An ultra-Orthodox Israeli radio station responded to losing a gender discrimination lawsuit, and being ordered to pay a feminist group $8,470, by last week rendering payment in the form of several bucket loads of coins, the Times of Israel reported.
Last Monday, the Kol Barama radio station posted a video to social media showing several of its employees unloading the coins, the smallest denomination in Israeli currency, into buckets that would be delivered to Kolech, a feminist Orthodox activist group.
“You should learn that the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) public isn’t a sucker. Don’t interfere, definitely not out of greed,” a Kol Barama says at one point during the video.
מבצע ״בצע כסף״ • צפו>> pic.twitter.com/EhuJMz1liz
— קול ברמה (@KolBarama) July 15, 2019
Kolech reacted to the stunt with a social media message of its own.
“The Kol Baramah gentlemen were here this morning,” read a post on the Kolech Facebook page. “They dropped off in our offices the money that the court ordered them to pay.”
“We loved the gimmick,” the post continued. “We didn’t really feel the insult. For some reason, we believe it was worth it to ensure that today there are wonderful women broadcasting on Kol Baramah Radio.”
Last September, the Jerusalem District Court ruled in Kolech’s favor, after the group sued Kol Barama for refusing to allow women to be interviewed on its airwaves.
Kol Barama was fined NIS 30,000, or $8,470, and ordered to include women on its broadcasts. The fine will be transferred to a class action fund, which will be used to finance empowering programs for women.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the station had kept women off its airwaves for a period of two years.
“This ruling is an important cornerstone in the battle against discrimination and the exclusion of women,” Anat Hoffman, the Israel Religious Action Center’s executive director, told the Jersualem Post last year. “Those who discriminate must pay the price.”
Kol Barama and the strangeness of the feminist culture wars
This isn’t the first time the battle between feminist and their ideological opponents has gotten a bit surreal.
Last month, a man won a gender discrimination lawsuit against a Scottish brewery after it refused to give him a Women’s Day discount – only consenting after he claimed to identify as female.