The disclosure of amendments to be introduced to an Israeli law banning discrimination within coalition agreements between Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies in right-wing parties has sparked an uproar among political circles.
The Prohibition of Discrimination in Products and Services Act stipulates that discrimination in the provision of a public service or in the operation of a public place is prohibited, among other things, on grounds of sex.
But in the agreement reached last week between Netanyahu-led Likud and United Torah Judaism, it was decided that private shops could refuse to provide a service or sell a product because of the seller’s religious beliefs, as long as the service or product “is not unique.” An alternative to it can be found nearby at a similar price,” according to the Hebrew newspaper, Haaretz.
“This raises concerns about gender segregation in businesses or refusal to provide services to members of the LGBT community,” the Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said on Sunday.
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The newspaper added that the statements of the deputy in the Knesset (parliament) “Orit Struck” (the “religious Zionist” party) in an interview with the official “Kan” channel this morning reinforces this trend.
“As long as there are enough other doctors who can provide the service – a doctor should not be forced to provide treatment that is contrary to his religious position,” Struck said.
The deputy, who is supposed to hold a ministerial position in Netanyahu’s government, added that the state cannot consider “halachah” (Jewish law) discrimination.
She noted that she seeks to “create a situation where Halakha and religious belief are not humiliated before the law,” adding, “There are some actions that are prohibited, in my opinion, not necessarily in relation to the gay community, but also in relation to the fir tree, Christmas, and the like.” “.
She explained that the amendments that will be introduced to the law will also allow holding events with the separation of men and women.
Struck’s remarks were an embarrassment to Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, who said they were “unacceptable to me and the Likud members.”
“The coalition agreements do not allow discrimination against homosexuals or their rights to receive services as citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu added in a tweet on his Twitter account.
For his part, the outgoing Israeli Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, responded to Struck’s statements in a tweet, in which he said, “Netanyahu is weak and leads us to a dark Sharia state. He does not even condemn these dark statements because he is unable.”
On Wednesday evening, according to what he announced, Netanyahu completed the formation of his government, which he will present to the Knesset for approval next week, and includes parties from the far right.