Israel has a racism problem. Here are 3 ways to help fix it.
(JTA) — I am Ethiopian and I am Jewish. I am proud of my Ethiopian heritage as well as my Jewish heritage, but I feel that my cultures are not proud of me. Ethiopia rejected its Jews, and now Ethiopian Jews struggle to fit in with the native Israeli population. We need to figure out how to break the systemic oppression that forces Ethiopians to fight to survive.
It is a tough pill to swallow to admit that your country has a race problem, but Israel certainly has one. Damas Padaka, a decorated Israeli soldier, was confronted and beaten by police unprompted while on leave from active duty. Rabbi Eliyahu Asulin, a mohel, instructed his students to practice circumcision on Ethiopian babies despite not completing their training “because that’s where you learn. They’re cannon fodder.”
And last Friday, Yehuda Biadga, who suffers from mental illness as a result of PTSD from his army service, was holding a knife and his family called the police so that he would not hurt himself or anyone else. But instead of defusing the situation, the police killed him.