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racism

  • Neither Russian nor Israeli: Lessons from a journey to the homeland

    After years of denying her Russian identity, Osnat Ita Skoblinski finally made peace with the cultural world of her friends and family. However, she never expected her first trip back 'home' to bring out feelings of hate and revulsion. By Osnat Ita Skoblinski My parents, who immigrated to Israel in the 70s, refused to have a decorated Christmas tree in our home. "We're Jews," they said, as they set out for a Novy God party on December 31st with Santa hats on their heads. Born in Israel to parents from the Soviet Union, I found New Year’s Eve celebrations especially confusing.…

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  • Knesset raises threshold to four seats, putting Arab parties at risk of not entering parliament

    The new legislation will benefit medium-sized parties like the settlers’ Jewish Home and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, while increasing the influence of big money on politics. The Knesset approved today (Tuesday) several changes in its elections and governance laws. Among other things, the changes will make it more difficult to challenge the government in a vote of non-confidence, and set the threshold for entering the Knesset at 3.25 percent, or roughly four Knesset seats. The legislation is a joint initiative by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu (which united with Netanyahu’s Likud party prior to the…

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  • Israeli reality TV could not be further from reality

    There's been a string of victories for minorities on Israeli reality TV - does it mean anything? There are probably a lot of people in Israel today who are really proud of their country. Last night, a Filipina cleaning lady won the final of the Israeli X-Factor - one of the highest rating shows in the country. Israelis are probably saying to themselves: "See, we just voted for a 47-year-old, lesbian Filipina - have you ever seen such a liberal and modern society?" And, it's not the first time Israelis have voted en masse for a minority figure in the…

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  • Blue or white collar, racism prevails in Israel's job market

    A new study into discrimination in the Israeli employment market finds that the resumes of Yuval Hershkowitz and Eden Almog are still going to generate far more consideration than those submitted by Yuval Amsalem and Waleed Houri. By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishei) Yuval Hershkowitz, an Ashkenazi Jew, and Yuval Amsalem, a Mizrahi Jews, graduated from the same high school. They recently completed their military service, where they were both trained in counterterrorism. Both of them sent their resumes by emailto potential employers seeking to recruit security guards. Their application letters were sent to employers in six…

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  • Jewish anti-miscegenation groups distribute racist, sexist flyers

    I have recently reported on a few instances in which two Jewish anti-miscegenation groups  - Lehava and Yad L'Achim - have been actively operating to thwart contact between Jews and Arabs. Lehava, which runs a hotline encouraging callers to inform on Jewish-Arab couples, was reportedly behind a campaign to pressure Israel's National Service Administration to stop allowing Israeli Jewish females to work night shifts in hospitals - presumably to make it more difficult for them to socialize with the Palestinian citizens of Israel with whom they work. Yad L'Achim - whose mission is to fight "assimilation" (read: miscegenation) and whose slogan is,…

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  • Time to uphold the law on racism and hate speech in Israel

    Scores of racist commenters rejoice at the sight of a news item about the tragic death of four young girls in the Hebron area. So why doesn't anyone do anything about it?   By Tomer Zeigerman This past Thursday, Israel's Channel 2 News posted on a news item on its Facebook page about a tragedy in Hebron: four Palestinians girls had died after they were forgotten in a car (actually, the girls accidentally locked themselves while playing, and this did not happen in Hebron but in a nearby town, Taqumiya). Scores of Israelis responded with appalling comments. Here's a small…

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  • Jewish women can't volunteer at night - to avoid 'contact with Arabs'

    The Israeli government succumbs to pressure by racist and anti-miscegenation organizations, banning Jewish women from volunteering in hospitals at night, when they might be more likely to encounter Arab workers and doctors. Young Israeli women volunteering at hospitals in Israel as part of their national service (an alternative to serving in the Israel Defense Forces) will no longer be allowed to do night shifts in order to avoid any contact with Arabs, Channel 10 reported Wednesday (Hebrew). The director of Israel's National Service Administration, Sar-Shalom Jerbi, issued a directive two weeks ago banning any volunteer shifts past 9:00 p.m.: "We…

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  • 'But you're not really Mizrahi': Rewriting an erased identity

    In the face of repeated sexual harassment and offhand racist comments by friends and acquaintances, one writer turns her anger into a reformulation of her identity. The awakening of sorts follows Amnon Levy's Hebrew-language TV documentary series, "The Ethnic Demon." By Naama Katiee (Translated from Hebrew by Rachel Beitarie) I’m about to finish high school, and I’m taking the bus. A guy sits himself besides me, places his hat between us and starts playing with it. Five minutes pass and I begin to suspect he is stroking my thigh. I’m not sure though. My heart is pounding but I stay mute, and…

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  • Israel’s rabbinate reflects country's racist streak

    The people of Israel have received what they deserve: a rabbinate that is a true reflection of the current racist streak enlarging itself across the entire spectrum of Israeli society, from the streets of south Tel Aviv to the chambers of the Knesset. By Ahmadiel Ben Yehuda Israel’s new Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau wasted no time in putting his foot in his mouth: he allegedly used the Hebraic equivalent of the “N-word” (Hebrew) in chastising a group of Orthodox boys watching a televised basketball game. The new Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef preempted his counterpart, reportedly using the same invective prior to…

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  • Israeli racism and American Jewish hypocrisy

    On the U.S. Jewish establishment's double standard regarding what gentiles can say about Jews and what Israeli Jews can say about Arabs and blacks. The Anti-Defamation League and the rest of the American Jewish establishment owe Jesse Jackson an apology. They put the man through the wringer, they made him apologize in every possible forum for his “Hymie” and “Hymietown” remarks back in 1984. Yet look at the kinds of things Israeli leaders – senior government ministers, chief rabbis – get away with without ever having to apologize, without ever being punished in the slightest. A couple of weeks ago…

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  • Marketing 'no-blacks' apartment buildings in Tel Aviv

    Amid efforts to deport, imprison and segregate African asylum seekers in Israel, real estate agents are now marketing 'clean' apartment blocs, meaning no foreign workers or asylum seekers will live there. Last week Army Radio reported that real estate agencies in south Tel Aviv are advertising “clean apartments.” According to Army Radio's web site, a real estate agent said, “we don't let foreign workers rent the apartments. If there are foreigners, then they're Nepali or Filipino – normal people.” Whoever listened to the radio broadcast could hear the agent say, “not blacks.” For some unknown reason, those two words were omitted…

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  • What it means to be a Palestinian immersed in Israeli society

    Towibah Mjdoob is researching how some Palestinians live within entirely Jewish surroundings, how the conflict between the two nations comes into play in their day-to-day lives. But very quickly, Mjdoob realizes that she has become the subject of her own research. By Towibah Mjdoob A nearby voice says to me: "Good morning Hagit." I had just locked the door to my apartment and was heading out for a long day at the university. I turn around to see who, aside from myself, was in the garden. I didn't see anybody. It was just me and the landlord's mother standing there. She…

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  • Collision course: Plan to displace tens of thousands of Bedouin passes first Knesset vote

    The implementation of the Prawer Plan for unrecognized villages in the Negev has become a major policy objective for the Netanyahu government. Following one of the most heated debates the Israeli parliament has seen in recent years, the Knesset approved the Prawer-Begin Plan for the Arrangement of Bedouin-Palestinian Settlement in the Negev yesterday (Monday). Commonly referred to as the Prawer Plan, the new legislation will allow the government to destroy dozens of so-called “unrecognized” villages in the South and remove between 30-40,000 Bedouin from their homes. According to the plan, those Bedouin citizens who have registered land claims will be offered monetary…

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