Ethiopian Jews protest alleged racism

Dec. 12, 2007 at 5:48 PM

JERUSALEM, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Hundreds of Ethiopian immigrants protested in an Israeli village Wednesday, saying their children have encountered racism in school.

The demonstrators called for the resignation of Yitzhak Ohayon, mayor of Petah Tikva, Haaretz reported.

In one recent incident, four Ethiopian girls were pulled out of a regular class. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert talked of discrimination against Ethiopian Jews at the Sunday cabinet meeting, mentioning the girls' isolation at a religious school.

"These stories compound the general distress felt by the Ethiopian children and the Ethiopian population within the Israeli society," Olmert said.

About 1,000 people blocked traffic Wednesday around the Petah Tikva municipal center. On Saturday, the municipality canceled a ceremony to honor school employees when Ethiopian protesters arrived.

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