United Arab List-Ta'al Knesset Member Ibrahim Sarsur on Tuesday attributed the high levels of racism toward Arab-Israelis to the "government's failure to uphold human rights or its blatant infringement of them".
According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel's (ACRI) report, published last Saturday, Israeli youths are bombarded with stereotypic, racist imagery, and their opinions have developed accordingly: Over two-thirds of them believe Arabs to be less intelligent, uncultured, violent and unhygienic.
"Everyone knows that we, as Arab Muslims, wash our bodies, including our private parts, five times a day," Sarsur told his fellow MKs. "I don’t know who is cleaner, those who bathe five times a day or those who don't."
Sarsur said the report's findings were also indicative of the "silence of the Israeli population in the face of the growing racism, fear and humiliation of the other".
"The government must drastically change its attitude toward the Arab sector in Israel," the MK said. "A new educational program must be adopted for a new generation of Israelis that will believe in human rights and tolerance for the other."