A former Israel Security Agency official shot himself dead on Saturday evening after a Facebook post accusing him of racism had gone viral.
The story seized headlines when a black woman from Tel Aviv, complained in a lengthy Facebook post about how she was mistreated at the Population, Immigration and Border Crossing Authority – a branch of the Interior Ministry – when there with her small children. In her message, which has garnered nearly 7,000 shares since it was published on Wednesday, May 20, the mother of three recounts how she was repeatedly told to go to the end of the line, while other mothers were quickly ushered inside the building through a shorter line designated for parents. She asked to see the manager – the now-deceased 47-year-old man, whom she singles out by name – and told him she felt she was being discriminated against based on the color of her skin. His reply, according to the post, was to "get out of my face" if she was going to complain about discrimination.
The woman ended up waiting two more hours for assistance.
In response, the Interior Ministry official took to his own social media account to address the mounting criticism. "All my life's work has at once vanished, with the thrust of a word, disappeared," he wrote hours before he was found dead in his Hod Hasharon home. "I have worked years to make a name for myself, a name now synonymous with the most vile of terms – racism."
He said he understood the new reality he now faced and how "this will be my fate from now on." He said he was "trying to come to terms with it all," stressing that he was not angry with the woman, who he noted, appears to have already overcome the incident. "I on the other hand, cannot [overcome]," he said, before bidding his followers "Farewell."