Job application (illustrative)
Job application (illustrative)Thinkstock

The Knesset plenum approved a bill in its second and third readings Monday night prohibiting employers from discriminating against job candidates based on their place of residence - leaving the Left livid. 

The law, which had been submitted by MK Shuli Muallem Refaeli (Jewish Home), now holds employers who are found to discriminate against potential candidates based on their residence - or travel time, as is often the case - as violators of the Equal Employment Opportunities Law, with a fine of up to 150,000 shekels ($43,364).

"The Equal Employment Opportunity Act prohibits an employer from discriminating between his employees or job candidates for one of the following reasons: age, race, religion, nationality, country of origin, sex, sexual orientation, personal status, pregnancy, fertility treatments, parenthood, views, party membership or reserve duty," the explanatory note to the bill reads.

"A person's choice of residence is affected by so many different factors," it continues, "and should not affect an applicants' candidacy for employment. Take, for instance, the school principal who refuses to hire 'settlers' because of their place of residence, and told a teacher that moving to Haifa made him more 'moral' after moving from 'immoral' Kiryat Arba [near Hevron - ed.]."

Several Opposition MKs attacked the bill Monday night. 

MK Issawei Freij (Meretz) criticized the bill, saying it has no place in the law books.

"This is a political bill for the welfare of the Jewish Home," he claimed. "This is to gain thousands of voters." 

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) argued that the bill is "unnecessary at best and disingenuous at worst."

"Settlements are not a place of residence, for as you know the State of Israel has never applied its sovereignty over the West Bank [Judea-Samaria - ed.] and so this is an area that is wiping Israel's borders and Israel's rule book does not apply there," Zandberg fired.

Muallem-Refaeli replied by noting that the Left chooses to "repeatedly ignore" residents of Judea-Samaria, which now number more than 450,000 people.