Affirmative action for immigrants, haredim becomes law

“We’ve all heard stories of professors who couldn’t even find work as street cleaners.”

December 12, 2016 22:34
1 minute read.
Nefesh B Nefesh

WATCH: Highlights of 221 Olim Landing on the July 2015 Charter Flight. (photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)

Legislation requiring government offices to prioritize haredim and new immigrants in their hiring practices passed in a final vote Monday night.

The law will put olim and haredim under the existing legal umbrella of “appropriate representation” of various population groups in government offices and state-owned corporations.

Such representation is required in hiring practices for both genders, people with disabilities, Arab citizens and those of Ethiopian descent.

Olim will receive preferential treatment in hiring if they have been in the country for under 12 years and if they were over age 18 when they moved to Israel.

Haredim will be defined as those who study in haredi institutions or send their children to study in such schools.

MK Yulia Malinovski (Yisrael Beytenu), who helped push the legislation forward, said, “This is an historic law that is fixing an injustice of many years and will make it easier for new immigrants to be absorbed in the state and integrate in the best way possible.

“In Israel, people say how important aliya is, but we must look at the people, the new immigrants behind the numbers,” Malinovski stated. “The law will be a breakthrough for new immigrants in Israel and for those planning to arrive.”

Knesset Constitution committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) said the bill is meant to give the affected populations “a chance like everyone else has.”

“We’ve all heard stories of professors who couldn’t even find work as street cleaners,” after immigrating to Israel, Slomiansky said.

The bill garnered attention in recent weeks, as Knesset Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni (UTJ) made it his top priority.

Gafni vowed to hold the state budget and the settlements bill hostage if affirmative action for haredim is not pushed forward immediately.

The UTJ chairman was willing to separate haredim from immigrants to quickly pass a law to help his constituents, but Yisrael Beytenu insisted that they both remain in the bill.

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