Adv. Zeev Kaso, the Director of the Program for the Advancement and Integration of Ethiopian-Israeli Students at Ono Academic College, was recently interviewed on the “This Morning” program, broadcast on the national Kan 2 radio network. The occasion of his interview was the publication by the Unit for the Coordination of the Fight against Racism of Israel’s Ministry of Justice of its annual report on the International Day for the Fight against Racism.
Kaso began by noting, regretfully, that racism is still a problem and must be confronted. He and the host reviewed the data in the Ministry’s 2021 racism report. Of the 458 discrimination cases opened by the Justice Ministry in 2021, 24% involved Ethiopian victims, with other victims coming from groups like Arab-Israelis and the ultra-Orthodox.
Kaso noted that the report indicates that the number of cases in which the police discriminated against Ethiopians has gone down. However, problems still remain in the employment sector where Ethiopian-Israelis are not always granted all of their labor rights. Kaso noted that Ethiopian-Israelis are promoted to the officer ranks in the army and police but there is a bottleneck for promotions above the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He celebrated that there are 3 Ethiopian-Israeli judges working in the legal system and 2 Ethiopian women judges in the military courts, but the situation could still be better.
Kaso concluded by describing a recently-held conference on the subject of combatting racism organized by Ono Academic College. The keynote speaker was Ethiopian-Israeli attorney, Adv. Akewa (Kobi) Zena, the head of the Ministry of Justice’s Unit for the Coordination of the Fight against Racism. Kaso left the conference encouraged because he heard a clear and sincere commitment of leaders of agencies like the police, the military, the Ministry of Justice and others, to fight racism. The full interview can be heard at: https://www.ifatmediasite.com/ms/radio/2022/03/22/11315053.mp3