Council members claim haredi members carrying out women's exclusion in Worthy Citizen ceremony but haredim say they are ones being excluded
Women's exclusion? That was the question raised at a recent Jerusalem Municipality planning commission meeting. During the meeting, Deputy Mayor Yitzhak Pindros and Councilman Yaakov Halperin were opposed to inviting renowned Israeli singer Yardena Arazi to perform at the annual Yakir Yerushalayim (Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem) awards.
The ceremony is set to take place on Jerusalem Day at the Tower of David adjacent to the Old City and the Jaffa Gate.
During the meeting, the committee members, together with Councilman Didi Hershkovitz and Deputy Mayor Pepe Allalu were asked to confirm Arazi's invitation to perform eight songs in exchange for NIS 30,000 ($8,000), yet the haredi council members were against the move and claimed that their opposition stemmed from the lack of proportionate haredi winners.
Hershkovitz and Allalu claimed that the haredim were using a meager excuse and that the real reason for their opposition was their aversion to women's singing.
According to Allalu, "Pindros and Halperin always claimed they were against the ceremony. I told them bluntly to be men and just say that they didn't want women in the ceremony."
In response, the haredi council members claimed that the matter had nothing to do with women's exclusion rather the exclusion of haredim from the ceremony, in an illogical way, one that did not properly represent the number of haredim in Jerusalem's population.
According to Pindros, it is inconceivable that the ceremony organizers couldn't manage to find some haredim who were worthy of the title of Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem and who had done something that was beneficial to the city.
The matter was not removed from the meeting agenda, the vote ended in a tie and so now the matter will be brought before the council at its next meeting. The Mayor plans on approving Arazi's performance at the ceremony in spite of the haredi opposition.