Attorney Uri Tzipori
Attorney Uri TziporiArutz Sheva

The Jerusalem District Court is to hear this morning, Sunday, the appeal submitted by a website called “Jewish Labor List” against a Jerusalem Magistrates' Court ruling, which cited "discrimination" in forbidding the activity of the site.

In December, the website had appealed the decision which included a fine of 40,000 (11,600 dollars).

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, joined by the Equal Opportunities Commission at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court ruled that the site discriminates illegally, in light of the definitions in the “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.

Subsequently, Attorney Uri Tzipori of the Derech Chaim organization, which works to bring about social change in Israel according to Torah ideals, 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.’”

Upon submitting the appeal, Tzipori said, “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 come back to itself and return the State to sanity.”

Ahead of today’s court hearing, several hundred Jewish business owners called in a letter on the Jerusalem District Court to accept the appeal. “We, the signatories, Jewish professionals in various professions, were shocked by the decision of the Magistrates' Court to forbid our listing as Jewish professionals. We expect that you overturn the decision for the good of our future and that of our children. We work hard to support our families, and this decision seriously harms our ability to provide for our families,” they wrote.

“The value of Jewish Labor was a guiding light for the builders of the Land: Ben-Gurion, A.D. Gordon, Brenner and others. In your decision, you must choose whether to follow in the path of the founders of the State or, G-d forbid, to turn your backs on them and put an end to the Zionist enterprise and the flourishing of Jewish laborers in the State of Israel, which was built from hard labor.”