Monday, January 12

Harassment in Tel Aviv's public sphere

Over the last few days i heard more and more complaints by friends and acquaintances about harassment in the public sphere. And i am not talking about isolated events.
Last week and elderly Palestinian woman donning traditional garb was attacked by people in a Dan bus in nearby Bat Yam. Her "crime"? She looks Muslim. When she tried to escape her attackers, the bus driver would not let her off the bus. She had the courage to file a complaint, but many other victims of this type of violence, which has become quite common, are not as courageous, or simply do not complain because they have no expectations from the Israel police.

Many of my friends have complained of similar events, especially women wearing a hijab. Some of the Israeli public are showing their hate openly. And they appear to receive silent support of many in their surroundings.

Palestinians employed by the Tel Aviv municipality cannot freely voice their concerns as they are being silenced by their colleagues and even threatened with dismissal. Another veiled employee was asked by her boss to wear her Islamic head-cover in a different style, as the "clients would be less scared of her" that way.

I am not implying everyone is as racist and hateful as described above, but i am talking about more than a few isolated cases. Many women from Jaffa are scared to go into Tel Aviv or Bat Yam as a result.
It appears we are entering a very dark age.

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