MK Matan Kahana
MK Matan KahanaHaim Tuitto

MK Matan Kahana (formerly of the Yamina party) has criticized outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid for comments he made regarding the demand of the Religious Zionism and United Torah Judaism parties to anchor gender separation at public religious events and services in law, and prevent it from being banned as discriminatory.

Earlier on Sunday, the Israel Hayom newspaper reported that the two parties, one national-religious and the other haredi, were demanding such a clause to be inserted into the coalition agreements with Netanyahu's Likud party, following years of attempts by members of the judiciary and feminist and secularizing lobbyists to prevent any public event or area from being divided according to gender, even when the event, area, or service is targeted specifically toward a religious or haredi public.

Following the report, PM Lapid wrote on Twitter that, "While in Iran, brave women are fighting for their rights, in Israel Smotrich and his hardalim [haredi-national-religious] are trying to push women back behind the barricades and to enact gender-based separation. Where is the Likud? Why are they silent? It's not Iran here."

"There are communities here for whom gender-based separation is a way of life," responded MK Kahana. "Refusing to allow these communities to hold public events with gender-based separation is coercion, plain and simple. No Israeli citizen is obligated to participate in these event or to learn in such institutions where men and women learn separately. Those who want to integrate haredim into Israeli society must not force their way of life upon others."