The criticism worked: after we contacted the Gindi real estate company and the Israel Land Authority in opposition to their illegal marketing of apartments in Rehovot and Or Yehuda solely to members of the "Hever Club," this morning the company announced that it would be holding a discounted housing lottery of 100 apartments for the general public.
In our appeal to Gindi, we claimed that it cannot market entire neighborhoods built on land belonging to the general public solely to members of the standing army's "Hever Club," thus harming the remainder of the public in dire need of housing. We noted that Gindi acquired the land rights subject to a lease agreement in which an explicit clause prohibits discrimination in the marketing of apartments. Following our appeal, the Israel Land Authority is expected to hold a hearing.
Attorney Gil Gan-Mor, Director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel's Social and Economic Rights Unit, said: "Entrepreneurs who build residential neighborhoods must market them to anyone interested, and certainly not sell solely to a group to which entry is effectively restricted for various reasons, including religion, nationality, and disability. During a period in which the public finds purchasing apartments to be extremely challenging, it is unacceptable for hundreds of apartments to be exclusively intended for a small population without any justification."