The hareidi Rabbinical Council on Transportation issued an angry press release Monday, demanding that hareidim be allowed once again to operate private bus lines. The statement comes in the wake of a leftist-instigated media frenzy over gender segregation in buses.
The council says that the "mehadrin" bus line arrangement in which women sit in the back of the bus is purely voluntary, and is carried out by women who wish to maintain their dignity in public transport, without coercion.
"We are witnessing an antidemocratic campaign of incitement that is timed and funded by various funds and bodies, which seek through intentional forceful provocations to besmirch an entire populace. We can only wonder about the widespread campaign that has arisen, although these lines have been operating smoothly for more than 20 years."
The rabbis demanded an unbiased investigation of the event.
Hareidi Radio Kol Chai claimed in its nightly news roundup, that after "famous Rabbanim" expressed the wish for private buses, five hareidi millionaires had donated enough money for private bus lines in hareidi neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Ashdod and Beit Shemesh as well as some intercity lines. They claimed the buses would have a box for donations, but that they would be free to those who do not choose to donate. The separation on the private buses would be mandatory.