Another apartheid feather in Israel’s racist cap

Israeli racist cleaning advert
Nureddin Sabir, Editor, Redress Information & Analysis, writes:

It’s good to know that Israel is living up to its brand image.

And not just that.

Not since the demise of apartheid South Africa has any country succeeded in introducing racial segregation into virtually every aspect of life, big or small.

Israel is an apartheid state and many Israeli Jews love apartheid.

In Israel, racial segregation not only seeps into education, air travel, hotel accommodation and nursing care, but also kindergartens, concert going, dating and hitchhiking. There are apartheid pavements, there is apartheid in hanging out and even an apartheid alternative to Facebook.

But that’s not all.

A flyer (pictured above) distributed in Tel Aviv offers cleaning services priced according to the ethnic origin of the (female only) cleaner, +972 Magazine’s Natasha Roth reports. Moreover, keeping up with the spirit of the time when open racism was acceptable, the flyer adds a healthy dose of sexism, referring to the cleaners exclusively in the feminine.

The cheapest labour comes from employees from African countries, at 49 shekels [USD 12.60] per hour. Slightly more expensive are Eastern European workers, at 52 shekels an hour. By far the most expensive are Eastern European employees who hold Israeli citizenship, at 69 shekels per hour.

An employee of the company confirmed to the Hebrew-language news outlet Mako that the flyer was indeed genuine and not satire intended to highlight, as Roth puts it, “the very open and profound racism that runs through Israeli society”. More than that, the employee “claimed that paying employees different salaries according to their ethnicity is not illegal”.

As Roth notes,

Each time such a brazen and shameful display of casual racism pops up in this country, the immediate response is to compare it to how it would look if another country did the same thing: to imagine, for example, the uproar that would be caused if an American company priced its (female-only) cleaning services according to whether the cleaners were from south-east Asia, say, or African-American.

This, and the other examples given above, are not simply isolated instances of racism. In Israel, the problem of racism is fundamental and deep rooted among the Jewish population. As Roth concludes:

Underneath all of this, of course, is the unspoken understanding that this kind of manual work is only to be assigned to non-Jews (thus, for example, a fairly prominent lawyer once blithely remarked to me that “Jews are too smart” for this kind of labour).

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