Court. Illustration
Court. IllustrationISTOCK

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court has ruled that the site “Jewish Labor List,” whose goal is to encourage the employment of Jewish laborers, is discriminatory according to the law.

In the suit, filed against the manager of the site by the Reform Center for Religion and State and the Mossawa Center and joined by the Equal Opportunities Commission at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the court ruled that the site illegally discriminates, as delineated in “Prohibition of Discrimination in Products, Services and Entry to Entertainment and Public Places Law” of 2000.

As a result, the court imposed a fine of 40,000 shekels ($11,400) on the manager of the site, plus legal fees.

The Equal Opportunities Commission submitted its stance to the court through the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Regional Commissioner for Jerusalem and the South, Janet Shalom, stating that "In the publication of a national employers' list that explicitly lists businesses employing only Jews in order to persuade the public to refrain from employing non-Jewish workers, and Arabs in particular, there is deep harm to the principle of equality."

The site published a list of businesses, employers and job-seekers and, at the time the suit was submitted, included material encouraging “Jewish labor,” and emphasizing the dangers of employing workers “not of the [Jewish] covenant.”

The site also included a section called “Jewish Labor Stories,” where users of the site noted the “good feeling from employing Jews” and “the great feeling of fulfillment from employing my brothers and not giving money to those defined as my enemy,” and similar content intended to encourage the employment of Jews over other laborers, especially Arab ones.

In her ruling, Judge Einat Aberman accepted the suit, ruling that “The service given on the site ‘Jewish Labor List’ constitutes discrimination based on religion or nationality. A service given in the public sphere to Jews only which is withheld from those who are not Jewish [...] constitutes discrimination as defined in paragraph 3 of the Prohibition of Discrimination Law.”

Attorney Janet Shalom said in response, “I am happy and praise the decision. The clear message that encouraging employers to discriminate is forbidden by law and is opposed to the values of the State of Israel takes us an additional step forward in creating an equal and diverse labor market.”