5,000 Ethiopians Protest Racism in Israel

Jerusalem Demonstration One of Community's Largest Ever

African Pride: Israeli immigrants from Ethiopia protest racism and show pride in their African origins in a rally in Jerusalem.
getty images
African Pride: Israeli immigrants from Ethiopia protest racism and show pride in their African origins in a rally in Jerusalem.

By Haaretz

Published January 18, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Some 5,000 people were demonstrating in Jerusalem on Wednesday in protest of the racism against Ethiopian immigrants in Israel.

The protesters blocked a major road in Jerusalem and marched in front of the Knesset while holding signs that read, “Blacks and Whites – We’re all Equal”, “Social Justice,” “Our Blood is Only Good for Wars.”

The protesters were marching toward Kikar Tzion in Jerusalem, where they plan on holding a mass rally.

Among the protesters was Mulet Araro, a 26-year-old student from Kiryat Malachi, who set out on foot to Jerusalem from his home on Monday.

“I believe that a small group can create change,” Araro said. “The struggle does not stop here – all means are valid except violence.”

Social activist Daniel Bahart said the protesters had a list of demands and are ready to propose solutions as well.

“We hope at least one of the decision makers will come down to us, hear us and respond to our demands. Of course we expect [Immigraant Absorption Minister] Sofa Landver to talk to us,” he said.

Landver said last week, in response to protests against discrimination of Israelis from Ethiopia, that they should be grateful for what they have received from Israel.

“We have problems and we will not rest until things change. As of now the response to racism has been merely cosmetic. There are still numerous racists in the schools who receive wages from the state, there is segregation in schools, nightclubs…we’ll continue demonstrating until these issues are solved,” he said.

Meretz Knesset members Ilan Gilon and Nitzan Horowitz on Monday submitted a proposal to the ministerial legislation committee banning discrimination in renting or selling a home on the basis of nationality, skin color, sexual inclination, handicap and political association.

However the committee put off discussing the proposal for a month, in what Gilon called a deliberate attempt to scrap it once the public uproar died down.

“It is clear the cabinet is trying to bury the proposal and silence the Ethiopian immigrants’ outcry,” Gilon said.

A week ago, hundreds demonstrated in Kiryat Malakhi to protest discrimination in the wake of the reported refusal of housing committees to sell apartments to Israelis of Ethiopian origin.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.