Israeli interior ministry orders removal of Arab worker ban

Survey finds 58% of Jewish Israelis approve mayor's action

21 November, 12:47

    Arab construction workers in Israel Arab construction workers in Israel

    (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV - The Israeli interior ministry on Friday ordered the mayor of Ashkelon, a city south of Tel Aviv, to immediately lift a ban barring Arab construction workers from city kindergartens. The mayor of Ashkelon, Itamar Shimoni, triggered a national scandal Thursday when he banned Arab construction workers from kindergarten premisses because families had expressed fear for the safety of their children following a deadly attack in a Jerusalem synagogue this week.

    The interior ministry blasted the mayor's initiative as "contrary to the principles of equality" adding "prevention of discrimination are fundamental principles in Israel; and it is even unnecessary to dig into the reasons and their importance". "Under the circumstances created, we ask you to immediately cancel the measures announced yesterday, and update us" on carrying out the order, the ministry wrote.

    Tough criticism also rained down on the Ashkelon mayor Thursday from Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. But a poll conducted by television channel 10 found that 58% of Jewish Israelis felt Mayor Shimoni's action was justified. (ANSAmed).

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