Religion Magazine

Banning Separate Swimming in Rahat

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
History has been made with the first "country club" being built and opened in the Bedouin city of Rahat in southern Israel. "Country Club" in Israel usually means swimming pool and perhaps a gym. The Rahat Country Club definitely has a pool, built to the tune of 32 million shekels and form the video below, it looks beautiful and I am sure the residents will enjoy it.

Itamar Ben Gvir, a lawyer and right-wing activist, has petitioned the Attorney General with a threat to go to the Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court required the town of Kiryat Arba to open its municipal pool to reasonable hours of mixed swimming, despite the vast majority of the residents opposing it and only wanting separate swimming options, Ben Gvir says the same rule should be applied in Rahat and the pool should be required to be open for mixed swimming, despite the fact that the local residents are opposed.
The Attorney General has accepted the argument and informed the city of Rahat that based on the Supreme Court decision in Kiryat Arba, the local government is not allowed to separate between men and women, even at the behest of the residents. Being the first pool built in the Bedouin sector, this takes on extra urgency as it would be precedent setting.
source: Kan
Are we now going to see suits and counter-suits all over the country forcing pools with separate swimming to change to mixed swimming due to discrimination? Can the courts not find a way to allow residents to swim gender-separate should they consider this important? The courts recently allowed an academic leadership course in the Haredi community to continue on as planned as gender separate. I don't know what case can be used as a precedent for what, but if it can be allowed in that course, and if the recent Chabad event in Tel Aviv was allowed by the courts to function with a mechitza, there should be some way to allow separate swimming as well. If not, where does this end? Will the courts ban every religious behavior in public because it discriminates against something in some way?
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