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Freedom of religion violated, printing house fined

Updated: Apr 6


The flier
Flier distributed by Honenu in support of the printing house

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 20:08 In a legal precedent, Be’er Sheva Magistrates Court Judge Orit Lipschitz accepted a civil suit filed by an organization associated with LGBT activists against a printing house in Be’er Sheva which refused to print a custom order which violated the owners’ beliefs and would have forced them to violate Jewish law. The court awarded the plaintiffs 50,000 NIS. The incident occurred approximately three years ago. Students from the LGBT association on the Ben Gurion University campus requested 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.” The students did not directly reply and all further correspondence was handled through an attorney. To the shock of the printing house owners, the matter resulted in a 100,000 NIS lawsuit. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who represented the printing house, presented the opinions of two rabbis who determined that according to Jewish law the printing house owner could not print material of the sort that the LGBT associated had requested. Yado also claimed that it was not possible to obligate the printing house to produce custom material for a client contrary to their beliefs and Jewish law. In her precedent-setting decision, Judge Lipschitz ruled, “When beliefs conflict with the obligation to give service ‘in a public place’, the latter value takes precedence.” Her justification is that the law prohibiting discrimination of products, services and entrance to places of entertainment and public areas should be interpreted in a broad sense, and that it overrides freedom of religion. An additional point in her ruling is that business owners are required to give service not only concerning off-the-shelf items, but also to fill custom orders. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado sharply censured the decision: “The court has legitimatized secular coercion in Israel. If a believing Jew cannot manage his business in the State of Israel according to his way of life, where can he? “Every believing Jew knows that the People of Israel has survived for thousands of years thanks to the Torah of Israel. The court forgot, or perhaps never learned, that lesson, and issued a ruling which delivers a final blow to a business owned by G-d fearing and honest people who due to their conscience and the dictates of their faith did not bow to the LGBT idol. “This is a difficult time for the State of Israel, which must in this complex reality allow equality also to those who keep the Torah and the commandments, as courts in the USA and Britain allowed in similar cases. However the court in Israel ruled in a one-sided manner, pro-LGBT and anti-religious, which will eat away at the solidarity of Israeli society and damage its resilience.” Honenu: Support the printing house! Honenu has distributed fliers 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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