Jewish Labor Site Ruled ‘Discriminatory,’ Fined NIS 40,000

YERUSHALAYIM -
The village of Yitzhar. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

A Yerushalayim court on Tuesday fined a job-search site NIS 40,000 ($11,371) for advertising jobs and services “for Jews only.” The “Jewish Labor List,” which advertises its purpose as providing those who were interested with an opportunity “to assist their fellow Jews” violates Israeli law against discrimination in hiring. The site’s owners were ordered to pay the fine, along with court costs.

A lawsuit against the site had been brought by reform groups and the Mossawa group for Arab rights. The lawsuit singled out the “obvious racism” in advertising jobs for one specific group only, and castigated the site for its testimonials, where Israelis praised the site for providing them with an opportunity to help Jews and get quality workers and services. The court said that “the services provided by the site violate laws against discrimination on the basis of nationality and religion,” and demanded that it remove references to jobs for “Jews only.”

The lawsuit received backing from the official government ombudsman for equality in the Labor Ministry, who said in a statement to the court that attempts to persuade the public to hire Jews, and not to hire Arabs, is “a serious violation of civil rights. The message is clear that promoting this kind of discrimination is against the values of the State of Israel, and removing this will be another step in providing an equal-opportunity job market,” he added.

The site provides opportunities for those seeking to hire to place an ad for free, and a search engine for those seeking jobs. In addition, it includes a section with services, such as construction, cleaning, auto repair and other ammenties where companies that employ only Jews can advertise their services. According to the site, it was established “several years ago by talmidim of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburg,” head of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Binyamin town of Yitzhar. According to the site, it has over 2,000 available positions and services, and “grows from day to day.”