Beit Shemesh Mayor Threatened With Jail

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The Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal of Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul against an injunction of a Beit Shemesh court in June to remove signs put up by locals which command women to dress modestly or restrict them from sidewalks next to certain schools or botei medrash. Abutbul was to do this within thirty days or pay a fine of $2860 a day thereafter until the signs were removed.

Abutbul told the Supreme Court that despite putting up security cameras, the signs were replaced as fast as he could remove them.

Justice David Mintz of the High Court said in reply that if necessary, police should be on guard day and night to prevent the signs from being replaced, and a battalion of police should be on hand if necessary to stop women from being blocked out of any place in town. If the mayor failed to heed the order, Mintz said, the next step would be to throw him into jail for contempt of court.

City workers thereupon removed six giant signs out of a total of eight in three parts of the city at the cost of $14,000, only to discover that the first sign had already been replaced. The project was then halted due to disturbances.

This proves, Abutbul argued, that responsibility for removing the signs should be transferred from the city to the police.

The struggle began in 2013 when the Israel Religious Action Center, the advocacy arm of Israel’s Reform movement, filed a suit against the municipality on behalf of four women.

{Matzav.com Israel News}

9 COMMENTS

  1. So how can the Supreme Court stop people from putting up any sign on private property?It’s not expressing any inciteful or hatred .Why aren’t there counter lawsuits to stop the Supreme Court ‘s dictatorship and suppression of free speech ?

  2. Such chutzpah! What does the justice dept think,he has to put a policeman on every corner? All he asks is that people should respect others, as they themselves would want to be respected , and not walk by betay Knesset and yeshivot in a disrespectful manner. In other words respect others. And how does he request that, with a sign? And they threaten to put him in jail! Such Chutzpah! Din will come!

  3. The sign is off the road and sitting on the inner corner of an apt. building. It’s not all the easy to spot. The neighborhood is all Chassidim so anyone who might not like it would be passing through via car on the way to Beit Shemesh Ramat Aleph, which is a Modern Orthodox and Charedi neighborhood. It just says please be modest. It’s so harmless. And anybody who will see it is at least somewhat religious anyway. This whole thing happened because one Modern Orthodox woman took the case to court. It’s not because the sign offends legions of people, but rather just one woman who will lose her olam haba for going to secular court.

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