A Setback in the Fight Against Discrimination in Housing

Photography: Yoav Loeff


The High Court of Justice today dismissed the petition against the Acceptance to Communities Law with a narrow 5-4 majority.


ACRI: The High Court of Justice has enabled a system of humiliating admissions committees. 




On March 23, 2011, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, together with the Abraham Fund and residents of the Misgav Regional Council, petitioned the High Court of Justice to invalidate the Acceptance to Communities Law. The petitioners claimed that the law enabled rampant discrimination in accepting prospective residents to closed communities based on notions of “suitability for life in the community”, “matching the social fabric” and other criteria. Based on these criteria, admissions committees are able to reject unwanted groups, a process that severely damages the right to equality.


After hearing arguments against the law, an extended panel of nine justices dismissed the petition by a majority of five to four.


According to ACRI Attorney Gil Gan-Mor: “By approving of this law, the High Court of Justice has enabled enabled a system of humiliating admissions committees.  Admissions committees operating since before this law was passed, have resulted in injustice and discrimination and have caused humiliation to many prospective residents. The Acceptance to Communities Law discriminates against Arabs, single mothers, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, people with disabilities, Mizrahi Jews, observant persons, secular persons and others. The law enables the residents of these communities to operate humiliating selection processes and create homogenous, suburban communities with no distinguishing feature on state land. The judicial approval granted to this law, even if the court leaves open the possibility of invalidating it in the future, is disappointing, and is a setback in the struggle against discrimination in housing, which the court itself sought to overturn fourteen years ago.”


Additional Materials

Background information on ACRI’s petition against the law.

Acceptance to Communities Law (Translated into English).

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Categories: Housing Rights, Racism and Discrimination, Social and Economic Rights, The Right to Equality

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