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Home - Racism Report- Racism in Israel Report 2013

The Main Findings of the 2013 Racism in Israel Report

first Published  : 21/03/2013   Last Updated: 21/03/2013 

   

The report is published thanks to the efforts of the staff of the Mossawa Center and of the Coalition, and thanks to the support of the New Israel Fund for the Coalition against Racism in Israel
 
 
 
Introduction
The annual Racism in Israel report, published in the name of the Coalition Against Racism in Israel (hereinafter the "Coalition"), collects, reviews, and documents racist incidents that occur in Israel during a defined 12 month period from March to February. The report is published each year ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21.  The report attempts to present the current situation of racist incidents that occur over the course of the year.  The report documents racist incidents against various groups, communities and persons from the various communities in Israel, i.e. Arab citizens of Israel, Mizrahim (Jews of Eastern origin), Russian speakers, the Ethiopian community, labor migrants and asylum seekers.  
Last year, the report included the following categories:  Discriminatory Legislation; Incitement by Elected Representatives and Public Leaders; Infringement on the Basic  Freedoms of Arab Political Leadership; Harmful Religious Sentiments;  Racism in Government Institutions, Private Businesses, and Public and Private Organizations; Racism among Citizens; Racism by the Security Forces; Racism in Educational Institutions; Racism in Sports Stadiums; and Incitement and Racism in Russian Language Media.
 
This year the report has been expanded to include two new categories:  Racist Actions Against the Russian-speaking population and Racist Publications in the Hebrew Media and the Social networks.
The report presents the various events that reach and are published by the media, as well as events that never reach the media that are documented by organizations who are members of the Coalition and others.
An discussion concerning the report occurs each year, especially in light of the fact that every year there is a significant increase in the number of racist incidents compared with the preceding year.  It is important to note that, although the number of racist incidents increases each year, there is a fluctuation in the number of cases in the various categories.  For instance, in the previous report, covering the period between March 2011 and February 2012, a significant reduction was recorded in racist incidents among citizens compared with the preceding report (2011), while in the present year the number of incidents in that category again rose dramatically and a significant increase was recorded - double the number of cases.
It is important to note that the report may not document all incidents of racism since there are incidents that do not reach the knowledge of the general public and that are not covered by the mediarecorded by other organizations.  If that is the case - the situation is much worse than is reflected in the report.
The report enables the Coalition to construct plans of action for the struggle against racism, both for the short term and long term, based on an analysis of the situation according to the various categories, and an analysis of the reasons for the change in the number of documented incidents.  We long for the day when society as a whole will take responsibility to eliminate racism, when there will be no incidents with which to fill the reports pages and when there will no longer be a need for such a report.  We will be pleased to receive all constructive criticism to improve the preparation, writing and publication of the report.
 
Comparison of Reported Incidents 2008-2013
 
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
 
Racism Cases
20
35
24
21
12
11
General
Cases of Discriminatory Legislation
107
60
 
 
 
 
General
Cases of Incitement by Elected Representatives and Public Leaders
45
27
97
26
29
27
Against Arabs
54
23
 
 
 
 
Against refugees and migrants workers
1
8
 
 
 
 
Against Mizrahim
2
 
 
 
 
 
Against Russian speakers
 
2
 
 
 
 
Against Ethiopians
3
 
 
 
 
 
Against Ultra-Orthodox (Haredim)
2
 
 
 
 
 
Against homosexuals
22
37
73
19
23
27
General
Cases of Infringement on the Basic Freedoms of Arab Political Leadership
24
13
26
9
9
8
General
Cases of Harmful Religious Sentiments
21
9
 
 
 
 
Arabs
3
4
 
 
 
 
Jews
213
160
 
 
 
 
General
Cases of Racism in Government Institutions, Private Businesses, and Public and Private Organizations
125
64
 
 
 
 
Against Arabs
37
15
 
 
 
 
Against refugees and migrants workers
31
65
 
 
 
 
Against Mizrahim
1
 
 
 
 
 
Against Russian speakers
14
16
 
 
 
 
Against Ethiopians
4
 
 
 
 
 
Against Ultra-Orthodox Haredim))
1
 
 
 
 
 
Against homosexuals
114
53
 
 
 
 
General
Cases of Racism among Citizens
63
23
68
91
70
16
Against Arabs
37
15
 
 
 
 
Against refugees and migrants workers
3
 
 
 
 
 
Against Mizrahim
5
15
 
 
 
 
Against Ethiopians
6
 
 
 
 
 
Against Ultra-Orthodox Haredim))
34
37
 
 
 
 
General
Cases of Racism in Educational Institutions
10
15
 
 
 
 
Against Arabs
4
3
 
 
 
 
Against refugees and migrants workers
11
5
 
 
 
 
Against Mizrahim
1
 
 
 
 
 
Against Russian speakers
8
14
 
 
 
 
Against Ethiopians
24
59
 
 
 
 
General
Cases of Racism by the Security Forces
17
18
28
15
17
6
Against Arabs
3
12
 
 
 
 
Against refugees and migrants workers
 
3***********
 
 
 
 
Against Mizrahim
4
26
 
 
 
 
Against Ethiopians
78
55
21*****
65****
39 ***
 
General
Cases of Racism in Sports Stadiums*
11
12
32
 
 
 
 
Cases of Incitement and Racism in Russian Language Media*
14
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cases of Racism against the Russian-Speaking Population
 
 
110
27
14
14 (including migrants workers)
General
Racism and
Discrimination
between Different
Jewish Ethnic
Groups
 
661
521
479
273
213
109
 
Total

 

 

Principal Findings
 
20 Cases of Discriminatory Legislation
The 18th Knesset was noted as the most racist in the history of the State, inter alia, due to dozens of racist and anti-democratic draft bills mainly directed at the persecution of the Arab minority in Israel, and to a lesser degree the populations of labor migrants and asylum seekers.  This persecution is also often directed towards human rights organizations by means of draft bills that are capable of restricting the operating space of these organizations.  In this report, 20 draft bills were recorded and documented, including some draft bills that were also on the Knessets table in the period of the preceding report that are still in legislation process.  The preceding report documented 35 draft bills and laws that were passed.  The significant reduction in this report is probably evidence of the failure of those Knesset members to pass the draft bills they submitted, and also because it may be that, for the time being, they have exhausted the potential of racist legislation.
 
107 Cases of Incitement by Elected Representatives and Public Leaders
A significant increase in racist statements made by elected persons is documented in the report, which recorded 107 incidents of incitement this year compared with 59 recorded last year.  This years incidents can be divided as follows:  45 cases against Arabs compared with 26 last year, 54 incidents of incitement against refugees and labor migrants compared with 23 in the preceding report and 4 incidents against Mizrahim, including the Ultra-Orthodox (Haredim), compared with 8 in the preceding year, and in addition, 2 incidents against Russian speakers and 2 incidents against homosexuals and lesbians.
This significant increase in incitement incidents by public leaders also helped spur an increase in racist incidents by Jewish citizens against Arab citizens.  Incidents of incitement against labor migrants and asylum seekers have doubled in number.  It is hard not to make a connection between this increase and the period of the Knesset elections which may have served as the principal motive and catalyst for those public figures in their ongoing carnival of incitement.
 
22 Cases of Infringement on the Basic Freedoms of Arab Political Leadership
This years report happily records a decline in incidents of infringement of basic freedoms of Arab political leadership, 22 incidents this year compared with 37 in the previous year. Obviously, even 22 incidents should not be ignored in a country aspiring to equality and democracy.  We will continue to monitor the situation.
 
24 Cases of Harmful Religious Sentiments
In this area the number of cases this year is almost double that of last year - 24 incidents were recorded compared with 13 in the previous report, including vandalism in Muslim, Christian and Jewish cemeteries and sacred places.  These incidents are highly dangerous and are capable of inciting reactions from those belonging to the injured religious group.
 

213 Cases of Racism in Government Institutions, Private Businesses, and Public and Private Organizations
Institutional racism is on the rise, including by businesses and service providers in the private sector - 213 incidents compared with 155 last year.  This number includes 29 cases of selection in night-clubs, mainly against Mizrahim and Ethiopians, as well as 61 demolitions of homes of Arabs in the Negev and 64 different incidents against Arabs in various fields - a total of 125 incidents against Arabs compared with 64 in the preceding report.  There were 37 incidents against labor migrants and asylum seekers, 31 against Mizrahim, 4 against Ultra-Orthodox, 14 against Ethiopians and one against a Russian-speaker.  This accumulation testifies to the rise in institutional racist incidents against Arabs (61/114), continuation of the same level against Ethiopians, a decline in events against Mizrahim and a significant rise against labor migrants and asylum seekers (9/31).
 
114 Cases of Racism among Citizens
114 incidents were recorded in this years report compared with 54 in the previous year, with a tripling of events on the part of Jewish citizens against Arab citizens (63 cases compared with 20 in the preceding year).  There was also a rise in incidents against labor migrants and refugees, from 15 in the previous report to 34 in this one.  Furthermore, this year there were 6 incidents against Haredim and 3 against Mizrahim.  However, there was a decline in racist incidents against Ethiopians, from 15 in the previous year to 5 this year.
 
34 Cases of Racism in Educational Institutions
34 racist incidents were recorded in this category this year, compared with 37 in the preceding year, showing that there is no significant decline in the total of incidents. However 10 events against Arabs were recorded this year compared with 15 previously, and a decrease in racist events against Ethiopians was recorded, from 14 in the preceding report to 8 in the present one.  An increase against Mizrahim was recorded, with 11 reported in this year compared with 5 incidents last year.  

24 Cases of Racism by the Security Forces
An important and significant decline was recorded in racist incidents by the Police force against citizens.  This year only 24 cases were recorded compared with 58 in the preceding year.  No decrease was recorded in incidents against Arabs:   17 last year, the same as in the present report.  However, a decline was recorded in incidents against Ethiopians, from 26 to 4 this year, and a decrease in racist incidents against refugees and labor migrants:  from 22 last year to 3 in this report.  The significant decline in racist incidents against Ethiopians may be the result of clear policy and directives.
 
Furthermore, the report recorded 4 incidents against labor migrants and one against a Russian speaker.
 
 
 
78 Cases of Racism in Sports Stadiums
This report records 78 incidents compared with 55 in the previous year.  The figure includes a rise of about 30 percent in the number of cases documented mainly by observers who were present at the premiere football league games.  It does not include incidents that occurred in the lower league games.  Despite the various initiatives in this field, it appears that so long as enforcement measures are not announced, including penalties, this trend will not show any significant decline.
 
22 Cases of Incitement and Racism in Russian Language Media
22 cases of racist advertising were recorded in the Russian-language media against Arabs and labor migrants and asylum seekers in this years report, compared with 12 cases in the previous report.   "Morashtenu" is also responsible for this section of the report and, in addition to reporting racist advertising, it also reported anti-democratic advertisements that are not covered by the definition of racism and therefore are not included in the figure stated here.
 
14 Cases of Racism against the Russian-Speaking Population
This is the first time that the annual report includes a chapter documenting racist incidents against the Russian-speaking public.  The report, which was prepared by the "Morashtenu" Association, documents 14 racist incidents against this group.  We have no figures from previous years except for a very few cases that were included in the preceding years report but not as part of a specific section.  Adding incidents reported in other sections of this report brings the total number of incidents against the Russian-speaking population to 18.
 
19 Instances of Racist Publications in the Hebrew Media and Social Networks
This section documents 19 publications which reveal the large quantity of racist publications appearing mainly in the new social networks, but also in the mainstream Hebrew media.   We intend to develop this section in the report to be published next year, with stricter and more extensive monitoring of the various publications in the new social networks in addition to the traditional media.