Beit Shemesh ´helpless´ fighting women´s exclusion (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Noam (Dabul) Dvir Published: 07.04.12, 23:56)
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Municipality admits cannot handle ´complex issue´ by itself after
woman files police complaint over sign ordering women to avoid
sidewalk frequented by synagogue goers
The issue of women´s exclusion is troubling the city of Beit Shemesh
once again. A sign ordering women to avoid walking on a pavement at
the Chazon Ish street has been removed at one woman´s insistence.
Earlier on Wednesday, Beit Shemesh resident Nili Phillip filed a
police complaint after noticing the sign. "The sign resembles one
that was posted on the street in the past," Phillip said.
She is claiming that the sign was posted against the law and is proof
that the city is ruled by anarchy. "This may come to bloodshed," she
warned. "There is a direct correlation to recent attacks on women,"
she added referring to an incident where a woman was pelted with a
stone for dressing immodestly.
Phillip herself was a victim of a similiar attack. "Women ask me why
I care about the sign as it´s a haredi district. My reply is that
this is a main road leading to a shopping center. I once rode my
bicycle near there and got a stone to the head by a haredi man," she
recounted. "On other occasions I was spat on and name called."
Mickey Gitzin, director-general of the Free Israel movement believes
there has been no change in the fight against women´s exclusion in
Israel. "It´s unfortunate to see that Israel´s top politicians use
the issue as a means to get headlines while no change was seen on the
ground," he said. "Nevertheless, we have no intention of giving up
and we shall keep fighting."
Several hours after Phillip´s complaint was filed, the Beit Shemesh
Municipality said in response, "The city has removed the sign many
times. Each such step sparked riots and disorderly conduct. The city
cannot handle this complex issue by itself. We call on the police and
other law enforcement authorities to take action and end this
The Municipality eventually removed the sign as well as another sign
posted further down the road with the police´s help. (Copyright 2012
© Yedioth Internet 07/04/12)
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