Arab caregivers and parents near the daycare

After racist rant from parents Arab daycare workers refuse job

Daycare workers from east Jerusalem, say shameful display by racist parents would not end without arrests had Jews been sent away in such a humiliating manner; father denies racism, claims security concerns

Hasan Shaalan, Attila Shompalvi, Sharon Kidon, Ishay Shnerb |
Published: 09.14.22, 21:30
Arab caregivers from east Jerusalem said on Wednesday that they would not return to work at a Holon daycare facility after racist parents demonstrated against them.
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  • Speaking to Ynet, some of the women said they were too frightened to return to work.
    On Tuesday, a group of parents refused to allow the women to enter their children's facility because the were Arab. They claimed they would not be able to communicate with the young children because of a language barrier and that Arabs posed a security threat.
    Hagit Peer, head of the Naamat organization who runs the daycare, said the parents were racist and that such behavior has no place in her institutions.
    "It’s shameful, she said. "We will protect every worker’s right regardless of their ethnicity or religious beliefs. It’s astounding that this needs to be made clear in Israel in 2022," she said.
    “I felt the parents were uncomfortable with me at my first day at work," one of the caregivers said. In the second day, when they removed us, I understood they just didn’t want Arab caregivers. The parents humiliated us, yelling things like ‘go to Gaza, we don’t want you teaching our kids Arabic’. I can’t understand this behavior. I won’t return to that daycare,” she said.
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    גזענות כלפי מטפלות ערביות מעון נעמת חולון גן ילדים סולקו סייעות קללות מקללות
    גזענות כלפי מטפלות ערביות מעון נעמת חולון גן ילדים סולקו סייעות קללות מקללות
    Arab caregivers and parents near the daycare
    Another caregiver described the parents’ behavior as shameful and sad. “They blocked our way into the daycare and sent us away as if we committed murder, " she said. "Telling us they don't want Arabs around their kids."
    A third caregiver said all of the Arab workers decided not to return to the daycare. “We don’t feel safe. We lost our jobs, but our respect is more important than mone," she said. "We will take legal steps and will not remain silent about the racism we experienced. If it were Jews who were sent away, we would’ve seen arrests by now,” she said.
    Idan Shimonov, father to one of the children in the daycare, told Ynet that he and other parents didn’t send their children to the daycare on Wednesday, claiming the owner organization, a woman's advocacy group, hired the Arab caregivers as “punishment”.
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    ההורים מחוץ לגן
    ההורים מחוץ לגן
    Parents outside Holon daycare
    (Photo: Nadav Abas)
    “Parents are usually informed when a new staff member joins the daycare, but it wasn’t so this time," he said. " We’re not racists – we had an Arab caregiver from Jaffa last year whom we all liked – but as the caregivers came from an area, where many of the terror attacks lately originated, we were concerned," he said.
    “I asked the supervisor if the caregivers underwent any kind of security screening, and was rebuked by the head of Naamat. As a father to my child, I want to make sure someone is protecting her,” he said.
    The incident prompted reaction from Arab politicians with one member of the predominately Arab Hadash Communist Party saying there was only racism behind the parents' conduct.
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    ההורים מחוץ לגן
    ההורים מחוץ לגן
    Parents outside Holon daycare
    (Photo: Nadav Abas)
    “This isn’t how one should behave, you and the other parents caused the caregivers and your own children trauma. All of the caregivers speak Hebrew, and only you decided that they didn’t,” she said.
    Na'amat decided to keep the daycare closed in the coming days. Parents said they would be protesting the organization's decision on Thursday.

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