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Racism Report 2014

first Published  : 19/09/2014   Last Updated: 19/09/2014 

   

Racism Report 2014

March 2014

This report was published with the kind support and efforts of the staff of the Mossawa Center — the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel and members of the Coalition Against Racism’s staff. We would also like to thank the New Israel Fund, the European Union, and the organization for the Fight against Racism in Israel.

Coalition Against Racism’s Report: 2014

The following participated in compiling, writing and editing the material:  Shahin Nassar, Adv. Nidal Othman, Ms. Esther Eilam, Adv. Sameh Iraqi, Sophie Sosonov, Adi Zantzker, Elizabeth Burakov, Adv. Ruti Carmi, Adv. Efrat Fudem, Yael Ben-Yefet, Adv. Gawad Kassem, Or Sionov, Adv. Ariel Azalla, Ms. Rasha Essawi.

 

The Forward was written by:  Dr. Esther Eilam

The following assisted in collecting and editing the materials, and provided the data in their possession for the purpose of producing the Report: The Mossawa Center- the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens,, Tabaka Organization, the Reform Religion Center, the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow Coalition, the Temura Center, the Morashtenu Organization, the Center for Refugees and Immigrants, Social Workers for Peace - Social Workers, Jews and Arabs, for Peace and Welfare, the Negev Coexistence Forum, the Achoti Organization, the New Israel Fund, and the Kicking Racism and Violence from the Playing Fields Program.

 

Cover GraphicsMuhammad Othman

Important Note: Wherever the Report gives the plural (such as: Arabs, students, Ethiopians, Sefardim), the reference is to both male and female group members.

Contact: 

Telephone:  04-8555901

Fax:  04-8552772

e-mail:  stopracism.org@gmail.com

Internet:  www.fightracism.org

 

Participant Organizations in the HQ:

The Reform Center for Religion and State, the Temura Center, Mossawa Center for the Rights of Arab Citizens in Israel, the Sikui Association, the Achoti Movement, the Recognition Forum - for recognition of the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev, the Women for Peace Coalition, Physicians for Human Rights, the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow Coalition, Tabaka - Law and Justice for Ethiopian Immigrants, Maagalim-Halakat, Agenda, Kav La-Oved, Coexistence in the Negev for Civil Equality Forum, Mahapach, Jidar Association, Movement of Democratic women in Israel, Maan, Coalition of Women for Peace, Hirak, Barrier Watch, the Center for Refugees and Immigrants, the Arab Education Monitoring Committee, the Rainbow in Arad, Arbat, the Keren Avraham Initiative, the Association for Mixed Families Rights, Morashtenu, Psyco-Active, the Roster for Professional Quality and Human Rights in the Israel Bar Association, the SOS Center for the Study of Violence in Israel, the "Racism - Not in My Country" Organization, Social Workers for Peace, SHATIL, Adom Hadash Movement, the School for Peace at Neveh Shalom and independent activists.

 
Foreword

The Coalition against Racism hereby presents to you the annual Racism Report for 2014. As is done every year, we have collected and concentrated all the cases of racism mentioned in the media, commenting on those that are not mentioned and presenting an update of the situation in Israeli society on this matter. The report alerts and presents recommendations to eradicate the phenomenon.  We are joined by organizations from the civil sector, Knesset lobbies, and field activists, for whom the issue is fiercely important. We consider racism a tool, the use of which becomes powerful in certain hands, and in practice causes overall social destruction. The Report will expand on all of these and ideas more.

The International Fight against Racism Day was declared by the UN following the Sharpeville massacre in March 1960, when police forces in South Africa killed 69 unarmed civilians demonstrating against Apartheid. Nelson Mandela (who died on December 5, 2013) was among the demonstrators. He was later brought to trial and charged with treason, as the organization of which he was a member of had been outlawed following that massacre. For years, this leader of the fight against racism was persecuted on charges of treason and terrorist activities, his resistance against racism and his demand for equality being the true reason for his imprisonment. Mandela’s plight shares similarities to those of the human rights activists who are called traitors or terrorist accomplices.

Before reading the Report and its findings, we invite you to imagine a normal, routine day: a day without the fear of speaking your mother tongue in public, or of being refused entry to certain places due to skin color. A day spent shop in a mall with no fear of expressions of discrimination and violence. A day registering your child at a kindergarten of your personal choice, and not as directed by State institutions, or walking freely in public without comments concerning your origin, gender, religion. A normality where it is possible to decide to spend time on any beach, without the fear of bullies wandering around throwing out anyone who does not comply with their nationalist perceptions. A morning without incitement of one kind or another by elected persons leaders of public opinion, enjoying sports without hearing racist slogans being shouted at you, and without fear of violence in or out of the football stadium. A routine where reading a newspaper or viewing TV are not  humiliating or embarrassing experiences; where the State does not see the citizen as the enemy; where citizens enjoy their rights fully equally. Why should we imagine such things? Regretfully, it is because the majority of us lack what should be taken for granted. The majority of the population of the State of Israel suffers from expressions of racism or discrimination of one kind or another. Sefardi Jews, residents of certain neighborhoods, residents of development towns, Russian speakers, Ethiopians, the LGBT community, the handicapped, single-parent families, residents of public housing, employees of outsourcing contractors and manpower companies, refugees, labor immigrants, women, and the elderly. Each group has its own stories of oppression, however, state encouragement of most of this racism, even among the subjugated groups themselves, is directed against Arab citizens. 

We are not arguing that this report reflects all reality, because what exists, to our regret, is much greater than what we manage to document and describe. The Report covers the period between March 1, 2013 and February 28, 2014. The findings will enlighten us with regards to the areas in which activity must be increased, and those where racism has decreased compared with the previous year, as documented in last years Report (2013).

We must not make the mistake of being captivated by the incitement by elected persons, as if racism is an opinion or a position. Racism cannot be legitimized; it is not or a position an opinion, but a deadly verbal weapon. Racism can be eradicated, but only if we declare total war on it. This is the civic duty of each one of us, because the state is doing the exact opposite. We must not be silent, nor turn our gaze away. The silence of the majority is what reinforces the power of the minority.

 

Principal Findings

16 Cases of Racist Legislation

The 19th Knesset was elected in January 2013 from then until the date of publication of this Report the MKs managed to place on the table 16 racist draft bills, 13 against Arab citizens 3 against refugees labor immigrants. Some of these have already been passed and enacted - racist and anti-democratic draft bills, constituting mainly persecution of the Arab population of Israel, and of the labor immigrants and refuge seekers. These are the direct casualties from those legislation processes, aimed also against human rights organizations. The previous Report documented 19 draft bills and laws; this Report has recorded a slight decrease in the number of racist draft bills and laws, however not in the weight and influence of those laws, especially when we consider the Governance Act, passed in March 2014, which raised the election threshold percentage to 3.25%.

 

22 Cases of Racism against Elected Persons Public Opinion Leaders

A significant decrease in the number of racist statements made by public persons is documented in this Report: the previous Report documented 106 incitement events compared with 22 in this Report. We should note that the previous Report covered the elections to the 19th Knesset, which constituted the principal motive for the considerable increase in the number of inflammatory statements issued by some of the candidates for Knesset office as part of their election campaign strategy to attract votes from the extreme right. The events of this year can be divided into: 10 against Arabs, compared with 44 in the previous Report; 8 incidents against refugees and labor immigrants, compared with 54 in the previous Report; 4 cases aimed at Russian-speakers, compared with 2 in the previous Report.

 

4 Cases of Violation of Political Freedom of Action of Leaders of the Arab Population

The Report recorded a very important decrease this year in cases of violation of the political freedom of action of leaders of the Arab population - 4 cases documented compared with 22 in the previous Report. This Report was issued a few days after the enactment of the Governance Act, by which the ruling parties are trying to restrict the representation of the Arab public in Israel or any other minority group. Increasing the entry threshold will constitute a serious violation of the right of the minority groups to be represented outside of the framework of the large ruling parties.

 

10 Cases of Offense against Religious Sensibilities

Cases of offense against religious sensibilities decreased significantly by half compared with the previous Report: 4 cases against Mosques Muslim cemeteries in Israel, one against a church, one case by a Muslim religious leader against the Druze religion, and 4 cases against synagogues Jewish holy places in Israel. This number is to be compared with 23 events recorded in the previous Report.

 

139 Cases of Racism by State Institutions, Businesses and Private and Public Organizations

In this category, an important decrease has been recorded - from 213 cases in the previous Report to 139 in this one. The decrease is a consequence of a sharply significant decline in selection activities in night clubs. This number includes 90 cases of demolition of Arabs’ homes in the Negev and 24 other events against Arabs in various fields, 5 against Ethiopians, 7 against refugees and labor immigrants, 4 against Sefardim and the Ultra-Orthodox, and 9 against Russian-speakers.

 

82 Cases of Racism Amongst Citizens

82 events were recorded in this year`s Report, compared with 114 in the 2013 Report: a decline in occurrences on the part of Jewish citizens against Arabs (41 cases compared with 63 in the previous year); a significant decrease in events against refugees and labor immigrants, from 34 in the previous Report to 18 in this one; cases of racism directed at Ethiopians shows a stable trend - 4 were reported in the present Report compared with 5 in the 2013 Report; against Sefardim, 5 cases were recorded compared with 3 in the previous Report. We note that there were 12 cases against Jews, in which the suspects and/ or accused were Arabs, one case against one of the Women of the Western Wallregarding their position concerning prayers at the Wall challenging the prevailing religious norm, as well as one case against Georgians in Israel.

 

55 Case of Racism and Violence by the Security Forces

There is a significant increase in cases of racist violence by the Security Forces against Arabs. In cases of Police violence against Arabs it is necessary to distinguish between different circumstances, i.e. Police violence in the course of an action that is not against a public demonstration and/or a community event, and Police violence against Arab demonstrators who are citizens of the State of Israel protesting against State and government decisions. Here the Report records and reports dozens of cases during the demonstrations against the Praver plan, as well as demonstrations against the Haifa District Court in protest of the trial of the residents of Shefar`am, with respect to the death of the Jewish terrorist, Natan Zadah. As distinct from what the Report documented vis-à-vis Arab citizens, this year the Report documents a further decline in events of Police violence against refugees and labor immigrants, from 3 to 2, and against Ethiopians no events are recorded in this Report, being a continuation of the trend from the previous Report which recorded a significant decline in events.  For the first time, the Report documents 4 cases of Police violence on a racist basis against Russian-speakers.

 

18 Racist Events by Educational and Academic Institutions

Racist events in this category have decreased significantly. The Report documents 18 cases compared with 34 in the previous year. Against Arabs, an increase was recorded: 10 events in the previous year compared with 16 events in the present Report. Cases of racism against Ethiopians declined - from 8 in the previous Report, to a single case in this one. There is a similar trend with respect to cases against refugees and labor immigrants - from 4 events in 2013 to only one in 2014.

 

53 Cases of Racism in Sports

The 78 cases in the previous Report have been reduced to 53 cases in this one. It must be noted that in the previous year the policy of the [Football] Association the Police has changed. This is due first, to the activity to raise awareness in this area, and second, to activities by the HQ and other entities vis-à-vis the Israel and World [Football] Associations. It is noted that racist events in sports, especially in football, are on the basis of nationality and skin color (i.e. against Arabs and against players of African descent).

 

17 Cases of Racism Against the Russian-Speaking Population

This year the Report recorded 17 racist occurrences directed at the Russian-speaking community in Israel, compared with 14 cases in the previous report. We note that 9 cases this year were perpetrated by the religious establishment against Russian-speakers. This data appears in a report prepared by the "Morashtenu" Amuta for the second year in a row.

 

10 Examples of Racist Publications in the Hebrew Social Media

In this section we documented 10 publications as examples of the large quantity of racist publications, mainly in the new social media. This part appears for the second time in the Report, and the cases documented in it are not counted in the Report at this stage. Below are the findings of the incidents, broken down into categories:

 

Comparison of the Data between the findings for the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 2014

Racism

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Racist Legislation

General

11

12

21

24

35

20

16

Racism and Incitement by Elected Persons and Public Opinion Leaders

General

 

 

 

 

60

107

22

 

Against Arabs

27

29

26

97

27

45

10

 

Against refugees and immig- rants

 

 

 

 

23

54

8

 

Against Sefardim

 

 

 

 

8

1

None reported

 

Against Russian speakers

 

 

 

 

 

2

4

 

Against Ethiopians

 

 

 

 

2

 

None reported

 

Against Ultra-Orthodox

 

 

 

 

 

3

None reported

 

Against homo-lesbians

 

 

 

 

 

2

None reported

Violation of the Political Freedom of Arab Leaders

General

27

23

19

73

37

22

4

Offense Against Religious Sensibilities

General

8

9

9

26

13

24

10

 

Arabs

 

 

 

 

9

21

6

 

Jews

 

 

 

 

4

3

4

Racism by State Institutions, Businesses and Private Public and Organizations

General

 

 

 

 

160

213

139

 

Against Arabs

 

 

 

 

64

125

114

 

Against refugees and labor immigrants

 

 

 

 

15

37

7

 

Against Sefardim

 

 

 

 

65

31

3

 

Against Russian-speakers

 

 

 

 

 

1

9

 

Against Ethiopians

 

 

 

 

16

14

4

 

Against Ultra-Orthodox

 

 

 

 

 

4

1

 

Against homo-lesbians

 

 

 

 

 

1

None reported

Racism Amongst Citizens

General

 

 

 

 

53

114

82

 

Against Arabs

16

70

91

68

23

63

41

 

Against refugees and labor immigrants

 

 

 

 

15

37

18

 

Against Sefardim

 

 

 

 

 

3

5

 

Against Ethiopians

 

 

 

 

15

5

4

 

Against Ultra-Orthodox

 

 

 

 

 

6

None reported

 

Against Jews by Arab suspects

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

Against Georgians

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

Against "Women of the Western Wall"

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Racism in Educational Academic and Institutions

General

 

 

 

 

37

34

19

 

Against Arabs

 

 

 

 

15

10

16

 

Against refugees and labor immigrants

 

 

 

 

3

4

1

 

Against Sefardim

 

 

 

 

5

11

None reported

 

Unclassified

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

Against Ethiopians

 

 

 

 

14

8

1

Racism by Security Forces

General

 

 

 

 

59

24

55

 

Against Arabs

6

17

15

28

18

17

49

 

Against refugees and labor immigrants

 

 

 

 

12

3

2

 

Against Sefardim

 

 

 

 

3

 

None reported

 

Against Russian Speakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

Against Ethiopians

 

 

 

 

26

4

None reported

Racism in Sports

General

 

39

65

21

55

78

59

Racism in the Russian Media Against Arab Citizens*

 

 

 

 

32

12

11

None documented   this year

Racism Against Russian-Speakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

17

 

Racism and Discrimination Among Various Jewish Ethnic Groups

General

14

14

27

110

 

 

 

Total

 

109

213

273

479

521

661

406

 

 

Racism Against Arabs

2013

2014

Racism and incitement by elected persons and public opinion leaders

45

10

Racist legislation

20

13

Racism by State institutions, businesses and private and public organizations

125

114

Offenses against religious sensibilities

21

6

Racism amongst citizens

63

41

Racism by educational and academic institutions

10

16

Racism by Security Forces

17

49

Violation of political freedom of action of Arab leaders

22

4

 

 

Racism Against Sefardim

2012

2013

2014

Racism and incitement by elected persons and public opinion leaders

8

1

None reported

Racism by State institutions, businesses and private and public organizations

65

31

4

Racism amongst citizens

 

3

5

Racism by educational and academic institutions

5

11

None reported

Racism by Security Forces

3

 

 

None reported

 


Racism against Refugees and Labor Immigrants

2012

2013

2014

Racism incitement by elected persons and public opinion leaders

23

54

8

Racist legislation

 

 

3

Racism by State institutions, businesses and private and public organizations

9

31

7

Racism amongst citizens

15

37

18

Racism by educational and academic institutions

3

4

1

Racism by Security Forces

12

3

2

T o t a l

 

129

39

  

Racism Against Ethiopians

2012

2013

2014

Racism and incitement by elected persons and public opinion leaders

2

 

 

Racism by State institutions, businesses and private and public organizations

16

14

5

Racism amongst citizens

15

5

4

Racism by educational and academic institutions

14

8

1

Racism by Security Forces

26

4

 

T o t a l

 

31

10

 

Summary

The 2014 Annual Racism Report, which documents cases of racism in the period between March 1, 2013 and February 28, 2014, recorded a significant decline in racism-related events in almost all categories. The Report includes 402 cases of racism across various categories, compared with 650 in the previous Report (if we subtract the events in the section on racism in the Russian media against Arab citizens, since none were documented this year), a significant reduction of 39%.

The most significant drop in cases of racism documented by the Report relates to events against refugees, labor immigrants, and Ethiopians.

If we ignore racist events in sports in analyzing the data, we will obtain the result whereby the 2013 Report documented 323 events out of 590 cases of racism against Arabs (about 54% of the cases documented by that Report). In the 2014 Report, 253 events against Arabs were recorded out of about 350 events (72% of the cases are against Arabs). The importance of this is that there was a significant decline in the number of cases against Arabs - about 70 cases less than those documented in 2013, but that there was a rise in the percentage (72%) against Arab citizens out of the total cases of racism documented in the present Report.

The most significant decline occurred in cases of racism against refugees and labor immigrants - from 129 cases in 2013 to 39 in the present Report (a decrease of about 70% in such events). Furthermore, there was a significant decrease against Ethiopians - from 31 to 10 cases (a drop of 68% in the number of events).

The question that arises is, what explains the decrease in the number of cases in the present Report compared with the previous Report? In order to answer that question we will present here a number of comparisons for explanation purposes.

In the category of "Racism Incitement by Elected Persons and Public Opinion Leaders", the previous Report recorded and documented 107 compared with 22 cases in this Report (an 80% decline in the number of cases of incitement). Numerically, that shows a decline of 75 events, constituting about 30% out of the 248 events recorded in this Report. A more in-depth analysis will show that out of 107 cases of incitement in the previous Report, occurring in the year prior to the elections of the 19th Knesset, there are 45 against Arabs. This figure decrease in 2014 to 10 cases, while 54 cases of incitement against refugees and labor immigrants in 2013 dropped to 8 cases.

We argued, and continue to argue at the Coalition Against Racism, that cases of incitement by public persons, MKs, religious leaders and others, constitute the main reason for the increase or decrease in cases of racism amongst citizens and/or in all other categories.

The only category that is not affected by the incitement events is police violence, which is and, as we argued and will continue to argue, a consequence of Government policy. As we did in the previous Report, we will continue in this Report to welcome the significant decline in cases of Police violence against Ethiopians and refugees and labor immigrants, while in parallel, noting and condemning the very significant rise in racist violence by the Police against the Arabs. It is, however, possible to report here a decrease in Police violence against Arabs that was not connected to legitimate political protest demonstrations by the Arab public in Israel.

There have been dozens of cases of Police violence vis-à-vis Arab demonstrators against the Prawer Plan in the Negev, which illustrates why the Police cannot function as an entity entrusted with the preservation of the security of citizens, and is seen rather as an entity protecting the State from its citizens, particularly from its Arab citizens. It should be noted that not all events of Police violence are translated into complaints filed with the Police Investigations Department, due to the demonstrators` unwillingness to become involved with the Police, and also as a result of their lack of confidence in the PID.

At the Coalition Against Racism, we will promote a plan of action vis-à-vis the Police with the aim of reducing cases of Police violence methodically. However, we argue that such a reduction can be effective only if a policy is established within the Police forces that will lead to a significant reduction in cases of Police violence, only if they change their attitude towards Arab demonstrators.

The Report documents another noteworthy significant decline in the category of "Racism by State Organizations, Businesses and Private and Public Organizations". In this Report, 139 cases were documented compared with 213 in the previous Report, the difference being 74 events which constitute approximately 30% out of 248 events recorded in this Report. The drop in this category is mainly in events of selection against Sefardim and Ethiopians at places of entertainment and night clubs. On the other hand, even when the 2014 Report records a slight reduction in the number of cases against Arabs (from 125 in the previous Report to 114 in this one), there are still 90 out 114 cases of demolition of the homes of Arab and Bedouins citizens in the Negev alone (i.e. execution of the Prawer Plan, which has not yet been approved by the Government and which was supposed to be suspended). We should note that there is a direct connection between the increase in events of this kind, and the cases of Police violence against Arab demonstrators seeking to protest against the policy and the Plan, which has not been approved by the "sovereign" Knesset, but nonetheless has been put into practice by the Government. 

We cannot end this summary without relating to two very worrying phenomena. The first, constituting the more dangerous widespread of the two, is the "Price Tag" activities. Although performed mainly beyond the Green Line, there is also a considerable rise in these activities against Arab citizens within Israel. We have also observed 12 cases of racist activities by Arabs (or suspected to be by Arabs) against Jews.

The data in this Racism Report, as well as in the preceding ones, does not reflect and does not document all cases of racism in Israel, but mainly those cases that reach the media. Although this report showed a decrease in the number of events, the question of whether there is a change in the character of racism in Israel remainds. For instance, if racism takes place on the Internet, a forum not yet accounted for in the Report, contribute to the decrease in racism that we have observed, or does the "decline" in racist events mean that acts are merely concealed, inter alia, due to normalization? In other words, are there incidents that are not being perceived as racism due to their acceptance in Israeli society?