Two Israeli-Arab men have been awarded NIS 28,000 compensation each in a court case they launched against a Haifa nightclub for discrimination, reports www.local.co.il.
A judge in the Haifa Magistrates' Court accepted the men's argument that they had been refused entry to the City Hall nightclub because their appearance identified them as Arabs, and ordered the nightclub and its managers to pay the plaintiff's NIS 10,000 legal costs, in addition to the NIS 28,000 compensation.
According to the report, the two Nazareth men went to the nightclub with a Jewish Israeli friend in November 2006. The security guard allowed the Jewish Israeli in, but refused them entry.
The men subsequently sued the nightclub for NIS 50,000 each, the maximum sum fixed by anti-discrimination laws.
Lawyers for the nightclub denied there had been discrimination, and said that in any case nightclub managers should not be held responsible for each decision made by their security guards.
Judge Tamar Naot-Perry said the nightclub had had "no justifiable reason" for excluding the two men, adding that it had done so "probably because of the dark color of their skin and/or because of their belonging to the Arabic nationality."
Naot-Perry also said that even if the managers did not know what a security guard had decided in a specific case, they had done nothing to introduce a general policy of non-discrimination and to prevent such incidents from occurring.
In fixing the compensation amount, the judge took into account the actual damage caused to the men as well as their mental anguish and humiliation.
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