(from Meretz USA’s new “Take Action” campaign” – click here to go straight to our website)
We’re proud that Israel is the most democratic state in the Middle East. But we also know it might not stay that way if Israel’s supporters take that for granted!
Recent incidents of religious extremism and intolerance towards women have made many Israelis anxious that a process of “fundamentalization” is endangering their country.
Israel’s ultra-orthodox community has been using its muscle to deprive women of their rightful role in the public sphere. Just this summer, ultra-orthodox pressure caused the Knesset to silence women’s voices, when the female members of the Knesset choir were banned from singing their own national anthem, HaTikva!
The Israel Women’s Network protested this “expulsion of women”, and called on Dalia Itzik to make sure this would never happen again.
Segregation between men and women has become a growing practice on Israel’s state-licensed and publicly-funded buses. On more and more routes, women are forced to enter and sit at the back of the bus, and have been verbally and physically abused when they refuse to comply, or insist on dressing “immodestly”.
Meretz Knesset member Zehava Galon has called this situation “degrading to women” and “crass discrimination”.
Only Israelis can decide how their country is run. But as friends of Israel, who care deeply about the country’s future and who stand for equality, we need to let Israel know where we stand.
If you support the promise made by Israel’s Declaration of Independence – complete equality irrespective of religion, race or sex – click here now and ask the Speaker of Israel’s Parliament to help defend women’s rights.