5 Dec 2011

Clinton concerned about discrimination in Israel

2:05 pm on 5 December 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she is concerned Israel is becoming what a less democratic country, where discrimination is growing against women.

Israeli media reported she also criticised recent attempts by the coalition government to restrict donations to non-government organisations.

And she compared attempts in some parts of Jerusalem to separate men and women on buses, with the era of Rosa Parks, a black American woman who refused to give up her bus seat for white passengers in the United States in the 1950s.

The BBC reports Mrs Clinton said the case of some IDF soldiers who refused to remain for a performance by female singers was reminiscent of the situation in Iran.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni welcomed Mrs Clinton's comments.

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said "elected officials should concentrate on what is happening in their own countries."

However, he added that he shared her concern over the rights of women.