Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Molat Araro (C), 26, an Israeli Jew of Ethiopian origin with his face painted black and white, walks with others on a highway in Latrun to Jerusalem as they protest against racism on January 17, 2012. Thousands of Israeli Ethiopian Jews will protest on January 18 against racism in Jerusalem. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin taking their fight against racism to the streets increasingly these days.  It is a younger, more militant generation of Ethipoian Jews who have had enough of discrimination and bigotry tossed their way in the so called Jewish State.  

Now, I am not thrilled with states that are defined by a religious or ethnic or even a national grouping, but hey, if you are going to do the religion thing, uh, well, try not to be so overtly racist while your at it.

Have you ever noticed how ninety nine times out of a hundred race seems to trump everything else?  If you haven't you just are not paying attention or you just don't want to.

What is happening in Israel is certainly not unique, in fact, it is really almost universal, but no one is getting a pass here.

You would think Israel had enough problems already, wouldn't you, what with those zany Palestinians always being a bother, and those wacky women trying to move to the front of the bus....

The article below comes from the Israel mainstream newspaper Haaretz.

Ethiopian-Israeli begins three-day march to protest racism

Mulet Araro, who set out on foot to Jerusalem from his home in Kiryat Malachi, will arrive in time for Wednesday's anti-racism demonstration in Jerusalem.

By Revital BlumenfeldTags: Israel protest Jerusalem
An Israeli of Ethiopian descent yesterday started a three-day protest march from his home in Kiryat Malakhi to the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, where he will join other Ethiopian Israelis for a demonstration against racism Wednesday.

Mulet Hararo, 26, an IDF officer and physical education student, called on Israelis of Ethiopian origin and other supporters to join him on his march, which is intended "to raise awareness for the discrimination and awaken society from its coma."

"I believe racism can be quashed. We, the new generation, are ready to make great sacrifices. We are fighting for the future generations," he wrote in his Facebook page on Sunday.

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.

Araro embarked on his 63-kilometer trek at 7 A.M. yesterday, passing Beit Shemesh on his way to Latrun, where he stopped for the night. Today he will spend the night in Mevasseret Zion and continue to Jerusalem tomorrow via the Western Wall and the Knesset, where the demonstrators will gather.

Groups of supporters will accompany him at various points along the way.

"I'm determined to make a change and it's time we did more than just demonstrations," he told Haaretz yesterday, walking on Route 3 toward Latrun. "The disease of racism in Israeli society must be exposed. As far as I'm concerned all the means are justified except violence. Because racism is violence," he said.

"I've been through the army and learned something. I hope the sane Israeli society will join me and walk with me because this is everyone's war, not only ours," he said.

Activists of Ethiopian origin and other volunteers yesterday distributed flyers to passersby outside Tel Aviv's Azrieli towers, urging them to come to Wednesday's demonstration against racism and discrimination.

The demonstration is scheduled to start at 3 P.M. in the Knesset plaza. From there protesters will march to the prime minister's residence and the central stage set up in Zion Square.

Some 6,000 signed up for the demonstration on Facebook since the invitation to the rally was posted at the beginning of the week. However, the organizers fear that due to the bad weather and the local authorities' strike fewer people would actually take part in the event.

"We'll come on Wednesday with a list of demands and propose solutions as well," said social activist Daniel Bahart.

"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 yesterday 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.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Newspaper HaAretz is HARDLY "mainstream," it's about as far to the left as possible. I'll bet that not even ONE Ethiopian has read that paper. There IS ethnocentrism in Israel, yet there is a even stronger force of inclusion. I believe that the POLICE stopped the march of these young men. If you want to see the coming together of the nation, it's not in such marches, but at sea of joy at the Western Wall during the intermediate days of both Sukkoth & Pesach.