Court: Pool must compensate Beduins

Manager who prevented family from entering Ofakim swimming pool on racial grounds to pay NIS 10,000.

beduin kids 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
beduin kids 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Beersheba Magistrate's Court on Monday ruled that a swimming pool manager in Ofakim must pay NIS 10,000 in compensation to a Beduin couple after he prevented them from entering the pool together with their three children on racial grounds. In 2007, the family arrived at the local swimming pool, but the manager refused to sell them tickets, claiming that the woman's head covering might cause a haredi family to leave the facility. The woman, who was wearing traditional Beduin clothes, explained that she was not planning to swim, but just wanted to sit by the pool and watch over her young children. Despite the couple's insistent pleading, the manager would not let them in. In his ruling, Judge Ido Ruzin said that he believes "this is a case of unjust segregation, when a whole swimming pool is closed for the benefit of one family [the haredi family] without prior warning in a community that does not have additional swimming pools."