Interior Ministry Cuts Funds To Ashkenazi Haredi Schools That Will Not Admit Sefardim
380 Sefardi girls are blocked from attending school. "The only sin of these girls is that they were not born with the right color.”
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel's new school year, which began Monday, is not going smoothly.
After Yediot Achranot published a report saying hundreds of haredi Sefardic teenage girls have been blocked from attending school by haredi Ashkenazi school administrators, Israel’s Sefardi haredi Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, has reportedly ordered cities to stop funding those schools.
"The only sin of these girls is that they were not born with the right color,” Yishai reportedly said in a statement. “I have instructed the ministry's director general to freeze the allocation of budgets to municipalities that fund institutions that have adopted racist policies. Racism must be eradicated and we will fight it with all the means at our disposal.”
Yishai’s office said the discrimination is taking place in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Modi'in Illit, and in other towns, and said that Yishai had received dozens of complaints. An official in the Interior Ministry put the number of Sefardi girls being blocked from attending school at 380.
Two years ago, anti-Sefardi segregation at a haredi girl’s school in the haredi town of Emmanuel landed some of the Ashkenazi hasidic parents in jail after they refused to heed a High Court of Justice order to end the discrimination.
Member of Knesset Haim Amsellem, a former member of Yishai’s Shas Party, is now the chairman of the Am Shalem socio-political movement, which was formed in part due to this type of anti-Sefardi racism and Yishai’s earlier, tepid responses to it. Amsellem attacked Yishai's "late" reaction to years of anti-Sefardi discrimination.
"The issue of discrimination in haredi institutions has been a known fact for a while. Not enough has been down to fight it. The funding of these institutions must be stopped, and those who support this discrimination or threaten the complainants must be dismissed. Where was Yishai all this time? He did nothing, because his children, as well as the children of the rest of the MKs, attend these discriminating schools," Amsellem told Ynet.
Ynet reports that the City of Jerusalem says it has taken steps against anti-Sefardi discrimination in city haredi schools. It claims to have eliminated this discrimination "almost entirely."