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Petah Tikva Persecution

We were saddened to discover that the Petah Tikva municipality wants to close the kindergartens that serve the community of asylum seekers in the city, thereby preventing asylum seekers from accessing a right that is granted to any other child of the city. Every child deserves to be educated, regardless of the status or the situation of his parents. This attack joins a previous plan by Rami Greenberg, the new mayor of Petah Tikva, to .establish a hotline where people could report asylum seekers living in Petah Tikva, even though they live there legally. Due to language gaps and cultural barriers, asylum seekers are not always aware of their rights. In general, they are a community of people who work hard and earn little, who just want to live with dignity, just like everyone. Even if Greenberg's new action will be canceled and the kindergartens that serve the asylum seekers in the city will continue to operate - which is what we all hope for - the ostensible segregation of kindergartens based on race is outrageous and dangerous. As we wrote about the segregation in Netanya - in which the District Court ruled that there is no place for colour and race discrimination in the Israeli education system - it is shocking to find out how in 2019 such discrimination, that reminds us of distant places and times, has operated uninterruptedly for months. As Jews, we are amazed to find out how measures that were used against us are now being used against the weakest. In Omri Maniv's TV report on the matter, it was said that the move contravenes guidelines that stipulate that every child is entitled to go to a municipal kindergarten, and therefore, as in the case of the informing hotline, it appears that this is an illegal step that has no real chance of passing. This only confirms our feeling that this is not part of a serious policy regarding asylum seekers, however harsh or marginalising, but rather a part of an attempt to pressure this weakened population in order to gain attention and support. Our suggestion is simple: instead of chases, hugs. Instead of pressure, reaching out. Instead of hatred, inclusion. They are human beings too.

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