Court orders Jews-only job site to be taken down
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Court orders Jews-only job site to be taken down

Appeal to keep ‘Avodah Ivrit’ website running dismissed by Jerusalem judges, who find it violates anti-discrimination laws

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Palestinian construction workers from the West Bank village of Abadiya, during their coffee break at a house under renovation in the Jewish settlement of Alon, south of Jerusalem, on February 16, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Palestinian construction workers from the West Bank village of Abadiya, during their coffee break at a house under renovation in the Jewish settlement of Alon, south of Jerusalem, on February 16, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

A Jerusalem appeals court upheld a ruling against a Jews-only online job board this week, ordering the website to be closed within seven days.

“Avodah Ivrit,” or Hebrew Labor, allowed employers and job-seekers to advertise and apply for positions — but only if they were Jewish.

The Reform Movement’s Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) and the Mossawa Arab advocacy group sued the website, arguing that it was bigoted against non-Jews.

“We welcome that after prolonged legal proceedings the “Way of Life” movement internalized that a website that only allows businesses that employ only Jews and Jewish job-seekers to advertise themselves is illegal. We will continue to fight against the phenomenon of racism in Israeli society and work towards equality and respect for all,” said Orly Erez-Likhovski, Director of IRAC’s legal department.

In court, the owners maintained that the website was not meant to hurt gentiles, but to help Jews.

Ultimately, a Jerusalem court sided with IRAC and Mossawa. In October, the site was deemed illegal for violating Israel’s anti-discrimation laws and ordered to be taken offline. The owners, from a group called “Way of Life,” were also fined.

However, the site’s operators quickly filed an appeal, which the Jerusalem District Court dismissed on Sunday.

The lead judge, Tamar Ben-Asher, called for the website to be taken down within one week.

In the coming days, the Jerusalem court will reconvene to discuss how much the website’s owners would have to pay in damages, according to a spokesperson for IRAC.

 

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