Supreme Court tells haredi political party to include women on list

The High Court is demanding that Agudath Israel add women to its lists for the Knesset and municipalities.

By: World Israel News Staff

A panel of judges at the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem on Tuesday ruled that the Agudath Israel political party, which represents the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel, must include women on their lists for the Knesset and municipal elections by the beginning of September. Otherwise, the panel said, they will be forced to issue a legal ruling.

Agudath Israel has a clause in its party regulations that bans women from running for office on their list, as the community’s customs and rabbinical leadership do not allow it.

The judges were responding to a petition submitted by Tamar Ben-Porat, a secular woman, which was supported by Nivcharot, an ultra-Orthodox women’s movement.

“This is a historic decision,” Nivcharot founder Esty Shushan told Israel’s Channel 10 news. “We feel something big happened today.”

Nivcharot representative Estee Rieder-Indursky told i24 news that symbolic victories were also important. “For us it is not 2018. It is 1918,” she said. “We are in the middle of the suffragist fight.”