Representing an Arab Restaurant Owner who Refused to Serve Soldiers in Uniform

Haifa Court for Local Affairs, Case # 21/10 Anas Deeb v. Haifa Municipality

In a critical ruling delivered on 8 April 2010, the Haifa Court for Local Affairs refused a motion submitted by the Haifa Municipality to close down the Arab-owned Azad restaurant in the city because it refuses to serve soldiers in uniform.

In her decision, Judge Ghada Bsul accepted Adalah’s arguments to summarily reject the municipality’s motion. The ruling states: “The alleged discrimination was not supported by even a shred of evidence when the motion was submitted to the court. A police investigation was not conducted, a complaint was not filed, the version of those involved in the matter was not recorded by Israel Police, and the submission of the motion in its current format seems forced and totally unsubstantiated, and there is insufficient data before me to determine what the motive is behind its submission… the claim of prohibited discrimination should certainly not be taken lightly, and it should not be countenanced, but there is no room for shortcuts and for judging people via drastic means before any investigation is conducted, before an indictment is issued and before the matter of the concerned parties is decided.”

On 8 March 2010, the Haifa Municipality submitted a motion to the Court for Local Affairs in Haifa to bring forward a hearing scheduled for 21 April 2010 in the framework of proceedings pertaining to the restaurant’s license. The municipality argued that “there is ostensible evidence regarding this business indicating that its owner refuses to allow the entry of soldiers in uniform to the business and prevents [them] from receiving service.”

In a hearing conducted on 6 April 2010, Adalah Attorney Orna Kohn and private Attorney Hussein Mana represented Mr. Anas Deeb the owner of the Azad restaurant. Attorneys from the Haifa Municipality’s Legal Service Department as well as the Haifa District Prosecutor for Civil Affairs attended the hearing although the latter does not represent the municipality in proceedings of this kind.

Case Citation: Haifa Court for Local Affairs, Case# 21/10, Anas Deeb v. Haifa Municipality

See also: Jonathan Cooke, “Haifa divides over restaurant’s ban on Israeli soldier,” The National, 20 March 2010, available at: