American Jewish organizations are justly proud of Israel’s strong democratic values and its legal and ethical commitment to inclusion and equality.
Indeed, our community has rallied to oppose those who seek to demonize Israel and distort its democratic foundation and record.
With these fundamental values in mind, our community has promoted enhanced Israeli government attention to issues such as religious pluralism, Ethiopian absorption, Israeli Arabs and African migrants.
U.S. Jews must now convey to Israeli leaders our deep concern at ever-increasing efforts to impose gender segregation in public secular places, including public buses, sidewalks, roadways, buildings and government events and convocations.
- Recognizing Israel’s commitment to gender equality and efforts to advance the status of women, American Jewish organizations must make clear to Israel leaders their opposition to forced gender segregation in public, secular places and urge that there be effective enforcement of laws that forbid gender segregation in public secular spaces in Israel. Israeli law upholds equality and bars discrimination. The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the practice of forced gender segregation on public buses is illegal.
- Enforced gender segregation in public spaces is inconsistent with Israel’s founding principles of equality for all regardless of “race, creed, or sex.” Every person, regardless of gender, deserves equal access and use of public services and public secular spaces.
- As Israel’s detractors use every opportunity to defame the Jewish state, it is incumbent on Israel and Israel’s supporters to vigorously work to maintain, enhance and defend Israel’s democratic integrity, and ensure equality and protections for all.