But, to the surprise of no one, it is possible to find haredi women who think segregated buses are just fine. Well of course it is.
“If they get on a haredi bus, they should get on in the back, they need to respect us. They’re doing it just for the provocation,” said one woman who refused to give her name.
But it’s not a “haredi bus,” it’s a public bus. The word “bus” is short for “omnibus” which means, precisely, “for all.” It’s not a haredi bus so no one is obligated to get on in the back and no one needs to “respect” people who think they get to own particular public bus routes.
Others were less passionate about the idea of separated buses, but resented the violent intrusion of secular activists into their community.
“Violent” – that’s nice. The secular activists beat people up did they? Spat on them? Pushed them? Stepped on their toes?
Not that I’ve seen reported.
“The [haredi] community doesn’t care [about separate buses], it’s not a problem,” said R.S. an immigrant from Australia who lives in Ramat Shlomo. “Some people want it, others don’t, but we accept the whole idea.”
On Sunday, as the bus wound through the streets of Geula, women continued to push through to the back, wrestling with toddlers and strollers.
“The buses get extremely crowded, why should men and women be smashed up together?” asked R.S.
Because that’s how it is with public transportation, and mandating sex segregation is not the way to deal with it.