This position paper comes in response to Otzma Yehudit MK Yitzhak Kreuzer’s proposal to amend Amendment No. 8 to the Cooperative Societies Ordinance (popularly known as the “Admission Boards Law”), which 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.” At the time of the amendment, this applied to approximately 300 localities, whereas Kreuzer now proposes to expand the admission board machanism to all outlying areas and to the settlements in the West Bank, as well as to significantly increase the number of localities where the law may be applied, by including localities with up to 1,000 households.
Zulat’s position is that this proposal will lead to a dangerous expansion of apartheid practices within the State of Israel:
• It is a far-reaching expansion of a racial segregation mechanism, which the Knesset shunned in the past.
• It will officially expand racial segregation to hundreds of additional localities whose only “community characteristic” will be racial purity, in contravention of the principle of equality and Israel’s international obligations.
• It will expand racial segregation practices to urban localities.
• It will strengthen Kahanism in Israel.
• It befits authoritarian regimes that deny minority human rights, use divide-and-rule practices, and blame their failures on minorities.
• It will exacerbate disparities and the plight of the non-Jewish public given that the government is not expected to establish any communal localities for non-Jews.
• It will apply to the settlements in the West Bank, in contravention of international law.
• As long as it is not enshrined in a Basic Law, ordinary bills such as will continue to challenge the right to equality.