Tag Archives: racism

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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This week in photos

1931

1931 doorway in the Christian Quarter. Jerusalem, Israel. 15/06/2011. Fujifilm X100, ISO 1250, f/2, 1/60

Jerusalem Light Festival

Festival of light. Jerusalem, Israel. 15/06/2011. Fujifilm X100, ISO 2500, f/2, 1/340

Beitar Yerushalaim

Some five-hundred supporters of Beitar Jerusalem Football Club rally in support of their favorite team at first seasonal training session in Bayit VaGan Field. Supporters broke into the field disrupting practice and hugging the players. Jerusalem, Israel. 19/06/2011. Fujifilm X100, ISO 800, f/4, 1/550

Turning Point 5

Business as usual for the genral public while an evacuation to shelters is announced in Home Front Command exercise "Turning Point 5" at central bus station. Jerusalem, Israel. 22/06/2011. Fujifilm X100, ISO 640, f/4, 1/60

Home Front Command

"Turning Point 5", now in its last day, drills a passenger jet crash at Reading Power Plant. Bodies of three casualties lay alongside aircraft debris. Tel-Aviv, Israel. 23/06/2011. Fujifilm X100, ISO 400, f/8, 1/1400

World refugee Day

Refugee children from far corners of the Earth and Israeli children play together in Hebrew at a rally in the Levinski Park to mark World Refugee Day. Tel-Aviv, Israel. 24/06/2011. Fujifilm X100, ISO 400, f/4, 1/320

Upgraded X100 firmware to version 1.10 – smooth as butter!

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