Nazareth District Court Judge Jonathan Abraham ruled on Sunday that any form of gender segregation would be banned at the appearance of Hasidic singer Motty Steinmetz at Afula City Park on Wednesday of this week.
The petition was filed by the Women's Lobby, which strove to prevent gender segregation at the event, despite the fact that it is specifically intended for the religious and haredi communities in the city, most of whom will not attend events with mixed gender seating.
The Afula Municipality argued that it did not intend to enforce gender segregation at the event. However, the court rejected this position and responded to the Women's Lobby's requirement to issue a ban against gender separation at the event.
"I forbid segregation on the grounds of gender, race or any other category during the event. Each person who attends the event will be allowed at his or her discretion, to be at any place at the event. Any ushers, security guards, or any other authorities at the event are prohibited from carrying out any segregation based on gender."
The judge added, "I instruct the security guards and ushers (of the Afula Municipality and the municipal community centers) to prevent any attempt to carry out gender segregation, to thwart any attempt to place signs indicating such segregation or checkpoints or other means, etc., and to involve the Israeli police present at the site in if any official attempts to make such a separation. The intent of the above statements is not to prevent anyone in the audience from staying at a certain area of the event out of free choice."
The judge also directed the police to prevent gender segregation during the event. "I instruct the Israeli police that its representatives be present to secure the event and to assist anyone who turns to them with a complaint of gender segregation. They should prevent such segregation, and remove anyone who tries to carry out gender segregation at the event."