Hard hats worn by Israeli-Arab builders of the Knesset’s new wing marked with a red “X” — to aid security snipers.
The Security Department instructed that their helmets be marked so that it would be easier to distinguish them from other, foreign workers and keep a constant watch on their movements.
The instructions were issued even though many of the workers were cleared by the General Security Service within the last month.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin ordered Knesset security officers on Tuesday to halt their practice of ordering Arab construction workers at the Knesset to wear special identifying marks. Rivlin’s directive came after he was notified Monday evening of the practice by Member of Knesset Ahmed Tibi.
” I think this is a shameful disgrace for the Knesset”, Said Member of Knesset Issam Mahoul. ” I have no problem with security needs but this kind of marking is insufferable. If it isn?t removed, I will insist that it be replaced with a yellow patch”, he added.
An apparent reference to the yellow Star of David emblems Jews had to pin to their clothes during Nazi rule.
The Israel Office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has also harshly criticized the practice, issuing the following statement:
“While it is understandable that all workers at sensitive sites such as the Knesset have full and thorough security checks, it is both discriminatory and insensitive to visibly mark certain individuals based on race, religion or nationality, regardless of security concerns”
The ADL, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
More at Israeli Daily Maariv.
[via Je Blog]