Haredi arrested for harassing female soldier on bus
Suspect called passenger ‘slut’ and ‘shiksa’ while insisting she move to back; MK Hotovely to ride at front of segregated Beit Shemesh bus.
Jerusalem Police arrested a 45-year-old haredi man who allegedly yelled, ‘Slut!’ at a female soldier on an Egged bus on Wednesday morning.
It was the latest in a series of discriminatory incidents against women in haredi (ultra-Orthodox) areas.
According to police, the soldier was sitting toward the front of bus No. 49, which runs from the northern Neveh Ya’acov neighborhood through Ramat Eshkol toward the haredi neighborhood of Sanhedria.
A man in haredi garb allegedly asked the 19-year-old soldier, Doron Matalon, to move to the back of the bus. When she ignored him, he reportedly called her a slut and continued to harass her.
Matalon told reporters that other men started joining in, calling her ‘slut’ and ‘shiksa’ and insisting she move to the back of the bus, until the driver called the police.
‘It was very frightening,’ Matalon told Israel Radio, adding that she had replied to the man, ‘You can move to the back if you want. Just like you don’t want to see my face, I don’t want to see yours.’
She told him that she was ‘serving our country, which unfortunately means I am also defending you.’
The man was arrested and removed from the bus on Eshkol Boulevard, and the bus continued on its route.
The suspect will be brought to court on Thursday, when police will ask for an extension of his remand until the end of their investigation.
Jerusalem Police Chief Nisso Shaham spoke at an emergency session of the Knesset Economics Committee dealing with the recent incidences of discrimination against women, and said the man arrested would be dealt with ‘very severely.’
Sting is in the air.