Arabs, Ethiopians Filed Most Racism Complaints in Israel during 2021

 Israeli Arabs protest against violence, organized crime and recent killings in their communities, in the Arab town of Majd al-Krum in northen Israel on October 3, 2019. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Israeli Arabs protest against violence, organized crime and recent killings in their communities, in the Arab town of Majd al-Krum in northen Israel on October 3, 2019. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
TT

Arabs, Ethiopians Filed Most Racism Complaints in Israel during 2021

 Israeli Arabs protest against violence, organized crime and recent killings in their communities, in the Arab town of Majd al-Krum in northen Israel on October 3, 2019. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Israeli Arabs protest against violence, organized crime and recent killings in their communities, in the Arab town of Majd al-Krum in northen Israel on October 3, 2019. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

Palestinian Arabs and Ethiopian Jews in Israel filed the most racism and discrimination complaints in 2021, an official report revealed on Monday.

The most common complaint was discrimination in obtaining a service, said the report issued by the Justice Ministry’s Government Unit for Coordinating the Struggle Against Racism.

The report indicated that 24% of the complaints involved racism directed at people of Ethiopian descent, 24% against Arabs, and 10% against Haredim (religious Jews), while 4% Four percent involved incidents directed at Mizrahi Jews – of Middle Eastern origin.

In 2021, 458 cases were opened on complaints of racism and discrimination, compared to 497 cases in 2019 and 506 cases in 2020.

Twenty-three percent of the complaints were for illegal discrimination in providing a service, 11% percent for discrimination in hiring and employment in general, 10% percent for racist expressions made in public and 9% for racist or stereotypical advertising in public, the report showed.

It added that 7% were filed for racist speech in public services, 7% for police treatment of complainants, 4% on educational issues and 3% involving racially motivated crime.

It cited an incident of suspected racially motivated conduct by police officers during a bus inspection.

The complaint asserted that while enforcing COVID-19 restrictions in January 2021, police gave tickets for not wearing seatbelts to all the Arab passengers but none of the Jewish ones.

The tickets were canceled upon review. Steps were ordered to be taken as a lesson from this case of police misconduct.



Erdogan Dampens Hopes for Restarting Talks on Cyprus' 50-year Ethnic Split

A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (front-L) and Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar (front-R) laying wreath to monument of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during their meeting in the Turkish-administered northern part of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, 15 November 2020. EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT
A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (front-L) and Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar (front-R) laying wreath to monument of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during their meeting in the Turkish-administered northern part of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, 15 November 2020. EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT
TT

Erdogan Dampens Hopes for Restarting Talks on Cyprus' 50-year Ethnic Split

A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (front-L) and Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar (front-R) laying wreath to monument of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during their meeting in the Turkish-administered northern part of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, 15 November 2020. EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT
A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (front-L) and Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar (front-R) laying wreath to monument of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during their meeting in the Turkish-administered northern part of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, 15 November 2020. EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT

The Turkish president on Saturday put a damper on hopes for a quick resumption of talks to heal a half-century of ethnic division on Cyprus, reaffirming his support for a two-state deal that Greek Cypriots dismiss as a non-starter.

Speaking ahead of a military parade to mark the 50th anniversary of a Turkish invasion that split the island along ethnic lines, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out a peace deal based on a United Nations-endorsed plan for federation.

Although Erdogan has previously rejected the federation plan, Greece and the Greek Cypriots had hoped he would soften his position.

The anniversary is a festive occasion for Turkish Cypriots in the island's northern third, who view the invasion as salvation from the Greek-speaking majority's domination. The invasion followed a coup that aimed at a union with Greece, which was backed by the Junta then ruling in Athens, according to The AP.

In the south, the howl of air raid sirens at daybreak began a solemn day marking what Greek Cypriots remember as a catastrophe that left thousands of people dead or missing and displaced a quarter of the Greek Cypriot population.

Erdogan’s remarks may further complicate UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ effort to get both sides back to the negotiating table. His personal envoy, Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar, has spent the past six months scoping both sides out.

“We will continue to fight with determination for the recognition of the TRNC (breakaway Turkish Cypriot state) and the implementation of a two-state solution," Erdogan told throngs of Turkish Cypriots lining the parade route in scorching heat in the northern half of the divided capital, Nicosia.

“A federal solution in Cyprus is not possible, this is what we believe. ... The Turkish Cypriot side, as equals with the Greek side, are willing to negotiate and are ready to sit down and negotiate. If you want a solution, you need to recognize the rights of Turkish Cypriots."

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar reiterated that Turkish Cypriots reject “domination” by the Greek Cypriot majority and seek “equal national status” for their breakaway state they unilaterally declared in 1983, which is only recognized by Turkey. He added that there's now “no common ground” for a return to peace negotiations.

Referring to a recent resolution in the Ankara parliament calling for a two-state solution, Tatar said it “will help us and our cause incredibly.”

The island's Greek Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides urged Türkiye and the Turkish Cypriots to re-engage in reunification talks if Ankara genuinely seeks regional security and stability and to nudge closer to the European Union.

After numerous failed rounds of peace negotiations, many Cypriots on both sides — although jaded — still hold out a glimmer of hope for a peace deal.