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Assylum-seekers' children Photo: Yaron Brener
Assylum-seekers' children Photo: Yaron Brener
 
 

Tel Aviv kindergarten visit marred by racism

Southern TA African asylum seekers' children visit Israeli peers from center; meeting causes racial slurs, adamant negation to prejudice

Omri Efraim
Published: 12.12.12, 23:43 / Israel News

An innocent visit by children of African asylum seekers at central Tel Aviv kindergartens, turned into a heated argument between parents.

 

The management of the kindergarten, run during Hanukkah in the Sheinkin neighborhood, initiated a 35-child visit from South Tel Aviv as part of their African studies program.

 

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Most of the parents did not object, but some feared that the visit may place their children in harm's way. This started a two-way blame game and led to the cancellation of other such visits.

 

"When certain parents heard about the meeting, it caused quite the stir," said one of the parents to Ynet.

 

"A few parents who objected made phone calls and sent emails; turning this into a very racist, turbulent discourse. The parents screamed and argued and explained that the visit is likely to endanger their children."

 

A parent who opposed the visit said, "Our attempt was solely to check which kindergartens these kids came from and if they are immunized, out of worry for our children."

 

In an email written by one of the parents negating the stance of the others, he wrote: "We would very much like to help children whose parents came from, 'the distant continent' and we would be willing to donate toys, games, clothes and more, if we were only asked… it is unclear how our children could help these kids and how a visit by, 'Afro' children in our kindergarten could contribute in any way."

 

'Who's gay? Who's Moroccan?'

One of the mothers answered cynically: "I want to know which children have gay parents, since it is known that in their community, there is greater exposure to AIDS and I wouldn't want to endanger my child."

 

"I would also like to know which parents are Moroccan, since they are known for being primitive and violent and I wouldn't want my children to be exposed to violence," she added.

 

"Which of the parents are Russian, I wouldn't want my child to grow up to be a prostitute. Raise your hand if you are of Yemenite descent, since it is known that it is hard to find a bride for a cheapskate groom.

 

"Should I continue?? Get over yourselves! I am a Russian, my husband is Yemenite and some of my best friends are Moroccan and homosexual. Get a life."

 

Zohar Ya'acov, who runs the day nursery, said that, "the visit that took place in the Eshkol kindergartens was very successful and supported by 490 out of 500 of the parents."

 

 

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