As the American right wing pretends that American cities have been turned into “no-go” zones that enforce Sharia law by Muslims, an Israeli court is taking steps to dismantle a real example of such a thing that has been established by Haredi extremists.
The Beit Shemesh Magistrate’s Court ruled on Sunday that the Beit Shemesh Municipality must remove prominent signs put up in central locations in the city warning women to dress modestly and not to linger in certain places, and awarded the four plaintiffs a combined total of NIS 60,000 in damages.
There have been signs on display in haredi (ultra-Orthodox) neighborhoods in the city for several years now, placed by staunchly conservative haredi synagogues and communal organizations, telling women to dress modestly in the particular area of the city where the signs were posted.
Some of the signs also instructed women not to tarry outside certain synagogues and other spots in haredi neighborhoods.
Sounds a lot like Sharia law, doesn’t it?
Judge David Gideoni ruled that the municipality’s refusal to remove the signs severely harmed the rights of women in the city, and that the municipality should compensate each of the plaintiffs NIS 15,000 for the distress that had been caused to them by this failure.
“The signs were designed to restrict women from using public spaces simply because they were women… and constitute a severe injury to the rights of women to equality and respect. The signs are also humiliating,” Gideoni said in his ruling.
“The signs create the expectation that they should be adhered and are likely to create the expectation or understanding that the area where the sign is placed belongs, in effect, to one specific population group in which its norms are applicable.
“This expectation is likely in certain circumstances to encourage and assist the creation of a social atmosphere in which one could interpret the signs as obligating a person to obey them and even to bring about enforcement activities, sometimes through violence,” the judge said.
The city’s response is absurd:
The Beit Shemesh Municipality said in response that it had repeatedly taken the signs down but that they were replaced on each occasion, adding that taking the signs down had led riots.
“It is not within the power of the municipal security to deal with this complicated issue on an operational level, so we turned to the Israel Police to enforce the law.
“Unfortunately, the court did not manage to understand the complicated reality in Beit Shemesh which we are dealing with, and did not accept the claim of the municipality that concern for the public safety and the harm to the fabric of the delicate relations between different population groups in Beit Shemesh outweighed the immediate and repeated need to remove the signs,” it said.
You’re the government. If one group of people is oppressing and committing violence against others, it’s your fucking job to stop them. And if they riot over that, it’s your job to arrest and prosecute them. That’s the primary reason we have governments, for crying out loud.