To Repeal the Acceptance Committees Law – Second Petition
The Association for Civil Rights has joined the petition (Hebrew) submitted by Adalah on September 20, 2023, on behalf of nine human rights organizations, against Amendment No. 12 to the Cooperative Societies Ordinance, which expanded the jurisdiction of acceptance committees to communal settlements. The original "Acceptance Committees Law" (Amendment No. 8 to the Cooperative Societies Ordinance) was passed in 2011. The new amendment expanded its jurisdiction to settlements with up to 700 families (instead of 400) and to regions other than the Negev and Galilee. It added a criterion allowing the rejection of applicants based on a lack of "community public characteristics of the settlement."
Petitions against the original law, including ACRI's petition, were rejected by the High Court of Justice in 2014, with a narrow majority ruling that as long as the law is not enforced, the claim that it will lead to prohibited discrimination cannot be substantiated. In the new petition, the organizations argued that the initiative to expand the law's jurisdiction and the explicit statements of the initiators indicate that the law has successfully fulfilled its original and prohibited purpose – to prevent Arabs from residing in settlements intended for Jews. Therefore, it is no longer possible to ignore the law's racist objectives and the outcome it leads to, which infringes on the constitutional right to equality of Arab-Palestinian citizens and a wide range of other marginalized groups. The organizations asked the court to completely cancel the law or, at the very least, prevent the expansion of its jurisdiction.