Report: Arab Women Accuse Bus Driver of Racism

Women claim bus driver called them 'ISIS,' 'disgusting' - but the source is questionable.

Tova Dvorin ,

Muslim women in Jerusalem (illustrative)
Muslim women in Jerusalem (illustrative)

Two young Arab women have filed complaints of discrimination against a Dan Tel Aviv bus driver, Channel 2 reports Thursday, after they claim he said they "looked like ISIS" because they were wearing the traditional hijab head covering. 

The pair were insulted by the driver of the 289 bus as they boarded the 2:00 pm bus Wednesday, the two said, and accused the driver of also calling them "disgusting Islamists." The two women did not respond, but spoke to the director of the Dan bus terminal at Tel Aviv University. 

A passenger at the scene told Channel 2 that he rebuked the driver for the incident, telling him that it is "not his job to make comments about passengers." 

However, the story's veracity stands on murky ground - as it was exposed to the news outlet by none other than MK Ahmed Tibi (Balad), who is known for making wild accusations against Israelis. 

"Aggression against women with hijabs is outrageous and racist, and each time it happens I feel that this is a direct attack on my mother, who wears a hijab like every Muslim woman," Tibi fired. "Hijab is a religious garb and part of our heritage and should not cause blatantly racist comments." 

Several false claims have been made by Palestinian Arabs to the media over alleged comments, vandalism, or attacks, and it is often difficult to correct the damage to Israel's image in the aftermath - whether or not the attack actually happened.

A case against several Jewish teenage girls and young women brought by an Arab woman was closed several months ago after police determined that the Arab woman - who ensured that the story went viral in international media - had actually approached the Jewish women first and provoked a fight instead of the reverse.  

Arutz Sheva has also exposed a phenomenon of Arabs staging "price tag" vandalism or attacks for the international media to advance the "Palestinian cause," a fact corroborated by several graffiti incidents whereby Hebrew words are garbled beyond normal misspellings. 

Despite this, several MKs jumped to respond to the accusations. 

Yesh Atid MK Pnina Tamno-Shata accused Israel of "hypocrisy" regarding racist incidents, asking whether or not the situation would have been the same in the event the discrimination had been against Ethiopians. 

Meanwhile, MK Basel Ghattas (Balad) said that "racism is racism, regardless of context" and strongly condemned the incident as well. 

Dan Transportation responded that it "condemns and renounces such statements" and that "details of the incident will be reviewed - if true - and appropriate measures will be taken." 

The incident is also endemic of Israeli hysteria over ISIS, which has become a tense topic over a slew of Palestinian and Israeli Arabs flocking to join the group

Israeli Arab communities have flown ISIS flags; likewise, several Israeli Arabs have been arrested for being involved with the group. Interior Minister Gilad Erdan is working to freeze passports, and possibly citizenship, for Israelis who join the organization.