2 thoughts on “Jim Crow, Israel-Style – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Richard, bad as ‘Jim Crow’ is, some things are worse, far worse. Like the genocidal incitement engaged in by this high-ranking Lubavitcher rabbi: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1091469.html

    On the ‘Jim Crow’ front (a term that might need explaining to any non-US readers?) the fact that the Maariv reporter speaks about Ethiopian children versus “Israeli” children when surely the “Ethiopian” children are just as “Israeli” as the others means that he/she and their editors there have yet to be able to figure out a decent language in which to be able to even think about or frame this issue? Maybe something like “Ethiopian-Israeli” children and “Less-black Israeli” children?

    Ah, but then the editors might have to do some hard examination of their own beliefs and practices: How do THEY think about skin-color issues within their society? And how many of them are indeed, themselves, dark-complected Israelis?

    1. Helena: I’ve written 3 posts here about the beloved Rabbi Friedman, a true boon to humanity.

      As for the boorishness and unconscious racism implied in the phrasing of this story, you’re right. On the one hand, it is true that it is important for their future success that these children become fluent in Hebrew and other Israeli cultural influences. But on the other, there is an unstated implication that the ways of their Ethiopian parents are somehow backwards & must be escaped from. That makes me uncomfortable.

      Israel has always placed tremendous pressure on immigrants to lose their ethnicity and separateness as quickly as possible in order to fade into the Israeli melting pot.

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