עברית   |   عربي  |  English

 

NEWS


 

 
 
 

 

Home - News

The Israel Religious Action Center, Tmura – The Antidiscrimination Legal Center, and the Coalition Against Racism are working together to create an ethical code for equality and multi-culturalism

first Published  : 06/02/2017   Last Updated: 17/05/2017 

   

The Israel Religious Action Center, Tmura – The Antidiscrimination Legal Center, and the Coalition Against Racism are working together to create an ethical code for equality and multi-culturalism

An Ethical Code, Voluntary, for Equality and Multi-Culturalism
 
The obligation of equal employment, the obligation of no discrimination in the supply of goods and services, and the prohibition against inciting racism – these are parts of the primary legislation of the State of Israel.  Relevant parts of the legislation prohibit discrimination or harm based on race, country of origin, nationality, religion, opinion, sex, sexual orientation, etc. (parts of this changes from law to law depending on the subject matter).  Despite this, and despite the fact that we are speaking about norms that are accepted and natural in a democratic society, one finds severe expressions of racism and discrimination today, in word and in deed, against many and varied communities, through which some communities are harmed systematically, though all are in need of protection.
 
The implementation and assimilation of these norms are not only the responsibility of the government.  Beyond what is said by law, these are basic social norms which every person is responsible for honoring and advancing.  A workplace in which workers of various backgrounds are employed equally is not just a workplace that gives expression to the law; it is a workplace that takes advantage of the hidden potential of a multi-cultural Israeli society, that advances and spreads a pluralistic approach, that accepts every person as they are.  A place in which services are offered without discrimination and in which racist incitement is not accepted as legitimate contributes to creating a tolerant society.  Multi-cultural employment and granting of services in an equal manner create a shared living space and respect, and aid the lessening of expressions of racism and lack of tolerance also outside of the workplace.
 
The Ethical Code for Equality and Multi-Culturalism will help employers and service providers fulfil their obligations under the law and beyond, and will help establish egalitarian workplaces and service providers welcoming to all.  An employer or service provider who adopts the code will have tools to establish and strengthen these norms in those spaces for which they are responsible and will receive public recognition as ones who insist on implementing them.
 
The Code will help in three related areas and at overlapping times:
 
Hiring in a equal and multi-cultural fashion
 
Providing services and goods without discrimination
 
Creating a work environment that is respectful, that permits no tolerance of racism or discrimination of any kind
 
Relevant legislation:
 
The Code will be based on the relevant law, in particular the law of equal opportunity in employment (1988), the law prohibiting discrimination in goods and services, in entry to places of entertainment, and to public places (2000), and the definitions and instructions concerning racism in the Penal Code (1977).
 
What’s in the Code:
 
The Code will include the instructions from the various laws and additional guidance towards their ultimate implementation and beyond.  The Code will address itself to work relations (including construction workers, suppliers, etc.), service relations (merchant/customer), and the workplace and the relevant public space – including in advertising.  The Code will supply tools to encourage equality, and prevent racism and discrimination, such as regulations concerning proper conduct and proper action in a space of equality; systems of supervision; systems for handling complaints and for identifying instances of discrimination, racism, and exclusion; ways of turning to enforcement authorities when necessary; turning to training of employers and workers; programs for assimilating equality, etc.
 
The creators of the Code hope that companies, factories, and businesses interested in officially joining will be able to undergo a training and certification process, at the end of which they will be granted a stamp of approval.  For that purpose, the creators of the Code will be in touch with a large and experienced approval authority that will provide technical support for the development and spread of the Code.
 
The planning staff and partners:
 
Three organizations have been working together for several years to advance the idea of the Ethical Code for Equality and Multi-Culturalism:
 
The Coalition Against Racism, founded in 2003 and a coalition of more than 40 organizations representing various communities and groups in Israel.  Among them, the organizations of the Coalition represent Arab citizens of Israel, Mizrahim, Ethiopian immigrants, Russian speakers, refugees and work migrants, and human rights organizations working towards advancing women, the elderly, the disabled, children, and others.  The Coalition works for the eradication of the affliction of racism, to respond to instances of racism, and to educate for tolerance and against racism.  The Israel Religious Action Center and the Tmura Center are veteran and active members of the Coalition Against Racism and members of the coordinating committee of the Coalition.
 
The Israel Religious Action Center – initiator and leader of the Code idea, the public and legal arm of the Movement for Progressive Judaism in Israel and the world.  The Center works for “fixing the world” in Israel, with an emphasis on matters of religion and state, on the struggle against racism and the exclusion of women, and on the discrimination connected to them.  The Center struggles on behalf of freedom of religion and conscience, equality for all, pluralism, tolerance, humanism, and social and distributive justice.  The Center works consistently to identify and treat expressions of racism, discrimination, and the exclusion of women at a legal and public level.  The Israel Religious Action Center represents the Coalition Against Racism in its legal activities.
 
Tmura – The Antidiscrimination Legal Center – was founded in 2007 for the purpose
of advancing equality and struggling against discrimination against disadvantaged and silenced populations in Israeli society, populations that are downtrodden based on identity characteristics such as gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.  The Center works to advance social and economic change through legal means, such as petitions to the courts, legal help to groups and individuals, and accompanying advanced processes in amending legislation.
 
The members of the staff enjoy a fruitful partnership with the Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission in many labor areas and see the Commission as a natural partner for the process of the creation, approval, and distribution of the Code, as also our friend, the Histadrut’s Department for the Advancement of Equality.  We work in partnership with other relevant actors, principally additional important heads of government offices such as the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry for Social Equality.
 
In addition, the planning staff has applied for financial support from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare for the development of the Code, as part of a call for proposals for support for developing voluntary social codes.  We are waiting for the decision of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and are working to secure additional funding.
 
The process of approving the Code (after it is written) will include discussions with all the bodies that touch on the matter, principally industrial associations, employers, small businesses, worker organizations, civil society organizations, and, of course, the public sector, which can, as the large employer in the market, serve as a leader in adopting the Code.