A real estate developer in Ramla has been accused of seeking exclusively Jewish residents, after a Palestinian man had his application rejected apparently on the grounds of his ethnicity.
Mohammed Haddad got in touch with Metro after seeing an advertisement for new housing that seemed ideally suited for him and his family. However, at the company’s office, Haddad found that the sale representative’s attitude changed once he told them his name.
In the Israeli TV report below, which includes English subtitles, you can hear a recording Haddad made of the conversation with the Metro employee, who explained that potential residents need to be military or national service veterans.
Making certain benefits, housing or jobs dependent on such criteria has been a common way to discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
This most recent story is reminiscent of other, similar episodes, including in Ramla itself. In 2004, discussing one of the city’s districts, Mayor Yoel Lavi said that Palestinian residents would “harm the ability to market the project since people won’t want to live there”. Lavi was the subject of an unsuccessful appeal in 2008 for his disqualification from elections on the grounds of “racist statements made…against Arab citizens of Israel in the media”.
Meanwhile, in the run up to municipal elections in Israel, the Likud candidate for Karmiel – a town with a 2.5% Palestinian population – has campaigned on the basis of promoting “Jewish-Zionist interests” and opposing [racial] “mixing”:
The moment the character of Carmiel [sic] is not Jewish, like in Acre for example, the strong populations will leave and we want to maintain a strong population here.
Karmiel was established as a ‘development town’ in 1964, part of a strategy for Judaizing the Galilee. Ramla, meanwhile, was almost entirely ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian inhabitants in 1948, who were expelled by Israeli forces telling them “go to Ramallah!”
Watch the video with English subtitles: