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Racism in Israel: 5 Stories That Paint Ugly Picture of Tension

Image: Racism in Israel: 5 Stories That Paint Ugly Picture of Tension
In this July 1, 2014 file photo, people pray during the funeral ceremony in Modiin, Israel, held for the Three teens, Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 07:29 PM

Ethnic hatred in Israel is rampant. While Israel has laws against racism and discrimination, it is a major part of daily life and escalated into war during summer 2014. The hatred and racism in Israel affect several groups. It may be hard for an outside observer to sort out who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. Here are some examples of how complicated these tensions have become.

1. Jewish teens kidnapped and murdered: Three teens, Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar, were kidnapped and murdered last summer while hiking. The murders sparked hatred and retaliations that resulted in a 50-day war between Israel and Palestinians in which thousands were killed. In late August 2014, the Associated Press reported that senior Hamas leadership admitted being behind the attack.

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2. Hate-filled Jewish youth talk about killing Arabs in school: A new book, “Scenes from School Life,” (in Hebrew) by Idan Yaron and Yoram Harpaz exposes the broad racism in Israel and a culture among Jewish teens of hatred towards Arabs. The authors spent time in a normal Israeli high school and encountered intense hatred between groups. The school didn’t address bad behavior. A 10th grade girl admitted in the book, “I am tremendously racist. I come from a racist home. If I get the chance in the Army to shoot one of them, I won’t think twice.” 

3. Arabs threaten Jewish neighbors living in Israel: In a November 2010, the Israeli National News reported, “It is a well-known fact in Israel that Jews who try to live in Arab villages risk their lives, while Arabs live freely in Jewish neighborhoods.” Neighbors of a Jewish security guard who bought a house in northern Israel reportedly tried to force him out on the first day because he was living in an Arab village, and he is a Jew.

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4. African refugees are called infiltrators: African migrants fleeing unrest in Eritrea and Sudan who have come to Israel face many difficulties. In early 2014, many of these people demonstrated against parliament to gain recognition as refugees. According to an Al-Jazeera report, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that what he called 'infiltrators' were threatening Israel's Jewish social fabric.” This video by David Sheen and Max Blumenthal also shows the ugly side of racism against African migrants. 

5. A wedding day protested because of inter-marriage: A Jewish-born woman who chose to convert to Islam and marry an Arab encountered hate and made headlines on her wedding day. 

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Ethnic hatred in Israel is rampant. While Israel has laws against racism and discrimination, it is a major part of daily life and escalated into war during summer 2014.
racism, in, israel
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2014-29-30
Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 07:29 PM
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