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Law Would Punish Anti-Hareidi Discrimination

MK Litzman hints new law would have criminalized the government's recent behavior.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/21/2013, 8:52 AM

Hareidi Jews in Mea Shearim
Hareidi Jews in Mea Shearim
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A hareidi-religious MK has proposed harsh punishment for anyone who refuses to do business or to work with a hareidi-religious Jew.

Those who boycott hareidi Jews solely because they are hareidi should face ten years in prison, MK Yaakov Litzman (Yahadut Hatorah) proposed in a suggested amendment.

The amendment would add a “prohibition on boycotting due to religion or boycotting hareidi Jews” to the criminal code. The addition would expand an existing law against racism and “hostility” based on race or religion.

In an attachment explaining the proposal, Litzman wrote, “As the most recent government was being established, it arose that there was a group that chose to exclude the representatives of a significant part of the public from the government, solely because they were hareidi.

“This terrible statement was not only not publicly criticized, but became the basis on which the 33rd government of the state of Israel was established. This kind of exclusion has no place in a pluralistic, considerate, properly functioning society that knows how to respect and appreciate the other despite the differences between them.

“Therefore there is a need to uproot this phenomenon… Adding the term ‘boycott’ and including the hareidi community in the definition of the crime, and in the punishment expected, is intended to warn and to prevent this from repeating itself,” he concluded.