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Israel is rife with racism, xenophobia, snobbery and hatred - particularly toward Arabs, especially Palestinians, but also toward foreign workers and other "others." Each part of our society has its own well-known pet hates; fear and loathing exist across every religious, geographic, racial and financial divide.
Yes, of course, other societies are just as bad, if not worse, and the hatred is certainly reciprocated, with interest, toward Israelis and Jews, from many other quarters. But that should not serve as any kind of excuse. Israel and Israelis aspired once upon a time to better things, and still like to think themselves above all that.
With all that said, however, the crisis over the Ethiopian children and the Petah Tikva schools has nothing to do with racism. I lived in the religious Zionist community for many years, studied with Ethiopian students in yeshivas and colleges, served with them in a hesder unit (which combines army service and Torah study). And despite my unreserved criticisms of the community in which I grew up, and its many racist and xenophobic traits, I have to admit that with regard to absorbing Ethiopian immigrants, it is probably the least racist part of Israeli society. It is not without fault, and there have been racist incidents. But on the whole, most of its leadership, and certainly the grass roots, have displayed more concern for the Ethiopians' acceptance than any other group. [...]