May 31, 2009

Dorner pulls a haredi tactic out of her hat

Last week a retired Supreme Court Justice discussed the issue of mehadrin buses. In essence, Justice Dorner supported the right for the haredi community to have mehadrin buses, as long as alternative buses were available for people who do not want to ride on the mehadrin buses. As a method of pressuring the Ministry of Transportation to resolve the issue, Justice Dorner called upon the secular public, and everybody else who is against being forced to use mehadrin buses, to get on mehadrin buses and sit in the wrong seats. Women should sit in front, men in back, etc. She said this should be done by groups of people, as individuals would probably not have the strength to withstand the pressure of the people who will scream at them (or worse).

Dorner's call to action is a bit extreme, and the haredi press went to town on it vilifying her for her statements.

The truth is they really misread her, as in general she supported their right to separate transportation even though it goes against all human rights. All she wants is that wherever there is a "mehadrin" line, there should be an alternative as well for people who don't want the "mehadrin" rules.

So, the haredi press and forums all call her anti-haredi for her call to action.

Yet, I seem to recall that signs were plastered all over Jerusalem (and I think in Bnei Brak as well) about half a year ago, by the people running the ocmmittee dealing with the mehadrin buses, calling on haredim to put facts on the ground and whatever bus they get on they should sit in a "mehadrin" style - women in back and men in front. Even on buses that are not mehadrin and are not part of the attempts to make mehadrin.

So, it is ok for them to call on their public to "take over" other lines and implement policy with facts on the ground, yet when other people do the same exact thing, they are suddenly vilified as being anti-haredi and not as liberal as they purport to be.


  1. Rafi,

    As much as I dislike mehadrin bus lines, I think you can't compare the two actions. By sitting "mehadrin-style" on non-mehadrin buses, the chareidim aren't breaking any rules. OTOH, the secularists, by sitting "non-mehadirn style" on mehadrin buses is breaking the rules.

    The Wolf

  2. the rules are self made by a few people. The ministry of transportation has already said, and this was the basis for Justice Rubinstein saying recently that mehadrin buses can be used, that there is no such thing as a mehadrin bus and any such arrangement is implemented by the riders - i.e. we do not well anyone where to sit. If women want to sit in the back and men in front, they do it on their own.

    So a woman getting on the bus and sitting in front is also not breaking any official rule.

  3. this topic is quite passe. lets move on

  4. You could make a case for the hareidi outrage. They created "facts on the ground", which must be respected. Dorner wants to ignore these "facts".

    Of course, the whole myth that "facts on the ground" are worth anything was debunked during the Summer of '05.


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