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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hundreds of Ethiopian demonstrators protest against racism in Israel

 Published 19:23 10.01.12 Latest update 19:23 10.01.12

Ethiopians claim Kiryat Malachi housing committees refuse to sell them apartments; hundreds of protesters include various groups who feel weak in Israeli society.

By Revital Blumenfeld and Yanir Yagna 

Hundreds of demonstrators hit the streets of Kiryat Malachi on Tuesday afternoon, protesting what they call the discrimination of Ethiopian immigrants. According to Ethiopian residents of Kiryat Malachi, housing committees in the city have been refusing to sell them apartments.

The protest was not only attended by Ethiopian immigrants, but by representatives of various groups who feel weak in Israeli society.

ethiopian protester Protesters in Kiryat Malachi on Jan. 10, 2012.
Photo by: Ilan Assaya
"The phenomenon of racism harms us all, and it is impossible to separate the discrimination of Ethiopians in Israel from the discrimination of Arab residents or Russian-speakers," said Rabia Elsagir, a resident of Shfaram and member of The Coalition Against Racism in Israel, who attended the protest with a handful of people from the Arab sector.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel also condemned the phenomenon, requesting that the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs dedicate a portion of a meeting scheduled for tomorrow to the matter. The association said the committee must clearly state that they do not condone racism and discrimination and that they "are taking clear and decisive steps to eradicate" the phenomena.

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