The website “Jewish Labor List” has appealed the decision of a Jerusalem court to impose a fine of 40,000 (11,500 dollars) on the site for “discrimination.”
The site sought to connect Jewish laborers and employers in an attempt to encourage business opportunities for Jews.
In a suit filed against the managers 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 Jerusalem Magistrate 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.
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.”
As a result, the court imposed a fine of 40,000 shekels on the manager of the site, plus legal fees.
Attorney Uri Tzipori of the Derech Chaim organization, which works to bring about social change in Israel according to Torah ideals, has submitted an appeal to the Jerusalem District Court on behalf of the website.
In the appeal, Tzipori asserted, “It cannot be that, specifically in the State of Israel, the state of the Jewish People, it is forbidden for Jews to establish a body whose purpose is to do acts of kindness and charity for Jews.”
“The court’s ruling basically establishes that any person or body seeking to grant charity to a certain sector of the population designated according to religion or nationality cannot do so, and will be forced to give charity equally among all seekers,” he wrote. “This result is incomprehensible, and essentially uproots the fundamental values by which the Jewish People lived for generations, values like ‘love for the people of Israel’ and ‘mutual responsibility.’”
Tzipori also argued that the ruling would have far-reaching negative consequences on any organization seeking to provide charity for a specific group of people, “as the ruling provides a precedent according to which any charitable organization seeking to do good for a certain sector of the population defined by a religion or nationality cannot prefer the granting of charity to the members of the group for whom it was established.”
“We are witness to an unceasing legal war by various organizations that try, time after time, via the legal system, to erase all that makes us one nation, and to create on our ruins a new nation - ‘The Israeli Nation,’ Tzipori said. “The interpretation given to the law [against discrimination in products and services] basically says that there is nothing binding Jews together that justifies the desire of Jews to do good for one another.”
“We hope that the District Court will gain composure and return the State to sanity.”