Ethiopian-Israelis Protest Over Alleged Discrimination
By Associated Press
November 7, 2006
JERUSALEM â€” Hundreds of Israelis of Ethiopian descent clashed with police and briefly blocked a main road leading into Jerusalem yesterday in a protest of the Health Ministry’s wholesale discarding of donated Ethiopian blood.
Police said four officers were hurt.
Last week, Israel’s Channel 2 TV reported that the ministry had revived its practice of throwing out the Ethiopian-Israelis’ blood for fear it would be contaminated with disease. A similar disclosure a decade ago sparked protests and widespread outrage in a community that has long complained of racial discrimination.
“We are healthy people, like everyone else,” 24-year-old Galit Maarat, who traveled to the demonstration from the southern city of Ashkelon, said. “It’s unjust, a terrible affront.”
Takelu Yayech, 25, who also traveled from Ashkelon, said demonstrators formed a human chain and sat down in the road at the entrance to Jerusalem to protest what she called racist policies.