U.S. Jews, Israeli Feminist Organizations Target Broadcast Authority for Silencing Women’

Over 2,000 e-mails, part of a New Israel fund email campaign, call for authority members to reevaluate move allowing ultra-Orthodox radio station to reduce hours broadcast by women.

Members of The Second Authority for Television and Radio have received hundreds of e-mails in the last 24 hours demanding an end to practice of “silencing women.”

The e-mails, which number over 2,000, call for authority members to reevaluate the decision to allow the ultra-Orthodox radio station “Kol Barama” to reduce the number of hours female broadcasters can be heard each day from six to four.

“There is no rationale for  limiting the number of hours women are allowed to broadcast,” read one of the e-mails, sent mostly from Jewish Americans. “Supporters of Israel worldwide are worrying about the welfare of Israeli society, we want to see Israel as a place of justice, equality, and democracy. Stop giving room to extremists promoting an anti-woman agenda,” continued the email.

The “New Israel Fund” seems to be behind the letter campaign, as a page was created on the fund’s website to allow for emails to be sent to the The Second Authority for Television and Radio. On the page, it is explained that the radio station, which was founded by public concession to provide a public forum for the orthodox community, has been violating Israeli law for some time, by prohibiting women from broadcasting.

The website also states that the e-mail initiative is a continuation of the petition circulated by nearly 40 social and feminist organizations, which called for the authority to rethink its decision on the mater.

Culture Minister Limor Livnat, also expressed her displeasure at the authority’s decision, and the Justice Ministry reported that the legality of the decision is under investigation.