‘Separate Seating’ Chabad Event to Go Ahead in Tel Aviv

Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A Chabad-affiliated organization will hold an event that had been scheduled to take place in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, after the Tel Aviv District Court ruled Sunday that the organization had a right to determine the nature of the event. The decision came after the gruoup protested a decision by the Tel Aviv Municipality to cancel the event, because it was to feature separation between men and women.

The municipality had provided a permit to the Chabad-affiliated group to hold the event, but after media reports last week that the event was to have separate areas for males and females, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai declared the event canceled and the permit rescinded, saying he would not be a party to “gender discrimination.” The court ruled that the group had a right to determine the nature and content of the event, as they were paying for use of the permit. After the decision, the municipality said that it would not appeal, and that the event could go on as planned.

MK Rabbi Michael Malkieli (Shas) said that “the court’s decision is welcome. There is a limit to the hypocrisy of those who attempt to force us to conform to secular norms.” MK Rabbi Yinon Azulai, also of Shas, said that “Mayor Huldai got a lesson in democracy today from a court, which determined that there is no place for forced secularism.” In response, Meretz head Tamar Zandeberg vowed to propose a law in the Knesset banning gender-separate events in any public place, she said.