10,000 women’s rights protesters to march through the streets of ultra-Orthodox city

Anti-judicial reform and women’s rights protesters to hold large march throughout B’nei Brak.

By World Israel News Staff

Left-wing activists, including those demonstrating for women’s rights, received police permission to hold a protest march through the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) city of Bnei Brak this Thursday.

Organizers claim they are holding the demonstration after a number of incidents involving religiously motivated discrimination against women on public transportation, but the event is funded and organized by several anti-judicial reform umbrella groups.

The Kaplan Force and High-Tech protest groups, who have organized demonstrations against the current government, are supporting the women’s protest.

According to Hebrew-language media, approximately 10,000 people are expected to participate in the demonstration.

“We are not silent anymore! We are not silent about draft evasion, we are not silent about sending our girls to sit in the back on buses, we are not silent about chauvinism and the exclusion of women from the centers of power,” the organizers of the event said in a media statement.

“With kindness, determination and a lot of female solidarity, we say to the Haredi leadership and the government: This is it. We are here.”

The march is slated to take place throughout major streets in Bnei Brak, ending at a central square in the town where a large stage will be erected for public speeches.

In a previous statement, organizers of the march issued a blanket statement blaming religiously observant Jews for discrimination and claiming that the community is conspiring to oppress secular women.

“They want to throw us into the back seat of the bus, they demand our daughters cover up, they fired all the women who were CEOs of government offices, they want only us to be worried mothers of active-duty soldiers,” activists said.

“They want to take the women back hundreds of years… we will not agree.”

Public sentiment against the Haredi community has become increasingly negative in recent months, on the heels of mainstream media reports and social media scandals that paint observant Jews with a broad brush.

Recently, a Channel 13 news reporter was called out for likely fabricating a story about being asked to move on an airplane by a Haredi man, a story that quickly went viral and fanned the flames of resentment against the community.

Several months ago, anti-judicial reform protesters targeted Bnei Brak for a disruptive demonstration as a way to punish residents for voting for ultra-Orthodox parties that are now in the ruling coalition.

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While some residents shot fireworks at protesters, the vast majority of Bnei Brak locals respected the demonstration, with some even offering activists food and drink. One left-wing protester was moved to tears by the kind gesture.

Some political commentators have noted left-wing activists’ willingness to accommodate Islamic religious values, including modest dress, while being vehemently opposed to those traditions in the observant Jewish community.