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Racial Experiment in Israel

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    FINDING RACISM - THE COUNTENANCE OF THE COUNTRY Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 2) by Yuval Kaner et al. Thursday, August 30, 2007 [Translated from the Hebrew press] Six
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2007
      FINDING RACISM - THE COUNTENANCE OF THE COUNTRY

      Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 2) by Yuval Kaner et al.
      Thursday, August 30, 2007

      [Translated from the Hebrew press]


      Six Israelis of similar age and education went to look for work, rent
      an apartment and sign their child up for a private kindergartens. The
      six were: an Arab, a Haredi, an Ethiopian, a Russian, a Mizrahi and
      an Ashkenazi. In the Israel of 2007, will there be any significance
      to their origin or skin color? The answer, regrettably, is: yes. Yes,
      there is racism here. Sometimes disguised in a sentence such as,
      "[the position] is no longer open," and sometimes obvious, direct, in
      a sentence such as, "we don't want an Arab child in the
      kindergarten." It is not good to be a member of a minority in the
      State of Israel.

      In a special project by Yedioth Ahronoth in cooperation with local
      newspapers, we sent six Israelis, all similarly educated and in the
      same age range, to make calls to dozens of places all over the
      country and find out where they are happily received and what city
      demonstrates racism shamelessly. This is not a professional survey,
      but a random sample only. The responses, you will discover, do not
      reveal any shame.

      Six educated men with similar personal data were chosen to represent
      the various sectors. They went to more than 400 restaurants, cafes,
      apartments for rent and kindergartens in 22 cities, from Kiryat
      Shmona in the north to Eilat in the south, and offered themselves up
      as waiters, tenants and parents who wished to register their children
      for kindergarten. During every conversation their origin was made
      clear - sometimes by noting their full name, sometimes it was their
      accent that gave them away, or alternatively they explicitly
      mentioned that they belonged to a certain sector. Between eight and
      27 calls were made in every community. Phone calls were taped and
      full details of every person contacted are in the hands of the editors.

      The Ashkenazi person who called, Itai Unger, was the one who received
      the most positive responses, and did not encounter open racism
      against him. In second place according to the number of positive
      responses he received, following closely behind the Ashkenazi, was
      the caller of Moroccan origin, Yehuda Peretz. After him, in third
      place, was the Haredi, Yisrael Bernstein, closely followed by the
      immigrant from the former CIS, Boris Balenki.

      But in fifth and sixth places, lagging far behind, were dozens of
      embarrassing refusals. More than half of the conversations carried
      out by the caller who immigrated from Ethiopia, Sanbeto Tamno,
      garnered refusals (and dozens of insulting comments). Not far behind,
      with close to 70% refusals (and endless slamming down of the phone),
      was the Arab caller, Said Hasnin.

      During the investigation, with results piling up and turning into a
      tower of obvious racism, entering the room allotted to Said at the
      newspaper became more difficult, pressured and embarrassing. One
      after another we gave him telephone numbers of apartments that were,
      for certain, available for rent, of relevant jobs and kindergartens
      that were not yet full. And he, obediently, again and again dialed -
      and was humiliated. Another rejection, another disconnected call,
      another evasion. "Sorry, [the position] is no longer open," was the
      key sentence that cut through the air - and Said's heart - over and
      over again like a knife.

      Here are some of the results:

      Ramat Gan: Experienced Arab? No. Inexperienced Ashkenazi? Yes

      Ramat Gan did not welcome Said (the Arab). When he asked for the
      waiter's job he was rejected at two restaurants, one in the Ramat Gan
      stadium area and the other in the stock market area, although he
      spoke about his experience. Itai (the Ashkenazi), who wanted the same
      jobs, was invited for an interview even though he admitted that he
      had no experience.

      We decided to examine another restaurant, on Jabotinsky street, which
      was looking for waiters. Yehuda (the Moroccan ) dialed and was asked
      to come for an interview. Sanbeto (the Ethiopian) dialed, and was
      invited to stay home. Said called (and suffered another refusal). "I
      have a tremendous amount of experience," he tried to insist, but the
      owner was even more insistent. "We are full at the moment," he said.
      Five minutes later he invited Itai for an interview. [©]

      Bat Yam: Ethiopian? Only with a coffee diploma

      At the coffee shop on the promenade in Bat Yam, where Sanbeto tried
      to get a job as a waiter, they asked him for a "certificate to
      operate an espresso machine," explaining: "We work with a very, very
      complicated machine here." All his claims that he was a skilled
      barman did not help. Itai, in contrast, was immediately invited to
      come for an interview. "But I have no experience," he warned. "Don't
      worry," said the person in charge. "If we don't take you as a barman,
      we will take you as a waiter."

      Tel Aviv: Arabs do not sound good over the phone

      At the kindergarten in north Tel Aviv in Shikun Dan, Sanbeto, Itai
      and Yisrael received positive responses. Said was told: we are full,
      we have no room. During a conversation with Said, the teacher
      suddenly couldn't hear: "I cannot hear you," she said, "call another
      time."

      Eilat: Ashkenazim can choose

      Eilat apparently does not like Arabs and Ethiopians. Attempts by Said
      and Sanbeto to get work as waiters were adamantly denied. A bit later
      on Itai called for the same job. "We are looking for barmen and
      waiters," said the voice at the other end of the line. "What do you
      prefer?" Ashkelon

      "I don't deal with Moroccans"

      All our representatives tried to get accepted to the kindergarten in
      Ashkelon. To Sanbeto they said: "We are full." Yehuda Peretz received
      a similar response. After him called Boris, and wonder of wonders,
      there's room, and how. "I prefer Russians and not Sabras," said the
      teacher. Yisrael, the Haredi, received a positive response, while
      Said received a negative response with a smidgen of hope: "I need to
      organize a meeting with the parents to examine whether they would
      agree to have an Arab child in the class." [©]

      Petah Tikva: "The parents will not be comfortable with an Arab child"

      Said's attempt to register his son Ahmed to a kindergarten in the Ein
      Ganim neighborhood in Petah Tikva was not very welcome. "What can I
      tell you," stuttered the teacher, "I have a lot of Russians in the
      class. I don't know if they will have any opposition. I have no
      problem, but let me talk to the parents. I will have a parents
      meeting and tell them, so that there are no problems."

      "What could happen," insisted Said "the kid does not have a tail."

      "I don't know," said the teacher, "I want him to be well received.
      The children won't have a problem, but the parents©."

      Holon: The city with the most equality

      Following repeated quests, insistent and repeated, Holon turned out
      to be lacking racism. All the sectors, without exception, were
      invited to rent apartments on Sokolow street and have their children
      join the kindergarten in Kiryat Ben-Gurion regardless of religion and
      race. Even when Said insisted and asked the renter: "It won't bother
      you that I am an Arab?" He responded: "I don't care. It's not a
      problem."

      Hadera: Ashkenazis are cultured

      The city of Hadera did not welcome Sanbeto. When he asked to rent an
      apartment in the Rambam neighborhood, he received responses in the
      negative. Itai, when he called later at the same number, got a better
      response. "I am looking for cultured people," said the owner at the
      restaurant in the south of Hadera where Sanbeto looked for work as a
      waiter. No one wanted him. Three candidates for the job after him,
      Said, Yehuda and Yisrael, were actually invited to an interview.

      Jerusalem: "I don't want to hang up, but©"

      The kindergarten teacher from Pisgat Zeev in Jerusalem was happy
      about the call from Boris and spoke with him in fluent Russian.
      Sanbeto spoke in Hebrew, but also to a positive response. Said, in
      contrast, received this response: "I don't want to hang up on you. I
      recommend that you give up on this one and look for another." At 4:50
      pm Yehuda asked for work at the cafeteria at Malha Mall. He got a
      positive response. At 5 pm Said called the same place and was
      informed: "We have already found workers." At 5:15 pm Itai called.
      The response: come for an interview tomorrow.

      Haifa and the Krayot: Surprising Success for Arabs in Krayot

      For the job of waiter at the coffee house in the Yefe Nof
      neighborhood of Haifa, three went: Boris, Yisrael and Itai. Boris got
      a negative response, Israel also, while Itai was invited to
      interview. Said, who was disappointed in the other cities,
      encountered positive responses, both in renting and kindergarten
      hunting.

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