Report: Yad Vashem uses taxi service that refuses to hire Arab drivers

The taxi service, “Hapisgah Taxis,” says its hiring policy favors army veterans, in effect disqualifying Arabs.

February 9, 2015 11:44
1 minute read.
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses for a moment as he lays a wreath at Yad Vashem

US President Barack Obama pauses for a moment as he lays a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance during his visit to Yad Vashem. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Yad Vashem, Israel’s museum memorializing the Holocaust and its victims, counts as one of its clients a Jerusalem- area taxi service that refuses to hire Arab drivers, according to an Army Radio investigation.

The taxi service is used especially by Yad Vashem to ferry tourists and visitors to and from the museum.

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Yet an Army Radio report indicates that Hapisga’s declared policy is that it is only willing to employ “army veterans.”

When a reporter asked one of the managers at the taxi service, he replied: “We only hire people who served in the army. We don’t hire Arabs, only Jews.”

According to Army Radio, when a man with a thick Arab accent phoned the service inquiring about a position as a driver, he was met with a quick refusal. Other prospective candidates with noticeable Arab accents were also denied.

Yad Vashem officials responded to the Army Radio report, telling the station: “We didn’t know that Hapisga Taxis doesn’t hire Arabs as policy, and we didn’t inquire as to who the drivers were when the company was chosen in a tender.”

Previously, the museum said that it had asked the taxi service whether it had instituted a discriminatory policy against Arabs. The service denied the accusation.

“The tender we had issued was also open to taxi stations owned by Arabs,” Yad Vashem management told Army Radio. “There wasn’t any precondition that we placed regarding the identity of cab drivers. Hapisga Taxis gave the best offer and the company did not mention its policy of not hiring Arabs in any of the documents that it submitted to the Yad Vashem tender committee.”

Discriminatory hiring policies are illegal in Israel.

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