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Fighting Racism, Bennett Style

Bennett calls to fight anti-Arab racism with increased police presence in Arab towns, higher employment.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/2/2013, 5:54 PM

Min. Naftali Bennett
Min. Naftali Bennett
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Minister of Economy and Trade Naftali Bennett spoke of the need to fight discrimination against Israeli Arabs while speaking Tuesday at the sixth annual Ramle Conference.

Bennett took an unorthodox approach to change, suggesting that the two groups with the most significant power to create change are the police and employers.

“One of the Arab community’s biggest problems is the law of law enforcement in Arab villages,” he said. “There are more than a few organized crime groups, and a businessman cannot open a corner store without paying off criminals.”

“We discriminate against Israelis Arabs when police do not take a strong hand against such incidents,” Bennett said.

Another major problem facing the community is high unemployment, particularly among women, he said. “I plan to charge that issue head-on,” he declared.

Bennett called to fight discrimination against the hareidi-religious as well. He appealed to employers, “Hire hareidi Jews, hire Arab women. It will be good for your company.”

Most Arab citizens of Israel are not against the state, Bennett added. “We need to accept them, and they will come.”

However, he said, a binational Jewish-Arab state is out of the question. “The state of Israel is the state of one nation – the Jewish nation, and there is no debate over that even with the Zionist left. We will not accept, and will have zero tolerance for, any wish to create a binational state.”