Daily Alert

23 January 2009

Reform Guilt - All Halacha Must be Stowed in Luggage

The Reformists are fighting El Al's decision to have seperate seating flights for religious Jews. Liberal Judaism can justify and tolerate every yetzer hara but has no tolerance for traditional Jewish observance. No - You may not ask for services which accommodate the most observant of Jews, even or maybe especially in Israel. The guilt of the non-religious Jew is brought to the surface upon seeing an observant yid talking Torah, doing mitzvas, dressing in "funny" clothes and embarrassingly un-modern. In a time when Jewish unity is so necessary, divisiveness such as this anti-charedim action is disheartening.

The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ)decision to question the legality of special flights is an antiJew position taken by Reformists and a cynical attempt to play socially divisive politics so close to the Knesset elections. With the polls showing electoral power shifting away from the left, Reformists pull out the social warfare card to help stir things up. Bashing the observant is typical leftist politics and their friends in the IMPJ will carry the water. After all, in their minds, we have to stop these favors for the charedim who take and don't give back.

El Al needs to stick to its plans and ignore those who meddle in the airlines business.

Reform movement challenges legality of kosher flights.
Movement's legal branch asks transportation minister, El Al CEO to clarify plans to launch special flights for haredi public that would include separation between men and women - YNet

Kobi Nahshoni

The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), which represents the Reform stream of Judaism in the country, has asked the Transportation Ministry and El Al Airlines to look into the legality of the airline's intention to launch exclusive flights for the haredi public.

According to the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), IMPJ's legal branch, the move represents "an illegitimate policy that violates Israeli law."

In a letter to Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz and El Al CEO Haim Romano, IRAC Attorney Orly Erez-Likhovski wrote that "flights that institute separation between men and women should not be approved offhandedly."

According to Erez-Likhovski, the law in Israel prohibits any form of segregation based on gender, and therefore any agreement that infringes on this principle should be grounded on a solid rationale and adhere to the law.

A copy of the letter was sent to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.

The Reform movement believes that these special flights are wholly unnecessary. "It's clear that if a haredi passenger asks not to be seated next to a woman, he can ask to switch seats," the letter stated.

"The fact that these arrangements often happen on flights illustrates that there is no need for such a compulsory gender-based segregation."

IRAC also noted that the kosher bus lines that are operated by the public bus companies are currently being reviewed by an inter-ministerial committee appointed by Mofaz, and that the a petition on the issue has also been filed with the High Court, with a ruling still pending.

The movement asked Mofaz and Romano to clarify how the separation on flights would be enforced, how many special flights would be introduced, are the fares expected to be lower and whether flight attendants would have to adhere to specific restricting dress codes.

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