MKs call on Health Ministry to enforce laws against hospital room segregation

The law comes before patients’ preferences, Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women chairperson Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) said in a meeting about segregated maternity wards in hospitals.

The meeting was called after Israel Radio reported last week that several hospitals acquiesce to mothers’ requests that they not be put in the same room as either Jewish or Arab mothers in maternity wards, even though doing so is illegal. MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) caused an uproar after he said his wife would not want to be in a room with an Arab woman, because he said Arab families are large and noisy and their babies could grow up to be terrorists. Smotrich claimed that most Israeli Jews agree with him, though polling days later showed 61 percent disagree with him.


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