By Hassan Jabareen
General Director of Adalah
A Jewish family living in Moshav Nevatim in the south of Israel sought to rent its home for one year to close friends, who happen to be an Arab family also from the Negev. The moshav’s committee objected and turned to the district court, arguing that the lease had been made in violation of the moshav’s procedures, which require the committee’s prior approval.
The Jewish family argued that this process was not standard procedure at the moshav and that it was not the first time that a home had been rented without prior approval, especially for a short-term rental. The district court that heard the evidence was convinced that this indeed was not standard procedure at the moshav. Members of the moshav spoke openly to the media about how they were entitled to block the rental because it stood to harm the “cultural character” of the moshav.
The moshav’s committee appealed to the Supreme Court against the district court’s decision, and this month the court ruled that the rental agreement did require the committee’s approval. Surprised by the ruling, lawyers continue to ask Adalah, which represented the Jewish family questions such as: How could the Supreme Court rule against the findings of the district court.