Civil Service Law (Appointments) - Amendment (Affirmative Action) Bill

Military Service
Under this bill, which passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset on 26 January 2011, persons who have served in the Israeli army or performed alternative national service will be given preferential treatment in hiring for civil service positions. According to the proposed legislation, if two otherwise equally-qualified persons apply for a civil service position, one of whom performed military or alternative national service and one who did not, preference should be given to the former candidate, regardless of whether or not the service performed is relevant to the position in question.

Thus the bill grants additional benefits to former soldiers, in contradiction to Article 15A(a) of the Civil Service Law (Appointments) – 1959 (as amended in 2000), which stipulates that every governmental ministry should ensure adequate representation for the Arab minority in Israel in its offices. The law discriminates against members of the Arab minority, the vast majority of whom do not perform military service for historical and political reasons. Arab citizens of Israel are already underrepresented in the civil service and are very seldom promoted to decision-making positions. The Attorney General has announced his opposition to this bill.


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