Israeli businesses to be fined for refusing service to IDF soldiers

The Knesset approved a bill that prohibits discrimination against members of Israel’s security forces.

The Knesset Plenum on Monday gave final approval to a bill which seeks to prohibit discrimination against members of Israel’s security or rescue forces who wish to enter places of entertainment or public places while in uniform.
A majority of 32 Members of Knesset (MK) voted in favor of the legislation, while three lawmakers opposed it.

The bill is an expansion of the prohibition on discrimination on the part of service providers against customers because of their identity.

The bill, sponsored by MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenu), was introduced following a number of incidents over the past few years in which IDF soldiers in uniform were forbidden from entering public places and places of business because they were in uniform or carrying a weapon.

The new law fines businesses up to 50,000 NIS for discriminating against uniformed IDF soldiers.

The legislation was first drafted in the previous Knesset following an incident in 2010 in which IDF reservists were refused service at the Azad restaurant in Haifa.

The restaurant was filmed by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu refusing service to uniformed IDF soldiers, and was forced by the Haifa Magistrate’s Court to pay a fine of 5,000 NIS.

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According to Im Tirtzu, there have since been a number of additional incidents of discrimination against uniformed IDF soldiers, including in Jerusalem

“Our uniformed men and women are not only deserving not to suffer from discrimination, but to be honored for their public service to the State of Israel,” Ilatov stated.

“It is inconceivable that in the State of Israel, there are those who would discriminate against IDF soldiers,” Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu, stated. “This is fueled by an anti-Zionist ideology that seeks to uproot the values of the state from within.”

“For generations upon generations, Jews have dreamed of having a Jewish army in the Land of Israel,” added Peleg. Im Tirtzu, he said, is committed to safeguarding this dream.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News