Israeli government to back law allowing discrimination against Palestinians, ultra-Orthodox

The Israeli government’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation decided today (Sunday) to back a bill by MK Yariv Levin (Likud) which will allow discrimination against Arabs and ultra-Orthodox in employment and real-estate rights.

According for the suggested legislation, favoring people who served in the IDF will not be considered discrimination nor will it be challengeable in court. Since Palestinian citizens of Israel are not required to serve in the military and most ultra-Orthodox are exempted from doing so, the new bill will give employers and real-estate owners a legal way to reject Palestinian applicants.

Palestinians are underrepresented in almost all areas of public life in Israel. While they constitute 20 percent of the population, only 8 percent of the public sector’s workers are Palestinian. Unemployment is higher among Palestinians, and two-thirds of Palestinian citizen’s children grow up beneath the poverty line.

“On the one hand, the government claims that participation of Palestinians and ultra-Orthodox in the workforce should increase, while at the same time, it initiate laws which are meant to leave them out of it,” Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On told Ynet News.