Haim Hanya
Mizrahi Jew claims discrimination at TA club
Lawyer Haim Hanya is suing popular Tel Aviv hangout, asserts he was kept out 'because of the color of (his) skin'

Haim Hanya (28) of Givatayim is suing a popular Tel Aviv nightclub, claiming he was kept out by the bouncer of the 'Uptown' this past July because he is of Mitzrahi (Middle Eastern Jewish) descent. He is now filing a 50,000 NIS (approximately $14,500) lawsuit against the club.


This event occurred seven weeks after Meital Halessatzi , also Mizrahi, was kept out of her friend's bachelorette party at the same club. She, too, claimed that the reason was the color of her skin.


In Hanya's suit, he writes that he came to the club with his girlfriend Bat-El and another couple. The bouncer allowed only the two females to enter the club, while he and his male friend were forced to wait outside.


"There was no reason to keep me out of the club. My girlfriend got in and she is light-skinned," Hanya told Ynet. "I even showed them my card from the Bar Association, in order to indicate that I wasn't someone who came to make trouble. It didn't help."


"I saw that everyone else was getting in without a problem and I felt that I was being selected against, because of the color of my skin," he said.


'Selection shouldn't exist in progressive state'

In his suit, Hanya explains that he approached an additional selector and asked to enter the club. "She responded that there was a party for invitees only. I told her that my girlfriend had gotten in, but she said she didn't need to explain herself to me and that I wasn't getting in."


According to the plaintiff, he hung around the club and noticed that the selector was letting in new arrivals, without verifying whether or not they were invited to the party. "The only difference between me and these people was that their skin was lighter."


"The selection process for such clubs, even if it isn't overtly racist, is appalling and should not exist in a progressive state, where people should be treated with respect," he wrote.


The club's manager responded to the suit that "this incident is unknown to the management and they have not received any lawsuit, from (Hanya) or anyone else. Until we do, we cannot respond to the claim."


First published: 09.28.08, 22:11
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