Things were starting to look up earlier this week when both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres spoke out against the exclusion of women. It was also announced that the Knesset task force was meeting to discuss sanctions against businesses that discriminate against women.
…But then only one government minister, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, bothered to show up at the meeting.
At the meeting, the IDF’s human resources chief Major-General Orna Barbivai told attending Knesset members that “halachic considerations cannot override the considerations of army commanders,” in reference to recent demands to excuse religious male soldiers from military ceremonies in which women would be singing.
On the “modesty” front, 20 shops and businesses in Sderot, including some national chain stores, have signed a modesty agreement. Businesses making sure that their employees dress according to religious modesty standards get a “kashrut” certificate from the Torah-oriented Mimaamakim organization.
“Modesty” was also an issue in the IDF this week, when parents of soldiers finishing a medics course were received invitations asking them to arrive at the completion ceremony “in modest dress.”
A fish store in Jerusalem has separate entrances for men and women.
Israeli women who have become mothers through foreign surrogacy — but with the use of their own eggs — are being required by the Interior Ministry to adopt their own biological children.
A heated debate took place in a Knesset committee discussing a bill proposed by MK Danny Danon to encourage breastfeeding. Many members were opposed to the provision that women would have to sign a waiver if they chose not to breastfeed, and the name of the proposed law was changed from “The Law Encouraging Breastfeeding,” to “The Law to Regulate the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes in Hospitals.