Thousands demonstrated in Kiryat Malachi on Thursday in protest of local apartment owners refusing to sell or rent to Israelis of Ethiopian descent.
The practice was revealed in a Channel 2 news expose last week, depicting a Kiryat Malachi neighborhood council whose residents signed a pledge vowing not to rent or sell houses to Ethiopians.
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In the Channel 2 segment, one resident of the Bar-Yehuda neighborhood in the poor development town can be heard saying “the only good Ethiopian is a dead Ethiopian.” Another resident said Ethiopians “have a stench like an atomic bomb.”
An additional resident of the 120-family neighborhood said that
Ethiopians will bring down the real estate values, before adding that he
wouldn’t rent to an Ethiopian even if he was the IDF chief of staff.
The same resident said Ethiopians who move into the neighborhood will
start holding elaborate African rituals in public spaces, including
slaughtering cattle and setting up tents “like they do there [Africa]”.
Among those at the protest was Kiryat Malachi Mayor Moti Malcha, who
told Army Radio that he "harshly condemned the discrimination against
the Ethiopian community the moment I was informed of it."
Malcha stated that the problems revealed in Kiryat Malachi were a symptom of a larger problem nationwide.
"The Ethiopian community is separated and the State of Israel does
almost nothing to care for them. It cannot be that I have to chase after
contributions in order to take care of them," he stated.