'This isn't a court ruling - its anti-religious trolling'

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich excoriates court over ruling that barred haredi concert from having gender-separate seating.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich
Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich (United Right) excoriated an Israeli court Monday over its decision barring gender-separate seating at a haredi concert in northern Israel Sunday.

“This isn’t a court ruling – its trolling,” Smotrich said Monday morning during an interview with Reshet Bet Monday morning.

The minister said the ruling ignored statues which clearly permit mixed gender accomodations.

“There is an explicit article in the anti-discrimination law regarding goods and services that permits events to be held with gender separation, and this ruling doesn’t even mention it or relate to it at all.”

Smotrich argued that, despite the ruling’s claim to the contrary, the government had never ruled against gender separation, saying that the 2013 decision cited by the court only established a special team to study the issue of gender separation, adding that its findings were never adopted.

“Let’s make things clear. There is no government decision from 2013 – there was a decision to form a team led by Limor Livnat. The report by the special inter-ministerial team was never adopted by a government decision. In 2013 I was neither a Knesset Member nor a member of the government. This whole [case] is an attempt to force upon the religious public things which are against its beliefs and lifestyle.”

On Sunday, Nazareth District Court Judge Jonathan Abraham ruled that no form of gender separation would be permitted at an upcoming concert by Hasidic singer Motty Steinmetz at Afula City Park.

The concert, which was to be held on Wednesday, was subsequently cancelled as a result of the ruling.