Tag Archives: discrimination

Women Sing “No!” to Discrimination

Infuriated activists protest with song in front of Rehavia neighborhood restaurant, Heimishe Esin, threatened by ultra-Orthodox Agudath Israel to invalidate its Kashrut certificate unless it stops employing female waitresses on Thursday evenings. Jerusalem, Israel. 15-Mar-2012.

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Ethiopians Are Losing Hope – Jerusalem

For 23 days Ethiopian Israelis have been occupying a protest tent outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, demonstrating against what they consider paralyzing racism and discrimination against them in Israeli society. Jerusalem, Israel. 6-Mar-2012.

Shetu Yaacov (R), 31, opposite the PM’s residence at Ethiopian protest test in front of handwritten banner reading “the danger of racism is on the rise”. Jerusalem, Israel. 6-Mar-2012.

Shetu Yaacov, 31, born in the district of Gondar in Ethiopia, immigrated to Israel in 1990 at the age of nine. Shetu lives, just barely, in a rented apartment in Jerusalem. He is late with his monthly rent payments and will soon have no choice but to leave Jerusalem to find an apartment with lower rent elsewhere. Although he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is currently employed by the Jerusalem Municipality indirectly, he cannot find a more stable job and must settle working through contractors on projects that deal solely with the Ethiopian community – he’s not wanted for anything else. Shetu believes it was his financial hardships that lead to his divorce. His ex-wife and one-year-old daughter have moved to his wife’s parents and he does his best to visit his daughter once every two weeks.

For 23 days Ethiopian Israelis have been occupying a protest tent outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, demonstrating against what they consider paralyzing racism and discrimination against them in Israeli society. Jerusalem, Israel. 6-Mar-2012.

A recent study by Dr. Erez Siniver, chairman of the School of Economics at the College of Management, Academic Studies and Prof. Gil Epstein of Bar-Ilan University, based on Central Bureau of Statistics data from 2010 and comparing data for people with 12 years of schooling or less concludes that Ethiopian immigrants to Israel earn 30%-40% less then Israeli Arabs, until recently occupying the bottom of the scale.

Shetu Yaacov does his best to occupy the protest test whenever he can. He comes on weekends and between work shifts. He was here last week, freezing in the snow, when temperatures in Jerusalem hit zero. He believes it’s important to continuously occupy the protest tent until Ethiopians receive what they are entitled to and is very worried about the eviction order they were served by the Jerusalem Municipality, to be debated in the Jerusalem District court this afternoon.

Shetu details the demands of the protestors. First on their agenda is housing – many are unable to fund rent. They don’t even dream of buying an apartment. They can receive no assistance from their parents who in most cases are worst off. 95% of the working community are exploited by contractors, he explains, in low-pay jobs such as cleaning and security. “The younger generations, those of us who have married and brought children, cannot survive.” Many marriages break up and the people go back to living with their parents. “The government doesn’t care about us. That’s why we’re here. They close us in ghettos and isolate us from society.”

Second on the agenda is education and schooling; “After thirty years our community is in the country I cannot understand the racism that forces our children to go to separate kindergartens and schools.”

Shetu is frustrated with, what he calls, paralyzing racism, that won’t allow him to work as a social worker with communities other than Ethiopians. Many of his friends cannot get jobs at all. He heard from a young woman who changed her name on a job application so that she could not be identified as Ethiopian. She was summoned for an interview but as soon as she entered the room it was obvious to her she would not get the job.

Suicides are becoming very frequent, Shetu explains with great emotion; “People who have been through the hell of the camps of Gondar, come to Israel, lose hope and kill themselves.”

Shetu Yaacov, 31, explains with great emotion; “People who have been through the hell of the camps of Gondar, come to Israel, lose hope and kill themselves”, outside the Ethiopian protest tent opposite the PM’s residence. Jerusalem, Israel. 6-Mar-2012.

“My personal situation is relatively good. Others have lost hope” he summarizes.

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Ethiopians March for Equality – Jerusalem

Thousands of Ethiopians and supporters join Mulet Hararo, who set out on a 70Km 3-day trek to Jerusalem from his home in Kiryat Malachi, at the Wohl Rose Garden opposite the Knesset protesting racism. Jerusalem, Israel. 18th January 2012.

Mulet Hararo, 26, an IDF officer and physical education student, who just finished a 70Km 3-day trek to Jerusalem from his home in Kiryat Malachi is joined by thousands of Ethiopians protesting discrimination. Jerusalem, Israel. 18th January 2012.

Check it out HERE!

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cry of the celts

dolmen, neolithic burial tomb, october 2007, donegal, ireland

Wikipedia –

The History of Ireland began with the first known human settlement in Ireland around 8000 BC, when hunter-gatherers arrived from Britain and continental Europe, probably via a land bridge. Few archaeological traces remain of this group, but their descendants and later Neolithic arrivals, particularly from the Iberian Peninsula, were responsible for major Neolithic sites such as Newgrange. Following the arrival of Saint Patrick and other Christian missionaries in the early to mid-5th century, Christianity subsumed the indigenous pagan religion by the year 600.

 

celtic cross, october 2007, sligo, ireland

From around 800, more than a century of Viking invasions wrought havoc upon the monastic culture and on the island’s various regional dynasties, yet both of these institutions proved strong enough to survive and assimilate the invaders. The coming of Anglo-Norman mercenaries under Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, in 1169 marked the beginning of more than 800 years of direct English involvement in Ireland.

 

celtic cross, october 2007, louth, ireland

the whole of ireland was occupied and ruled by great britain for over 800 years. the descendants of ancient celtic tribes were robbed of their land, self government, pride and basic human freedoms. hundreds of years of british plantation and manipulation reduced the majority of the irish population to a life of peasantry in the 19th century, subordinate to greedy landlords – 8 million people totally relying on … a potato.

irish farmer, october 2007, sligo, ireland

in 1845 a fungus attacked the only source of food available to a poor rural population, most of them living in mud cabins. the worst european disaster of the 19th century, known as the irish famine, lasted 7 years and brought mass starvation. during these years the british rule showed total incompetence, dublin nobility continued partying and greedy landlords exported enough grain to have kept millions of irish alive. within 7 years the irish population fell by 3.5 million. exactly how many died and how many emigrated? nobody knows.

famine village, october 2007, donegal, ireland

the easter rising of 1916, lasting a week, devastating dublin and ending in the rebels’ surrender and execution of leaders expedited the 1918 war of independence and brought to the partition of ireland in 1921. northern ireland remained a part of the u.k., a state which discriminated the catholic irish as a matter of policy.

commemoration murial, october 2007, belfast

the troubles began in the late 1960’s. 30 years of bloody violence between republican and loyalist paramilitary groups, including the ira, the royal ulster constabulary (the police force of northern ireland at the time) and the british army. between 1969 and 2001, 3,523 people were killed as a result of the troubles, 1,855 of them civilians, 47,000 injured, 16,000 bombings, 20,000 imprisoned. quite an intifada!

a gate in the barrier, october 2007, belfast

almost unbelievably, on friday april 10th 1998, good friday, both british and irish governments signed the belfast agreement for the creation of a power-sharing executive body committed to the use of “exclusively peaceful and democratic means”. the agreement was endorsed by almost all northern ireland political parties. which, with great emotion, reminds me of a song from childhood – 

Last night I had the strangest dream,
I never dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.
I dreamed I saw a mighty room,
The room was filled with men.
And the papers they were signing said
They’d never fight again.

And when the papers were all signed,
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads,
And grateful prayers were made.
And the people in the streets below,
They all danced round and round.
And guns and swords and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground.


international wall, october 2007, belfast

why the great emotion? because as an israeli living in a land of violent conflict, who has served in the army and been in wars, who is raising three children in this crazy part of the world, the eldest of which is now doing military service … there is hope! in this sense belfast was amazing! past enemies of decades living side by side in a modern city, sharing governing powers and responsibility for building the future, making a sincere effort together. not everything is perfect. the peace is tense. a barrier still divides parts of the city and the gates are locked every evening at 6 to prevent unnecessary friction. i felt the tension in the air, i could almost touch it. but everyone i talked to can voice only one thing – hope for lasting peace. yes, for me that causes a surge of emotion from deep inside.

hope for lasting peace, october 2007, sligo, ireland

as always, super quality prints and licensing options available.

nir, with thanks to david o’connor!

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