We have often heard about the discrimination in Arab world based on gender, race and religion but there is a taboo subject of discrimination within
Israel by Israel against it's own citizens which seldom anyone touches. In this thread I will try to outline discrimination within Israeli society.
This is not a indepth view of each discrimination as it would take many perhaps many days to list all in detail, I am only touching the overview of
Please remember in ths thread
a) The discriminatory policies are against solely against own "Israeli's citizens"
b) Where ever possible I have included sources alongwith statements and incase of many statements and reference the source are listed in the
Racial/ Religious Discrimination in Israel
Discrimination in 1920
The General Union of the Hebrew Workers in Eretz Israel (Histradut) was established in 1920 and its first leader was David Ben Gurion. In the
membership card of each member was written that the Histradut is an organization, the goal of which is the establishment of the Hebrew working class.
What is the meaning of “the establishment of Hebrew working class”?
There were numerous paid laborers in the area, but a majority of them were Arabs. The goal of the Histradut was to change this fact. Accordingly, its
founders added the word “Hebrew” to the name of the Histradut and refused to accept Arabs as members. This refusal continued from 1920 to 1966,
such that it was an organization founded on national discrimination against Arab workers. This is how the Histradut acted, together with the kibbutzs;
in political language, this is called discrimination.
Institutional racial discrimination in Israel
Institutional racial discriminations requires an administrative system to define and divide a
In Israel, the Population Registry Law of 1965 requires all residents of Israel to register their ethnic
group and religion with the population registry, and to obtain identity cards. The ID-card marks
ethnicity, revealing if you are a 'Jew', 'Arab', 'Druze', or whatever the holder is registered as at the
Ministry of Interior. A Jew is categorized as a Jew when he has a Jewish mother. When a person
presents his ID card to a policeman, a security official, a soldier, or to a clerk at a government
office, they know which “sector” he belongs to, and treat him accordingly. The “Israeli” nationality
is not recognised, and thus never mentioned on an ID-card.
Workforce discrimination in Israel based on Race
Year 2004 - Different dress code for workers
In a shocking re-enactment of Nazi Germany practices, Palestinian construction workers were forced to wear distinguishing marks on their hard hats to
differentiate them from other nationalities. As a constitutional committee of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, met in Jerusalem this month to
discuss how best to express the values of Israel as "both a Jewish and democratic country", construction workers outside were building a new wing of
the Knesset building.
All the Arab labourers wore white hard hats, but on some of the helmets, a large cross had been sprayed in red paint. It was later revealed that
security officials had demanded the workers be marked to distinguish them from builders imported from countries like China and Thailand.
According to reports in the Israeli media, the crosses were being used by snipers posted on the Knesset rooftop to train their sites on the Arab
workers and follow them around the building site. An official said the crosses would be removed once lengthy security checks had been completed on the
Source: Arab workers face discrimination in Israel
Year 2009 - Jobs based on Race
The new policy, which applies to guards at train crossing points, is being implemented even though the country’s Arab citizens -- numbering
1.2 million and nearly one-fifth of the total population -- have been exempt from serving in the military since Israel’s establishment.
Ahmed Tibi, an Arab member of the Israeli parliament, complained to Israel Railways and the attorney general last week, arguing that the move was
meant “to cleanse the railways of Arab employees”.
“It is an especially grave matter as this is a public company whose operations are meant to benefit all citizens,” he said.
This policy is clearly discriminatory: it disqualifies Arab workers because Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel are exempt from service in the
Israeli army. The appeal was developed in cooperation with Arab railway workers who have been sacked as a result of this policy.
Other Racial discrimination within Israel
Geneva, 26 February 2007 - The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (the “Committee”) reviewed Israel’s
compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in Geneva on 22-23 February 2007. The
ICERD, which was ratified by Israel in 1979, commits State Parties, to adopt all necessary measures to eliminate racial discrimination, and to prevent
and combat racist policies and practices. Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and B’Tselem - three prominent organisations
based in Israel and members of FIDH- presented information to the Committee on the status of implementation of ICERD by the State of Israel.
It noted these discrimantions in Israel mind you the Arabs mentioned below are
citizens of Israel
The announcement came as a confidential European diplomatic report issued its most damning assessment of what it claimed was an Israeli
strategy to create a Jewish majority in the city’s predominantly Arab east.
Israeli government figures obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request showed that 4,577 Palestinians had been stripped of the right to live
in East Jerusalem last year, a record.
Marriage Law: The measure known as the Citizenship and Entry into
Israel Law, passed by the Knesset on 31 July 2003, does not enable the acquisition of Israeli citizenship or residency by a Palestinian from the
West Bank or Gaza Strip via marriage. The law does allow children from such marriages to live in Israel until age 12, at which age they are required
to emigrate. This applies equally to a Palestinian spouse of any Israeli citizen, whether Arab or Jewish, but in practice more Israeli Arabs than
Israeli Jews marry Palestinians.
Currently, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is the religious authority that regulates all Jewish marriages. There are similar authorities that regulate
Christian, Muslim and Druze couples.
This produces at least five problems. There is no provision for:
1. Inter-faith marriages. A couple who follows two different religions, or a secularist and a member of a religion cannot be officially
2. Civil marriages for couples who want a non-religious wedding.
3. Secular Jews, and Jews who follow non-Orthodox Jewish traditions, like Reform Judaism. These form the majority of adults in Israel.
4. Couples where one or two partners are not a Jew, Christian, Muslim or Druze.
5. Loving, committed same-sex couples in Israel who are discriminated against by all of the religious authorities.
The Israeli government has launched a television and internet advertising campaign urging Israelis to inform on Jewish friends and relatives
abroad who may be in danger of marrying non-Jews.
The advertisements, employing what the Israeli media described as “scare tactics”, are designed to stop assimilation through intermarriage among
young diaspora Jews by encouraging their move to Israel.
National identification cards: The Israeli identity card, or Teudat Zehut,
required of all residents over the age of 16, indicates whether holders are Jewish or not by adding the person's Hebrew date of birth. Chris
McGreal, The Guardian's former chief Israel correspondent, reports that the
ID system determines: "where [Arabs and Jews] are permitted to live, access to some government welfare programmes, and how they are likely to be
treated by civil servants and policemen."
The disparities in Israel's education system are not nearly so great, but the gap is wide. In 1992 a
government report concluded that nearly twice as much money was allocated to
each Jewish child as to each Arab pupil.
A 2004 Human Rights Watch reportidentified "huge disparities in education spending" and stated that "discrimination against Arab children colours
every aspect" of the education system. Exam pass-rate for Arab pupils were about one-third lower than that for their Jewish compatriots.
2009 education ministry figures show 32 per cent of Arab students passed their matriculation exam last year, compared to 60 per cent of Jewish
students. The pass rate had dramatically dropped from the 50.7 per cent of Arab pupils who matriculated in 2006.
A report published in March 2009 showed that the
government invested US$1,100 (Dh4,035) in each Jewish pupil’s education compared to $190 for each Arab pupil. There was also a shortfall of more
than 1,000 classrooms for Arab students.
Basic Law: Knesset (Amendment No. 7) (1985), adopted 10 years after UN Resolution
3379, which prohibits a political candidate from participating in an election on a platform that does not coincide with the exclusivist definition of
the state of Israel as "the state of 'the Jewish people. "'
As the Christian world celebrates Christmas, and as Christians in Palestine and in Israel celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, the
Chief Rabbinate in Israel recommended that hotels and restaurants in the country should refrain from displaying Christian symbols.
Chief Rabbinate In Israel Demands Not Displaying Christian Symbols
The Rabbinical “Lobby for Jewish Values” started recently a campaign targeting restaurants and hotels that decorated their buildings for
Christmas, and its chairman, Ofer Cohen, said that the lobby is considering a boycott campaign against these businesses.
The lobby raises the issue every year around Christmas in an attempt to stop entrainment places from displaying Christian festivities, while this year
a source at the council said that businesses that refuse to comply could have the Kashrut certificate revoked.
Following the complaints, Oded Weiner, director-general of the Chief Rabbinate, received a call from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and said that this
issue is only a recommendation to the hotels and restaurants. But he also said that although this is a non-binding proposal, and although it is
improper not to display Christian symbols, yet “such symbols could offend members of other faiths”.
Father Samuel Aghoyan, a senior Armenian Orthodox cleric in Jerusalem's Old City, told the newspaper “that he's been spat at by young Haredi
(God-fearing religious Jews) and national Orthodox Jews “about 15 to 20 times” in the past decade”. Father Aghoyan added: "Every single priest
in this church has been spat on. It happens day and night."
Similarly, Father Athanasius, a Texas-born Franciscan monk who heads the Christian Information Centre in Jerusalem’s Old City, said he's been
spat at by Orthodox Jews "about 15 times in the last six months".
Jewish spitting is not exactly breaking news. I myself have explored the issue more than once. The Israeli Professor Israel Shahak
commented on Jewish hatred towards Christianity and its symbol,
suggesting that “dishonouring Christian religious symbols is an old religious duty in Judaism.” According to Shahak, “spitting on the cross, and
especially on the Crucifix, and spitting when a Jew passes a church, have been obligatory from around AD 200 for pious Jews”.
Interestingly enough, Jewish spitting has had an impact on the European urban landscape. The following can be read in a
Travel guide for Jewish Europe.
“In Prague’s Charles Bridge, the visitor will observe a great crucifix surrounded by huge gilded Hebrew letters that spell the traditional
Hebrew sanctification Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonai Tzvaot, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts”. According to various commentators, this piece,
degrading to Jews, came about because in 1609 a Jew was accused of desecrating the crucifix. The Jewish community was forced to pay for putting up the
Hebrew words in gold letters. Another explanation is that a Jew spat at the cross and for this he was to be put to death as a punishment. When this
man begged for his life, the king, seeking to have good relations with the Jews, said the Jewish community had to rectify the offence…” (To read
more, click here.)
Shahak maintains that “in the past, when the danger of anti-Semitic hostility was a real one, the pious Jews were commanded by their rabbis either
to spit so that the reason for doing so would be unknown, or to spit onto their chests, not actually on a cross or openly before a church.”
A Christian student was scheduled for deportation from Israel June 30 because the government accused her of “missionary work.” Roused by
police at 6:30 a.m., German grad student Barbara Ludwig was taken to prison and told she must leave Israel by May 30. Haaretz says she “denied being
a missionary, although she admits contact with Messianic Jews.”
“They may have seen me at some meetings of the Messianic Jews,” Barbara said. “I go around with Jews, with Christians, and with Messianics, and
I read books about Christianity. So what? That’s no reason to deport me.”
By Donald Neff
Former Israel Bureau Chief for Time Magazine
Excerpted from Fifty Years of Israel
On Dec. 29, 1977, Christians in Israel and the occupied territories protested a new law passed by the Israeli parliament making it illegal for
missionaries to proselytize Jews. Protestant churches charged that the law had been “hastily pushed through parliament during the Christmas period
when Christians were busily engaged in preparing for and celebrating their major festival.” The law made missionaries liable to five years’
imprisonment for attempting to persuade people to change their religion, and three years’ imprisonment for any Jew who converted. The United
Christian Council complained that the law could be “misused in restricting religious freedom in Israel.”
Donald Neff has been a journalist for forty years. He spent 16 years in service for Time Magazine and is a regular contributor to Middle East
International and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. He is the author of five excellent books on the Middle East.
Nonetheless, it came into force on April 1, 1978, prohibiting the offering of “material inducement” for a person to change his religion. A
material inducement could be something as minor as the giving of a Bible. Although the Likud government of Menachem Begin assured the Christian
community that the law applied equally to all religions and did not specifically mention Christians, the United Christian Council of Israel charged
that it was biased and aimed specifically at Christians since only Christians openly proselytized. Council representatives also cited anti-Christian
speeches made in the parliament during debate on the law. Parliament member Binyamin Halevy had called missionaries “a cancer in the body of the
The next year Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, considered a political moderate, issued a religious ruling that copies of the New Testament should be torn out of
any edition of a Bible owned by a Jew. Israeli scholar Yehoshafat Harkabi wrote that he was disturbed by “these manifestations of hostility-the
designation of Christians as idolaters, the demand to invoke the ‘resident alien’ ordinances, and the burning of the New Testament.” Observed
Harkabi: “Outside of the Land of Israel Jews never dared behave in this fashion. Has independence made the Jews take leave of their
Discrimination against Non-Jews and non-Orthodox stream of Judaism
The US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor’s
“International Freedom of Religion Report 2009” is heavily critical of Israel’s
policies regarding religious pluralism and tolerance. In its introduction the report notes, “Government allocations of state resources
favored Orthodox (including Modern and National Religious streams of Orthodoxy) and ultra-Orthodox (sometimes referred to as "Haredi") Jewish
religious groups and institutions, discriminating against non-Jews and non-Orthodox streams of Judaism.”
The report relies heavily on research and reports from NIF grantees. ”According to the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) for Progessive
Judaism (Reform), in 2006 approximately 96 percent of all state funds for Jewish religious education were allocated to Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox
Jewish schools”; ”According to New Family: Organization for Family Rights, more than 5,000 couples marry in civil ceremonies abroad each year,
primarily in Cyprus.” The report also refers to Supreme Court petitions by IRAC and Adalah: Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
Women in Israel is the first comprehensive overview of discrimination in a state dominated by a patriarchal religious order, and brings fresh
insights to the efficacy of the law in improving the status of women. Providing a sociolegal perspective on women in Israel viewed, Ruth
Halperin-Kaddari examines all aspects of Israeli women's lives, looking at legal issues such as affirmative action, motherhood and the workplace, and
mechanisms for the advancement of women, as well as conditions of education, employment, health, family, and prostitution.
While tracing legislative evolution in Israel, Halperin-Kaddari discusses the extent to which law can create social change. Because of its unique
position as an economically developed democracy and yet a state where government tries to maintain a special cultural tradition and religious identity
in a heterogeneous society, Israel has failed to adopt a single national standard for women that would bring Israeli law into compliance with
international human rights. Halperin-Kaddari concludes that the improvement in women's status has not been due to egalitarian consciousness, but
rather is incidental to Israel's overall socioeconomic advancement.
“Israel’s private sector is almost entirely closed to Arab women because of discriminatory practices by employers who prefer to employ
Jews,” Mr. Jabareen said. He added that the government had failed to provide leadership: among governmental workers, less than two per cent were
Arab women, despite repeated pledges by ministers to increase Arab recruitment.
This by no means covers this vast subject but is mere very minute part of underlying problem. I hope this provides a much needed glimpse of
discrimination within Israel but the question remains are these discrimination state adopted policies or just general ignorance of general
If these are State adopted policies then one needs to ask why?
If these are mere general ignorance of small sect then why?
i'd need to write something nice with good references&sources (as you did in op) but i feel lazy to do it, sorry.
the idea is if we look at the real history of israel/the 3rd reich we see that anti-semitism started off with ashkenaze discriminating sefarates; up
till today to some extent, power being solely in the hand of ashkenaze, sefarate having been used as alibi to further zionist ashkenaze agenda.
Well that is an curious take but I believe any ancestors does not have to do anything with 21st century racism. People now are educated and know what
is right and wrong. Also I do not believe "race" has anything to do with it. True in history many tribes have different traditions etc. but it was
back in time and fails to rationalize the current practices.
Again I disagree, it has nothing to do with race at all. If it was about race then people allover the world would be judged by the actions, traditions
of the history which is incorrect. One cannot and should not judge anyone by their race or heritage but their present action.
I believe it is all about not proper education being given.
Oh my apologies when you mentioned khazars I thought you are implying about the ancestors and it turns into race. I am not at all into religion, race
thing and try to keep away from it. But thank you for your insight, I will try to look into khazar people as you mentioned and see how it relates to
But somehow I am still skeptical since I believe in old time i.e, history everyone had old views ...in history no sect of people can claim today their
ancestors did not discriminate at a point in time but that does not mean they still follow their ancestors practices. With time and education people
have gained knowledge and know it's wrong to discriminate among people.
“Shabbat Beshabato,” [is] a weekly pamphlet on the Torah portion distributed in thousands of copies to synagogues all over Israel. Rabbi
Yisrael Rosen, the founder of the
Authority and head of the Tsomet Institute of Halacha and Technology [Hebrew], wrote in the most recent edition that “the time has come
‘to declare war’ on the Israeli Arabs, and of course on the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria, who are not loyal to the state, using clear
tests to determine this, and to designate them as ‘enemies.’” [...]
What kind of enlightened democracy finances a body that is behind the publication of unacceptable remarks against its citizens? The Tsomet Institute,
like quite a few “rogue elements” (such as the Od Yosef Hai Shechem yeshiva, whose rabbi, Yitzhak Shapira,
permits the killing of gentile babies)
receives thousands of shekels annually from the state. In 2007-2008, Tsomet received from
the Science and Technology Ministry over NIS 580,000, and another NIS 100,000 or so from the
Ministry of Education, as well as NIS 200,000 from the
Gush Etzion Regional Council.
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