Separate but equal introduced in Israel

According to an Israeli newspaper, the city authorities in Tel Aviv have decided to introduced kindergartens segregated by race.

When the children of south Tel Aviv head back to school on Tuesday, kindergarteners will attend facilities that are segregated by race. The children of asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa will go to their kindergartens and all the other kids will go to their own. As of this year, the municipality of Israel’s most liberal city decided that separate-but-equal for three-to-six year olds was the way to go—in 2013.

According to a report published by Ynet (Hebrew edition), the city built the new preschools for black children after Jewish-Israeli residents of the inner city area threatened to keep their children at home rather than allow them to learn how to count, fingerpaint and play on the swings alongside their peers from Eritrea and Sudan.

And so we have officials representing the city that markets itself as a paradise for gays and liberals of all types embracing the concept of segregated kindergartens, presenting it as a win-win for the African newcomers and the veteran residents.

So Israel has decided to emulate one of the most pernicious aspects of the Jim Crow era in the US. This should not be too much of a surprise. Once a nation has decided that it is perfectly acceptable to oppress one group of people, as is the case with Palestinians, it is a short step to outright racism.


  1. matty1 says

    SLC1 changed name recently, I think the new one was Colnago80 or something like that but the pattern of arguments is the same and the references to Frankenburger are a dead give away.

  2. colnago80 says

    It appears that the story has been, to say the least exaggerated. Here’s a rebuttal from another source. The schools in that neighborhood in Tel Aviv are segregated for the same reason that schools in Cleveland are segregated, namely they are neighborhood schools that reflect the population from which they are drawn. Perhaps Beinart and Singham should consider removing the beam from their own eye before commenting on the mote in their neighbor’s eye.

  3. tiberiusbeauregard says


    Ts ts ts, don’t you dare challenge the lefties’ obsession with the jews…

  4. unbound says

    @tiberiusbeauregard – “…obsession…”, that word doesn’t mean what you think it means….

  5. Thinker says

    The schools have already been segregated, where vicious, ignorant old men spit on and attack any little girl they feel is not sufficiently degraded to suit them.

  6. 2up2down2furious says

    Residential segregation is indeed rampant in the US. And while there is tremendous history of de jure segregation, right now de facto segregation is probably the primary cause. Not so for Israel. Due to home demolitions, job opportunities and public services open only to Jewish nationals (rather than all Israeli citizens), denial of land and building permits for non-Jewish nationals, etc. So Israeli housing segregation is rooted in the legal framework of the country, not only in economic inequalities.

    Of course, your style of argumentation is pathetically typical of apartheid Israel’s defenders: if you can’t actually defend indefensible policies head-on, simply find something bad that’s happening somewhere else to divert the conversations. We can walk and chew gum at the same time– we can condemn inequality in the US, apartheid in Israel, and the new apartheid laws in Switzerland. Injustice in the US cannot be reasonably used to absolve Israel of it’s own crimes.

  7. says

    Indeed, a considerable amount of that de facto segregation is due to systemic factors, whereby persons with the wrong skin tone simply can’t get loans to buy homes in certain areas, and persons with certain addresses can’t get loans at all (Collectively referred to as redlining).

  8. colnago80 says

    Re #3.1

    You have made a number of serious charges here. How about supplying some sources, other then Stormfront, to back them up. Of course, calling Israel apartheid Israel shows your true colors. The US and Great Britain are at least as guilty in this regard as is Israel.

  9. colnago80 says

    That’s a good point, except that it also applies to certain areas of New York City. What is Mayor Bloomberg doing about that?

  10. 2up2down2furious says

    The use of the word “apartheid” is controversial, but none of the methods of discrimination I’ve mentioned are really under dispute. Home demolition is well-documented by the international human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (one very recent article from the latter: and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions ( this group is led by Dr. Jeff Halper, who is Jewish).

    In terms of discrimination against Israeli citizens who are not Jewish Nationals, the Israeli human rights group Adalah is probably one of the best sources. Here is one of their articles about how the semi-state group the Jewish National Fund discriminates: Adalah also has a database of Israel’s discriminatory laws against Palestinians in Israel.

    Routinely denying building permits for Palestinians is another issue covered by Adalah and ICAHD, in addition to the Israeli group B’Tselem ( Here’s an article from the [i]USA Today[/i] on the same subject. It quotes Peace Now, an Israeli solidarity group with a mostly Jewish constituency:

    Many of the previous sources I’ve cited talk about employment discrimination, but here’s an article from Haaretz, an internationally-read, center-left Israel newspaper:

    On some level, I really dislike it when people make claims without citing their sources, and I’m inclined to apologize for doing so. However, the facts I alluded to earlier are so obvious and well-known to anyone who seriously follows issues relating to Israel and Palestine that I can’t help but feel that you have a bit of egg on your face as well for being so opinionated but evidently so poorly informed about even the fundamentals of Israeli policy towards Palestinians.

    In terms of Israel being an apartheid state, comb through the Adalah database, then read this article on Mondoweiss (, which includes the UN’s criteria for an apartheid state. It’d be difficult to disagree that Israel does indeed practice apartheid.

  11. M can help you with that. says

    Because everyone who disagrees with the militant Israeli right wing — especially leftist Jewish and cultural Zionist disagreement — is a Nazi and must be scowled at. Or something.

  12. says

    colnago80: two wrongs do not make a right, asshole. You know that as well as we do. And you also know that injustice in the US does not negate our ability to condemn injustice elsewhere.

    The fact that you’re going straight from questioning the factual assertions, to questioning our right to talk about them at all, really shows how empty your defense of Israel is.

  13. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    .. Once a nation has decided that it is perfectly acceptable to oppress one group of people, as is the case with Palestinians, ..

    Don’t you think that just might be bit of a biased framing of the issue, Mano Sigham?

    There’s a whole other Israeli POV side to this story y’know.

    Imagine you were an Israeli leader – how exactly would *you* deal with groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah especially given the sort of hateful Arab rhetoric and constant state of warfare where their side wants your people driven out into the sea and massacred? This after your people has suffered literally thousands of years of persecution, oppression and attempted and actual genocides culminating in the Shoah where six million of them were murdered.

    Never forget that the Israeli side has continually been striving for peace and has made some incredibly generous peace offers (95% of what the Palestinians were demanding if memory serves) even painfully giving up territory captured at a terrible cost of lives, sweat and tears from attacking armies bent on total extermination.

    In return the Israelis have seen no gratitude, no recognition of their right to simply live in their traditional and sacred homeland, complete refusal by the various inter-warring Arab groups esp. incl the Palestinians to behave towards them reasonably or treat them like rational humans. In the very best case the treaty with Egypt the Israelis’ gained a long cold (&now threatened?) grudging peace, in the worst after giving up Gaza to its worst enemies Israel got back only only enemy rocketfire targeting innocent civilians in response. So can you really then blame Israelis for being over that and sick of peace talks that get them nothing and having a level of intense dislike and caution in dealing with or trusting in any way the other enemy side?

    There seems to be a very one-sided approach taken here – not just on your blog but FTB in general and Pharyngula especially – whenever Israel and its struggle to survive its would-be genociders gets mentioned.

    The Israel-bashing isn’t fair, it is victim blaming, and I think it should stop ASAP.

    * That would bea bit in the same way as the whole known cosmos is a bit of a large place.

  14. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @7.left0ver1under : Because its an incredibly unfair and false analogy which is deliberately designed to delegitimise, internationally isolate and lay the groundwork for the eventual extermination of a whole nation of people who are faced with attempted genocide (Israel the world’s only Jewish nation and one of the world’s smaller and already most vulnerable lands) and are merely taking reasonable measures to protect themselves from that.

    That’s why. So can you stop doing that now please?

  15. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    NB. It should be really irrelevant – human is human – but you may also want to recall that whilst the Afrikaner / Boer South Africans were “racially” all “white” the Israelis are a mixture of many different “races” notably the former Ethiopian Falashas, the formerly “brown-yellow” Shepardi descendants of those expelled from many Middle Eastern Muslim lands such as Syria, Egypt, and Iran plus the Ashkenazim who fled Russia and Europe following teh various horrendous pogroms and anti-Semitic persecutions there. The Israelis are not in any way racist but themselves are a multicultural, multi-ethnic (although united by common Jewish religion) set of peoples.

  16. Mano Singham says

    I will continue to speak out about the right of the Palestinian people to be treated with dignity and not treated as second-class. You may wish that I would stop but I won’t. Sorry, but that is the way it is going to be.

  17. colnago80 says

    I agree with Prof. Singham that the Palestinians should be treated with dignity and respect. The same dignity and respect shown to them by the rulers of Syria, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iran.

  18. lanir says

    I’m personally finding the debate on here almost as surprising as the government sponsored racism in Israel. It’s blatantly obvious that discrimination of any sort doesn’t help a larger group of people (cities, states, countries, the whole species, whatever) do better. All it does is put artificial obstacles in the way of some people while claiming they’re not as good somehow.

    It’s like picking a random monkey out of a group, beating it with a club whenever it climbs past some arbitrary level and then claiming it’s not as good at climbing as the other monkeys. That’s the point I wish President Obama had made better when he commented about how not having gay athletes in their Olympic team would hurt Russia. It’s not that sexual orientation affects athleticism (that would just be silly). It’s that adding an arbitrary and unrealted barrier risks filtering out some of your best people for silly reasons.

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