his failure to get rid of the signs.

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