Discussion in Knesset: on the Arbitrary and Discriminating Nature of the “Admission Boards Law”

On July 12th 2023, a discussion regarding the proposal of MK Yitzhak Kreuzer of Otzma Yehudit, to amend Amendment No. 8 to the Cooperative Societies Ordinance (popularly known as the “Admission Boards Law”), was conducted in the Committee on Public Projects at the Knesset. The Amendment regulated the conditions for the operation of admission boards in “cooperative societies in the Galilee and the Negev” where “the total number of households of both the initial community and subsequent expansions does not exceed 400.” Kreuzer now proposes to expand the admission boards mechanism by including localities with up to 700 households.

Zulat’s position in the discussion was represented by Dr Meital Pinto, a member of the managing board. Dr Pinto requested that the proposers of the law clarify how it prevents all types of societies from being arbitrarily defined as “cooperative societies” – a question that remained unanswered throughout the discussion.

Dr Pinto said:

“Whenever you address nationally prioritized societies, a definition that may vary from one government decision to another, you pave the way for furthermore arbitrary definitions. In essence, you create avenues to include societies not genuinely cooperative by nature. Without such cooperative characteristics, there is no justification for the admission boards. I could not locate any relation to a definition of a cooperative society in the amendment.

The criteria currently set in the law to define a cooperative society are insufficient. They are greatly obscured. Therefore, when you increase the limit to 700 households, you get once more non-concrete terminology. You keep saying ‘as long as they maintain the cooperative essence” and ‘as long as they don’t violate the law of discrimination’, however, we know the true reason most people do not get in. The Arabs have long given up hope.”

(Translation from Hebrew: Moran Yellin)

Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):


>> Read the full position paper: Expansion of Admission Boards to Additional Localities: Practical Kahanism


Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.