The judges of the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday evening that the Nazareth District Court exceeded its authority by canceling a ruling that a concert could not be held in in Afula with gender segregation.
The ruling was delivered in the midst of the concert, which was attended by thousands despite attempts by the women’s lobby to prevent it.
Attorney Yisrael Bach, the Shas party’s legal advisor, said after the hearing that “the Supreme Court has once again proved its position that equality stops when it comes to haredim and, using procedural reasons, erased an important legal achievement that was achieved today in favor of the haredi public.”
Attorney Eliezer Ruddin, representing Shas MK Moshe Arbel, added that “the court said no to the fundamental rights of the haredi public. The court perpetuates secular extremism and interference with values that are important to minority communities.”
Shas chairman, Minister Aryeh Deri, spoke before the concert began and said, “Common sense prevailed. Those who tried to dictate our way of life lost today. I congratulate today the courageous judge who brought back the dignity and common sense.”
He added, “May those women who barely represent themselves and who are funded by the New Israel Fund hear the sounds of joy here. The whole purpose of that petition is only to provoke. It was worth all this noise so that the people of Israel could cherish the mayor of Afula for his decency.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Nazareth District Court decided to accept the Shas petition against the women’s lobby and canceled a previous directive prohibiting a performance with separate seating for the haredi community.
The judge ruled that the municipality will decide how the show by singers Moti Steinmetz and Chaim Israel would take place.
He recommended to adopt the compromise proposal proposed by the parties, under which there will be three sections for the audience – one for men, one for women and one which will be mixed. However, popular haredi singer Moti Steinmetz, who was the main featured singer, will not sing before mixed audiences.