In the wake of the separation incident on the El Al flight that made headlines in recent days, MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) submitted a bill that seeks to prohibit service providers from responding to religious separation requests between men and women.
The bill was written with the help of the Be Free Israel movement.
The bill states: "In light of the recent events, Knesset Member Merav Michaeli submitted the bill that a company can not request changes in the service arrangement, including asking a person on the flight to move seats even if it is for religious reasons."
Michaeli explained that the last case of El Al's flight was, in her opinion, additional proof that integration and separation are mutually exclusive. "Separation creates discrimination on the basis of gender, and the bill comes to put an end to the endless game of chairs where women or Ethiopians move because someone does not fit, on a flight, or any other place or service," she said.
In her statement, Michaeli she relies on Judge Dana Cohen's ruling last year that the request to change seats on the basis of the gender of the person sitting next to you is gender discrimination and constitutes a violation of the Prohibition of Discrimination in Products and Services Law. "The bill clarifies that the prohibition of discrimination against any background specified in the law also applies to a change in the arrangement for the provision of the service, including a change in the place of residence."
Be Free Israel CEO Uri Kedar said: "After the last few days, it is already clear that this is a real phenomenon, not a specific case, which apparently will not end until it is anchored in the law and will cost the companies and organizations dearly and hurt them in their pockets. Because today it's on the plane, tomorrow it's on the school floor and later they'll take women to the other side of the sidewalk - just because it hurts the feelings of the haredim. We are sorry if we hurt someone's feelings, but what took the El Al CEO three days, we will see that it no longer happen in the first place. From now on it will be clear to each and every woman what rights they are entitled to from service providers."