Ethiopian Israeli Lawmaker Slams Donald Sterling's 'Disgusting' Racism

Shimon Solomon Calls for NBA to Strip Owner of Team

By JTA

Published April 29, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

An Ethiopian-Israeli lawmaker called racist statements attributed to Donald Sterling, the Jewish owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, “disgusting” in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

Shimon Solomon
Shimon Solomon

“As a Jew, as a citizen of a country founded on the ruins of racism in Europe, it hurt me to hear Mr. Sterling, especially on this painful day,” Shimon Solomon wrote in a letter dated Monday, Holocaust Remembrance Day. “It is sad to see someone of the stature of Mr. Sterling, who instead of choosing to lead and influence to change and fight these incidents, chose to make racist statements, so pathetic and disgusting like the last uneducated person in society.”

A copy of the letter was obtained by the Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post.

Solomon, a member of the centrist Yesh Atid party, also called on Silver and the NBA to take the team from Sterling, who referenced Ethiopian Jews in the rant attributed to him.

“The dismissal of Sterling from his position as owner of the NBA team will send a message loud and clear: ‘NBA will not tolerate racism, and racism will not be tolerated. There are more important things than the game itself.’ This message will go all over the world, and is an important step in the war against racism in our global village,” he wrote, also saying, “Now the responsibility to deliver the message, sir, is on you.”

The NBA is scheduled to address its investigation into Sterling’s comments in a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

On Sunday, extended audio from a conversation between a man identified as Sterling and his model girlfriend V. Stiviano was released by the website Deadspin in which Sterling is heard explaining that his views reflect the way the world works. As evidence, he says that black Jews in Israel “are just treated like dogs.” Solomon signed his letter “A Black Jew from Israel.”

TMZ had published a 10-minute recording of the racist rant on its website late Friday, saying the recording was a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend.

Sterling, the son of Jewish immigrant parents, allegedly tells his girlfriend, who is black and Mexican, not to be seen in public with black people or to post photographs of herself with black people on Instagram. He also tells her not to bring black people, including Magic Johnson, to his team’s basketball games.

The Jewish owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA franchise, Dan Gilbert, called the racist views espoused by Dan Gilbert “offensive and feeble-minded.”

“The diverse staff members of the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise are unified in encouraging commissioner Silver and the NBA to respond with swift and appropriate action consistent with a strong zero tolerance approach to this type of reprehensible behavior,” Gilbert said in a statement issued by the team late Monday night, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.


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!
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • 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.