Minister offended after Orthodox Israeli refuses to shake her hand

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2012

A Belgian minister has complained that a Charedi counterpart refused to shake hands at an official meeting with her because she is a woman.

Laurette Onkelinx was in Geneva at the World Health Assembly conference with Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman when she offered her hand as a greeting.

Mr Litzman declined, prompting her to post on her Facebook page complaining that her hands were clean.

She said the experience had only happened to her once before, with an Iranian politician.

"This kind of fundamentalist attitude, connected to a certain perception of religion and women, profoundly troubles me," she wrote.

Last updated: 9:50am, May 24 2012