The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will vote today on a bill to prohibit discrimination in the housing market.
The bill, sponsored by MK Dov Khenin (Hadash), is a response to a bill that would allow small communities to set up admission committees with the power to bar would-be residents unsuited to the community's "social and cultural fabric."
The latter bill, co-sponsored by MKs from Yisrael Beiteinu and Kadima, has so far enjoyed broad support in the Knesset. But its critics charge it would allow such communities to bar Arabs, single-parent families, same-sex couples or other groups of people they deemed undesirable.
Khenin's bill would forbid admission committees to discriminate on the basis of a long list of criteria, including sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, religion, race, nationality, country of origin, political affiliation and military service. Hadash said the bill is meant to ensure that anyone seeking a home has an equal opportunity to be accepted into the community of his choice.
It would also forbid sellers to demand any extraneous information from would-be buyers, such as their medical history or personal details.
"Preventing discrimination in the right to housing in Israel has become an urgent, burning issue," Khenin said. "Settling this through legislation is not only right in principle, but also necessary in practice."
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