Mixed Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem targeted with racist comment on Waze

User posts "The Bilingual School - May Their Names be Erased" on navigation app before company deletes post.

By REUTERS
August 9, 2015 12:40
1 minute read.
Hand in Hand

Screenshot of the user-modified name of the Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem, reading 'The Bilingual School - May their names be erased' before it was changed and the user banned. (photo credit: screenshot)

 
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The country’s largest Jewish-Arab bilingual school, located in southern Jerusalem, filed a complaint with police on Sunday after a threatening comment was posted against it on the popular navigation app Waze.

The words “The bilingual school – may their names be erased” was added, in Hebrew, to the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School’s location on the Waze map, which uses driver data to help people plan their car journeys and avoid traffic jams.

“I have been in touch with the police and I will file a complaint,” said Nadia Kinani, principal of the school, which was targeted in an arson attack last November that destroyed a preschool classroom.

A Waze spokesman said the post was deleted and that the user responsible for it has been banned by the company.

Last month, two brothers associated with the racist Jewish extremist group Lehava were sentenced to two and two-and-a-half years in prison by Jerusalem District Court for vandalizing and setting a classroom on fire there.
Jerusalem bilingual Hebrew-Arabic school ablaze in suspected hate crime

Nahman and Shlomo Twito, aged 18 and 20 respectively, from the settlement of Betar Illit, confessed to the November 29 hate crime. A third accomplice, Yitzhak Gabai, is still on trial for his role in the arson.

After setting the preschool classroom alight, the brothers also spray-painted Hebrew graffiti on the school’s interior walls stating “Kahane was right,” “You can’t coexist with a cancer,” “Enough with assimilation” and “Death to Arabs.”

Funded by an NGO promoting Jewish and Arab coexistence, the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School serves more than 600 Arab and Jewish pupils from preschool to 12th grade throughout Jerusalem, and is overseen by Jewish and Arab co-principals.

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