MEDIA RELEASE: Israel introduces racially segregated kindergartens to keep Africans out

According to a report published by Israel's Ynet News (Hebrew edition), as of this Tuesday, Israeli kindergarteners in the city of Tel Aviv will be segregated by race in an attempt to keep Africans children separate from Israeli Jewish children (see: http://tinyurl.com/n8rflaw).

From Tuesday, children of asylum seekers and refugees from sub-Saharan Africa living in Israel will go to "special" kindergartens and all other Israeli Jewish children will go to their own.
 
Lisa Goldman, a Canadian-Israeli senior editor for the online publication "Open Zion", commented over the weekend in an opinion article that: "As of this year...[Israel] has decided that 'separate-but-equal' for three to six year olds is the way to go..." (see: http://tinyurl.com/n8rflaw).
 
Khulekani Chiya of BDS South Africa commented: "The 'separate-but-equal logic' that Israel is using today (in 2013) is the same flawed logic that Hendrik Verwoerd and other leaders of the Apartheid regime in South Africa used in the 1980s to justify their system of racial segregation. However, we, particularly South African will not be hoodwinked, Israel is an Apartheid State and should be met with the same response that Apartheid South Africa was met with - boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS)."
 
According to Israeli news reports, the Israeli city of Tel Aviv has already completed the construction of the new segregated preschools for black children. The segregated kindergartens come after Jewish Israeli residents threatened to keep their children at home rather than allow them to mix and play alongside their African peers from Eritrea and Sudan.
 
In a related matter, late last year, Israeli officials initially denied but then in January this year admitted that African women from Ethiopia immigrating to Israel are coerced --sometimes deliberately misled-- into taking long-term contraceptive shots. Israeli activists together with human rights campaigners from around the world condemned the  practice as another form of racism, discrimination and xenophobia that Israel practices against Africans and Palestinians (http://tinyurl.com/n3x34dq).
 
South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), at its recent 2012 Mangaung National Congress, adopted a hard-hitting resolution strongly condemning the Israeli racism and violence against Africans and asked for the issue of Israeli racism toward Africans to be escalated to the African Union. The ANC Resolution (35 [j]) states: “The ANC abhors the recent Israeli state-sponsored xenophobic attacks and deportation of Africans and request that this matter should be escalated to the African Union”.
 
BDS South Africa condemns this latest form of Israeli racism and joins the ANC in calling for the issue of Israeli racism against Africans to be escalated to the African Union and the African Union Commission's Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
 
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BACKGROUND TO ISRAELI RACISM AGAINST AFRICANS
In June last year, as was widely-reported, Israeli anti-African protests turned into full-fledged race riots. Israeli racism and xenophobia against Africans  is shared and even encouraged by Israeli politicians including the Israeli Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said: "If we don't stop their [African immigrants'] entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence…and threatens the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity". Israel's Minister of Interior, Eli Yishai, has said that African immigrants "think the country doesn't belong to us, the white man!" And the Israeli parliamentarian, Miri Regev, has publicly compared Sudanese people to "a cancer”. (see: http://tinyurl.com/muf28ah)
 
 
ISSUED BY MUHAMMED DESAI ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA. FOR COMMENT: 0842119988

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