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