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Thursday, February 13, 2020 

Israeli Railways system commits gender discrimination for sake of Haredis in prayer

The Israel Railways system stupidly gave Yediot Ahronot ammunition to use by allowing gender discrimination in a public transportation vehicle:
A Jerusalem woman is suing Israel Railways after she says she was asked to move carriages to accommodate male ultra-Orthodox passengers who wished to pray on the train.

According to Melitz, in December 2018 she was on a train from Jerusalem to Ben-Gurion Airport when she was approached an member of staff who said her presence was a distraction to the men.

Melitz says she declined on the grounds that the train was a public space, yet the staff member repeated his request, and then joined the Haredi men in their prayer.
If this is correct, it sounds like the staffer practically agreed with their embarrassing belief system. Such employees don't belong.
"I was shocked," says Melitz. "The shock was soon replaced by hurt that my mere presence as a woman was considered a disturbance, and the only solution was to move me to another carriage."

Melitz filed a complaint with Israel Railways with the help of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) organization, and asked that the company issue clear instructions to all employees regarding their duty to treat all passengers equally, regardless of gender, and prohibit them from making women move because of their gender.

Melitz also sought financial compensation for the discrimination she reportedly experienced.

For a year, Melitz received no response from Israel Railways regarding her complaint, and subsequently filed a suit at Jerusalem District Court, demanding financial compensation of NIS 66,000 (approx. $20,000).

"It's absurd that a woman who just wants to ride the train is asked by an employee to move to a different carriage since her very existence is a disturbance to men's prayers," says Miri Nahmias, an attorney at the IMPJ legal advocacy arm, the Israel Religious Action Center.

"It's hard to believe that in 2020 we still need to fight for our right to be present in a public space."
I think the next time any employee in any transportation system pulls a stunt like that, the victims should press charges with the police. It damages the image of religion along with public transit.

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