Meretz MK Frej attacks racism in banking system

Arab MK says a willing entrepreneur could make a lot of money if they are willing to specialize in the Arab sector.

August 6, 2013 14:39
1 minute read.
Meretz MK Esawi Freige.

Meretz MK Esawi Freige 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Meretz)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


MK Esawi Frej (Meretz) went on the offensive following the Economic Committee hearing on racism in the banking system on Tuesday.

"The attitude in the banks, shows Israel's relationship to the Arabs," he said in a press release, "they let them feel as if they are doing them a favor by opening a bank in their villages and tell them 'say thank you, and shut up.'"

Frej noted that racism against Arabs is not a problem in one specific bank or area, but pervades Israeli banks throughout the country.

He said the Arabs unfairly pay higher taxes with murderous interest rates, arguing that assertions that Arabs have a tendency to not return debts are "simply not true."

He also stated his belief that working with Israeli Arabs could be highly beneficial in the economic sector, if there is an entrepreneur willing to do some good business.

"I am throwing a glove at Israeli entrepreneurs - both Arab and Jewish - whoever opens a bank that specializes in the Arab community and gives them fair service at a competitive price - can make quite a bit of money and grow together with the Arab community," Frej said.

Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu, the co-executive director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives in Israel, said during a hearing in the Knesset  economic committee on Tuesday that the supervisor of the banks should require banks to file quarterly reports on the quality of services provided to Arab communities compared to Jewish ones.

"It is clear that there is discrimination based on nationality," he said adding that the law needs to be amended to include the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of nationality.

Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night