Ethiopians protest racial segregation
Yaheli Moran Zelikovich
Published: 04.05.10, 19:36
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19 Talkbacks for this article
1. hope that a small protest will be
roli ,   miami beach, USA   (05.04.10)
sufficient to remedy this absolutely ridiculous situation in the heart of the Negev. It's really easy to feel proud of Israel when we think about how brave our soldiers are in times of war. On the other hand, operations to return the remnants of our people to the homeland, the motherland, has always been the #1 mission of the Jewish State(check out Hatikvah). Philosophically we are winning BECAUSE of the Ethiopian rescue story. It's what trumps a racist accusation against a Jew, even in the diaspora. Seriously, whoever segregates like this has no historical perspective and no concept of how we are this tiny exiled nation; that the evil men in the world have culled and forced to be the bravest. How many Jewish lips will whisper Shema Israel tonight while our enemies dream of our destruction? Some of those kids in kindergarten may need to lay down their lives for us in the near future. We need to give them some motivation TODAY. Shevet Achim. Never forget.
2. In Israel the saying goes,"
eyewitness   (05.04.10)
You are a leftist only until an Ethiopian moves into your building." In otherwords help the Arabs, help anybody but if they are black, forget it." In Israel, you see people brace themselves when you ask them if they hang out with any Ethiopians. The sad fact is, many or perhaps even most Israeli Jews are prejudiced against blacks. If you ask yourself how this situation in Beersheva could possibly happen, beleive me, in Israel, people are free to carry out their prejudioces even on the government clock. THIS phenomena is the singular element that holds Israel back from everything she would love to achieve through some magical hasbara movement.
3. repulsive behavior
Ilana   (05.04.10)
Shame on whoever is responsible and for whoever knew but did nothing. They need to be punished. I hope we never hear of such stories again. It is a terrible thing.
4. Israeli Society is very Racist.
Eitan K ,   Baltimore   (05.04.10)
Amoung the religious as well as the secular. I even see it here in USA.
5. Racism in Israel......????
Abir ,   Chicago, IL   (05.04.10)
Can't be !! Impossible ! As one who made Aliyah in the past, spent 23 years in Israel and finally left, I can testify that racism is deeply rooted in Israel. Not only against Ethipoinas, but many others too. When in the Diaspora we are considered Jews. When in Israel, you are called Russian, Yemenite, Morroccan, Tunisian, etc. My son was made fun of in school (in Israel) due to the color of his dark skin on a daily basis. My wife was many times referred to not by her name but by the color of her skin, and it happened in the Army, and in the workplace. Israel is a paradise for WASPs (White Ashkenazi Sabras with Protekzia) !!!!
6. Israel is a very racist country
David   (05.05.10)
Underneath all the glitz of Israel's high-tech industry and military prowess...lies a very, very racist society. The warmongering and paranoia are nothing but a strategy to hide the wide divisions within Israel's society--secular vs. Ultra-Orthodox, Ashkenazi vs. Sephardi, Ethiopians, Russian, Arabs, Druze. Peace with the Arab World would unveil this ugly side of Israel--perhaps that is why we have yet to achieve it.
7. #5 Abir - You are just bitter
Ben ,   Tel-Aviv   (05.05.10)
Your Aliyah was a failure and you sound extremely bitter. Racism is prevalent throughout the world, not only in Israel. Whether you live in NJ, Kentucky, Germany, or Iceland - racism exists. Given a country as young as Israel, that successfully absorbed millions of immigrants while living in a constant state of war - it is not surprising that problems exist. Israel must begin to focus and invest in education. The educational system is failing the country. However, Abir, the solution is certainly not running away and attacking Israel on talk-backs.
8. #5 - Cowards run away
Michael Davison ,   Ra'anana, Israel   (05.05.10)
while those with conviction stay. Yes, there is discrimination in Israel and yes, it's wrong. Instead of running away, you fight. Those of us who came more than 40 years ago know the discrimination against Anglos--we were often viewed as insane for leaving the US, Canada, Britain and Australia for Israel and often had to fight for even the most basic immigrant rights. When you find injustice, you don't throw up your hands, say "Gevalt!" and run away--you stay and fight it.
9. it needs to be proven if they are jewish or not.
mira ,   israel   (05.05.10)
once and for all.
10. #7-the problem with the etiopials is that many jews
mira ,   beersheva   (05.05.10)
think they lied about their jewishness just to come to israel. it needs to be resolved one way or the other. i will have more respect for them if they said they arent jews but want to convert.
11. While residing in Ashdod for the better
Robert Haymond ,   Israel/Canada   (05.05.10)
of two winters-springs, I rarely saw elderly elderly Ethiopians except at an open air market. The men would meet in the open while the women went shopping. They had shepherd staves. All smiled and laughed and shook each others' hands. They reminded me of Native Indian elders here on the prairies of Canada. I saw plenty of Ethiopian soldiers walking around, often White Israelis and Blacks together. I also used to see Black and White teenage girls walking together and lolling about. I hope that this integration which I witnessed is a positive sign for the future.
12. #7 - Ben.....
Abir ,   Chicago, IL   (05.05.10)
When one is insulted and denigrated on a regular basis, it is hard not to be bitter. After all, we are mere mortals. I was lucky enough to find an opportunity abroad, and moved. I hardly ran away. I have served (sadir, keva and miluim) and also have the scars to show for it. Israel has a long ways to go when it comes to tolerance. The fact that it happens elsewhere is hardly of any solace. Israel is a Jewish nation, and as such no Israeli should be a child of a lesser God. People come to Israel to live as equals in the land of Jews. Not to be singled out by their country of origin.
13. "it needs to be proven if they are Jewish or not"
Robert Haymond ,   Israel/Canada   (05.05.10)
With respect to the poster who brought up the issue, my understanding is that Ethiopians practiced the purest form of Judaism, a way of life that hadn't changed significantly in 2,000 years. The establishment Judaism of Israel, however, would not accept them as true Jews as is so often the case amongst othe recent immigrants. As a result, it has forced Ethiopians to "convert".
14. # 13 Jewish or not? this is not about being Jewish! Its abou
Ariella ,   Israel   (05.05.10)
Robert, This is a religious gan, directed by Shas. The children are Jewish, and there is no doubt about that. This discrimination is based ONLY on their skin color.
15. Busha!! For shame!!
Chaya ,   Bat Yam   (05.05.10)
16. Ethiopians NOT "purest form of Judaism"
Paqid Yirmeyahu ,   Ra'anana, Israel   (05.05.10)
That distinction belongs to the Teimanim (Yemenite) Jews ALONE. However, most of what you posted is correct. The Ethiopians converted Orthodox to please the rabbis and remove all doubts. They are as Jewish as Mosheh Rabeinu. I met a number of Ethiopian families in the Merkaz Qlitah here in Ra'anana when we first made aliyah. They were all friendly, courteous and noticeably more family-oriented--like the Teimanim, Mizrakhim and Sepharadim I've met, who are very similarly discriminated against by some Ashkenazim racists. This segregation, except for slightly more extreme (their blood donations are still being thrown in the trash) is little different from Ashkenazi discrimination against Teimani, other Mizrakhi and Sephardi Jews. In other words, discrimination by some racist Ashkenazim against all Jews who aren't Ashkenazi. While it is Ashkenazi racism, clear and unmistakably, this certainly DOESN'T reflect the attitude of MOST Ashkenazi Jews, who find it as repugnant as I do. While I'm unreservedly oriented toward Nosakh Teimani Baladi Dardai, my daughter's god-parents are Ashkenazim, and they are my closest friends whom I respect and love dearly. But Ashkenazim must expel the racists from among them. Tolerating such racists fuels, and documents, the racist criticisms of our enemies. We are racists until we universally deplore the racists among us AND put them in jail or otherwise remove them from their positions of power. We cannot put our heads back in the sand (i.e., go back to our couch, TV and jobs) and ignore victimizations of fellow Jews. These racist practices (including throwing out their blood donations) is undeniably constructive slander of Ethiopian Jews, which the rabbis equate to murder of the person (their reputation and character). If the rabbanut fails to stop or defrock the offending rabbis they become complicit in that murder. Torah declares that no Jew may stand idly by the blood of their brother. No Jew is exempt from standing up and extinguishing this racism among us. Paqid Yirmeyahu Paqid 16, The Netzarim, Ra'anana, Israel Israeli Torah-reverer (& Orthodox Jew) Advocate for Logic as Hermeneutic Halakhic Authority Welcoming All Torah-reverers (Jews & non-Jews)
17. Ethiopians Protest Racial Segregation
Alan ,   Tel Aviv   (05.05.10)
I have raed all the talk backs on this particular subject, and the only person who has said anything remotely positive is number 11. As for number 7, you sound rather bigoted! Prove what? Does this question apply to all in Israel who claim this postion?
18. not exactly
Ilana   (05.05.10)
There is some racism here I agree. But certainly certainly no more than any western country, perhaps even less. I have lived in 3 western countries for years at a time, other than Israel and although my experiences are not necessarily representive of other people's-the same can be said for their experiences. Presently, I have a happy mixture of all colors and ethnic backgrounds in many of my classes and all is good. I have not personally noticed anything, not in classes, not in the army or my city. I realize, of course, that there are problems like in Beersheva. Everything gets blown out of proportion when a particular incident or personal experience becomes generalized to represent an entire society. Don't be so small minded. On the one hand we get accused of being racist, on the other hand we get accused of being nationalistic and narrow minded about our Judaism...
19. ethiopians being jews
mina ,   los angeles   (06.03.10)
ethiopian jewry is one of the oldest in the world. you only question their jewishness because of color. I dont see russians being questioned and in your quest to keep israel white many, many non jewish russians have been allowed into israel and have brought their perversions with them but because they are white... you look the other way.
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