Printing house appealed: We did not discriminate

The flier

Flier distributed by Honenu in support of the printing house

Thursday, July 2, 2020, 12:27 The owners of the “Tzivei HaKeshet” printing house appealed to the Be’er Sheva District Court regarding the ruling by Be’er Sheva Magistrates Court Judge Orit Lipschitz which obligates them to compensate the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), specifically Israel’s LGBT Task Force associated with it, known as “The Aguda”, for discrimination. The owners of the printing house were required to pay The Aguda the sum stipulated in the suit and also the maximum compensation set by law. In the appeal the printing house owners claim that they acted in accordance with the freedoms of religion, conscience and trade, and point out the flaws in the court ruling.
The appeal was filed by Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who wrote that the fundamental question in the case is, “Is it appropriate and is it possible to compel a religious business owner to produce a product contrary to his beliefs, his values, his sensitivities, and the commandments of his religion?” Also the court ruling faced the appellants with the dilemma of either earning an income or following the Torah.
Yado stated that the court ruling “creates secular coercion according to the LGBT narrative and imposes it on religious people, and that is a severe and precedential violation of the freedom of religion and trade in the private sector.” He explained that the Be’er Sheva Magistrates Court erred in its interpretation of the anti-discrimination law being as in the case of the printing house there was no discrimination: the place in question is not a public place, the service requested was not a public service, the matter did not involve a product or the supply of a product, but rather the matter pertained to providing a service.
The appeal claimed that the right of the appellants not to perform a service contrary to their beliefs – such as when an issue involves tension between social groups based on the rights of an individual – is the right of the religious public as a whole. Additionally, the Be’er Sheva Magistrates Court erred when it did not consider the freedom of trade of the appellants and their freedom of religion and also did not consider the halachic opinion which they submitted.
Concerning the principle of tolerance, the appeal claimed, “It is obvious that butcher shop owners would not order design work from a vegetarian designer, members of the ‘No’am’ political party would not request printing of ‘Man + Woman = Family’ fliers from a printing house owned by LGBT owners, right-wingers would not print fliers in memory of Rahavam Ze’evi, z”l, at a Muslim Arab printing house and a bereaved parent would not be required to provide stage services for an evening in joint memory of Israeli and Palestinian victims.”
In the appeal Yado mentioned a similar ruling handed down in the USA concerning a Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake with male figurines for a homosexual couple. There the court ruled that with all due respect to desire of the couple to receive recognition, it was not possible to force someone to give them the recognition at the expense of his sensitivities and his conscience. “There must be tolerance for the values, the beliefs and the sensitivities of others, in this instance those of a religious person.”
The summary of the appeal states that the Be’er Sheva Magistrates Court compelled the appellants to violate religious prohibitions and that the court erred in its decision to convict the appellants of discrimination against the respondent, because there had not been discrimination but rather ideological opposition.
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is representing the appellants, the printing house owners: “The appeal is supported by strong and sound claims and we hope and believe that the [Be’er Sheva] District Court will accept our claims and overturn the ruling handed down by the [Be’er Sheva] Magistrates Court.”
“We reiterate that approximately two months ago a court ruling was handed down concerning the refusal of a printing house in Be’er Sheva to produce material for the LGBT association on the Ben Gurion University campus. The association emailed a request for a price estimate for printing material. In response, the printing house emailed a warning not to send them abhorrent material: ‘We do not handle abhorrent material; we are Jews,’ and refused to print the requested material. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel sued the printing house owners and the Be’er Sheva Magistrates Court convicted them of discrimination. The owners have filed an appeal on the decision, and we hope that our claims will be accepted.”
Honenu: Support the printing house!
Immediately after the Be’er Sheva Magistrates Court ruling Honenu distributed fliers – see image above – calling on the public to support the printing house: “Today, in the Jewish State, a printing house that refused to print fliers which violated Jewish law and their faith, was fined over 50,000 NIS [50,00 NIS to the plaintiffs in addition to legal expenses] by the court!! This is the price of keeping mitzvot in the State of Israel.
“Following the publication of the scandalous ruling we have received many requests for information from citizens interested in assisting the business owners who were fined. Whoever needs quality printing services is invited to place an order.”
Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of Honenu: “Today, unfortunately a court in Israel crossed a line. What is left for us is the People of Israel, solidarity, and mutual assistance. ‘They helped every one his neighbor; and every one said to his brother: “Be strong”.’ (Isiah 41:6) The Torah and faith in G-d were here long before the court and they will be here forever.”

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