The Israel Land Authority (ILA) decided to impose on the Gindi Group real estate company to pay $270,000 in compensation after having marketing apartments exclusively to members of the "Hever" club (army professionals) at a significant discount and with benefits that were not offered to the general public or resident price for residents of Or Yehuda.
"Entrepreneurs take land that they were given in order to build neighborhoods for the benefit of the general public, and market them exclusively to members of a consumer club, so hundreds of apartments serve only a small and exclusive group," explains ACRI attorney Gil Gan-Mor. "It would have been a 5% discount, but that's not the story here. The story is that the company offers these apartments in a closed lottery while the rest of the public continue looking for apartments - and cannot find them."
When the Gindi Company began to market hundreds of apartments in Rehovot and Or Yehuda exclusively to "Hever" members, we contacted the Israel Land Authority to demand an end to the discrimination. Attorney Gil Gan-Mor argued that their marketing method was improper and discriminatory, and is contrary to the nondiscrimination clause in the lease contract and the Prohibition of Discrimination in Products and Services Law. There is no point in selling apartments exclusively to members of the "Hever" consumer club and excluding the rest of the citizens who are in dire need of apartments, and moreover, this methodology discriminates against groups that are exempt from enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces, especially Arabs, the ultra-Orthodox, and people with disabilities.
Yesterday, the ILA Tender Committee announced that it was imposing a compensation payment of $270,000 on the Gindi company. The Tenders Committee decided that marketing to the "Hever" club under exclusive and beneficial conditions created a discriminatory effect, which in turn deters potential buyers from the general project from joining the project. In the opinion of the Committee, the violation of equality among the general public cannot be justified as mere "business conduct" and is indeed improper discrimination.