Government Supports Revised Law against Nightclub Discrimination

Bill prepared by ACRI, partner MKs is a step forward in the fight against racism

In a session of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation today, the government decided to support the proposed revision to the law prohibiting discrimination in entry to entertainment establishments. The goal of the revision is to prevent discrimination that circumvents the current law, where instead of explicitly informing an individual that they do not meet a club’s entrance criteria, the individual is left to wait outside indefinitely.

This type of discrimination has particularly affected Israelis of Ethiopian origin and other minority groups.

The “Law of Prohibition of Discrimination in Products and Services and in Entry to Entertainment Establishments and Public Facilities (Revised- Non-relevant Conditions) 2009” bill was prepared with the assistance of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and introduced by members of Knesset (MKs) Shelly Yechimovich (Labor) and Shlomo Mula (Kadima).

The bill will now be passed at a preliminary stage and will be subject to further debate within the Committee.

In an effort to combat the familiar phenomenon where some club-goers are forced to wait outside (because of clubs’ unspoken entrance criteria) while others arriving later are granted entry, the revised anti-discrimination law specifies that a place of entertainment which does not allow entrance to visitors in the order of their arrival, and cannot offer justification for this practice, is guilty of illegal discrimination.

Attorney Debbie Gild-Hayo, Director of Policy Advocacy at ACRI said: “The goal of the law is to prevent the well-known ‘trick’ that nightclubs employ where clubgoers of a certain type or skin color are granted entrance while others are forced to wait. The law will strengthen the norm that protects against entry discrimination, and will make it easier to prosecute clubowners who violate the law. The MKs supporting this law are conveying a clear message against racism and discrimination in places of entertainment and they are to be commended.”

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Categories: Racism and Discrimination, The Right to Equality

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