Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Demonstration against Segregation

Last week, I attended another demonstration against the segregated bus lines. (On principle, I refuse to call them “mehadrin” lines or anything else but what they are: segregated.) Here are several photos:

Some of the signs, stating that segregated buses are a violation of halakhah (Jewish religious law) and that in Israel, we do not require any particular group to sit in the back of the bus, so why demand it of women?

Demonstration 8

An exhibit at the demonstration. The black plastic chairs are, of course, meant to symbolize seats on a public bus. The signs read: “For Sephardim only,” “For secular people only,” “For Arabs only,” “For Ethiopians only,” “For non-Jews only,” “For homosexuals only,” “For women only.”

Demonstration 9

The exhibit, photographed at another angle:

Demonstration 10

When I watched the exhibit being prepared, I asked one of the other demonstrators, “Who’s the seat in front for?” The answer came back, “For normal people!” I cracked up in that instant... but the message wasn’t lost on me, nor, evidently, was it lost on the people who passed by in their cars and honked in support.

Here, a “normal person” (in other words, a man) sits in the front seat of the bus, and everyone else must sit behind him.

Demonstration 11

1 comment:

  1. Oh these make me so angry too! I have never understood why Egged, a public city bus line is allowed to segregate. I accidentally got on a "mehadrin" bus on Strauss one afternoon with a migraine, after waiting a long time. I was the first person on the bus since the drive had been taking a break. It was not until others started boarding that I learned what kind of bus I'd gotten on and a middle-aged Hareidi man told me I had to move. I was not aware of the "special" bus but I argued that it was a city bus and I had paid my fare. My Hebrew is still not so hot so I didn't feel I could hold my ground, and after the bus driver told me to move I did - only for fear of being kicked off the bus and having to wait for another one. Kol ha Kavod for the demonstration!

    I have to say since then, I was on one coming back from Betar Ilit with my husband. I intentionally sat in the front, next to my husband and would not move. I was not sitting alone, my husband was with me, I'd paid my fare so I didn't budge. I got a small bit of satisfaction from that, I let them move away from me if they were uncomfortable. :)


Comments are moderated. If you're a spammer, don't waste your keystrokes. If you're a real, honest-to-goodness commenter, welcome!