|Israeli Police To Open Investigation Into Discrimination Case|
|Written by Tamara Symonds|
Following pressure from flagship NIF grantee the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Israeli police have announced that they will investigate allegations of discrimination by a Be'er Sheva country club after it denied entry to an Arab man. Following this incident, which was first documented on the popular television program 'Orly and Guy,' a Jew was filmed trying to gain admission to the club, and was told by management that the restrictive rules "are for certain populations, and not for you."
Following the episode, ACRI sent a letter to the Be'er Sheva Police demanding that they open an investigation. After an initial refusal, they agreed only when it became clear that the incident may have violated a law that makes discrimination in products, services, and entry to public places a criminal offence.
Tahir Marisat, the social activist and educator who was denied entry to the country club, said in response: "I welcome the decision…to open an investigation into the discrimination I experienced and hope that the operators of the country club will be held accountable for their actions. This step sends a clear message to anyone who would engage in discriminatory practices, and just as importantly, a message to anyone that has suffered from discrimination to know that they should not remain silent."
Attorney Tal Hassin, Director of ACRI's Public Hotline, said that the decision "conveys an important message that discrimination is not a private matter between the people involved, but a national concern…The opening of an investigation means that finally the criminal component of the law will be applied and perhaps even result in an indictment against a discriminatory enterprise, which will force business owners to think twice before they engage in discriminatory behaviour. I call on anyone who has encountered discrimination to file a complaint with the police, who are obligated to investigate all complaints."