Streisand gets doctorate, calls for gender equality in Israel

June 17, 2013 at 7:30 PM

JERUSALEM, June 17 (UPI) -- U.S. singer Barbra Streisand picked up an honorary doctorate at Hebrew University Monday and used the podium to call for equality for Israeli women.

After expressing her gratitude for being honored with the degree and saying her late father would be proud, Streisand, 71, pressed for gender equality in Israel.

"It's distressing to read of women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of the bus, that Women of the Wall [is] having metal chairs thrown at them, and that women can't sing in public," she said.

"To remain silent about these things is tantamount to accepting them."

Streisand praised the university's efforts to promote harmony between Jewish and Arab students.

"Jews and Arabs sit together in classrooms, sit together in the cafeteria and learn from the same professors," she said. "I wish the world was more like the hallways of Hebrew University. ... [The university] is proof that people [from different backgrounds] can live in peace."

The Jewish Press reported Streisand recently made a large donation to Hebrew University for a building in memory of her father Emanuel, whom she praised as "a teacher, scholar and religious man who devoted himself to education."

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