A law that would bar discrimination by dance-club "selectors" passed its preliminary reading on the Knesset floor Wednesday.
The bill, which is an amendment to existing legislation that bars discrimination in products, services and entrance to places of entertainment and public places, was sponsored by MKs Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) and Shlomo Molla (Kadima) and was drawn up with the assistance of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
The amendment would explicitly prohibit the process of "selection" at clubs, by which would-be partygoers are told to wait outside until they are allowed in, but in fact are never admitted. Instead, said the bill's sponsors, selectors would be forced to admit customers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Any failure to do so, they said, would be considered discrimination unless the selector could prove that a different motive lay behind the decision.
"The Knesset said today: No to racism," declared Molla after the vote. "As a result of numerous public petitions, we know that this is part of the painful routine for new immigrants, Sephardi Jews, Arabs and others. The government and the Knesset proved today that racism is unacceptable and that the problematic situation of different parts of Israeli society is a topic that crosses party lines."