| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Israeli businesses decry calls to revise anti-discrimination law

Following comments made by hard-right members of Israel’s incoming government that were perceived as damaging gender equality and minority rights, several prominent Israeli companies announced on Monday that they will enhance their internal anti-discrimination policies.

The comments have upset many Israelis and prompted a caution from the president of the nation. They include a request to cancel the Jerusalem gay pride march and another to relax the prohibition on people who support terrorism or racism from sitting for parliament.

On Sunday, a member of the far-right Religious Zionism party – one of the parties in Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition – told public radio that hotels and doctors should be allowed to refuse services to people on religious grounds, provided others are available.

Leading hospitals and healthcare providers, apparently in response, put out a video declaring: “We treat everyone.”

On Monday, Israel Discount Bank, the country’s fourth largest bank, updated its credit policy and said it would not lend money to groups that discriminate against customers on the basis of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation. Its chairman said the update “officially formalizes the obvious.”

Cyber security firm Wiz, valued at $6 billion, said on Monday it would work only with companies committed to prevent such discrimination and said it would terminate its business relationships if this was violated.

  • Reuters