Today Rabbi Eckstein met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky, and Minister of Education Gion Saar, to sign “a document encouraging the integration of Ethiopian immigrants and against discrimination and racism.”
Incidents of violence toward the Ethiopian immigrant communities, as well as recent outbreaks of racism (including a fire bomb attack on a Palestinian taxi in Gush Etzio and the assault of three Arab teenagers in Jerusalem), led the Prime Minister to make this statement during the ceremony:
The State of Israel is a democratic state, an enlightened state, a state where when we come across acts such as these, the entire state and all of its leaders come out together against such phenomena, and we will continue to do so.
That is what makes us unique in the environment around us and this will continue to make us unique. I hope that one day our environment will change as well. But we will be persistent in our complete opposition to racism and violence.
We are not prepared to tolerate racism in Israel. Neither are we prepared to tolerate the combination of racism and violence.