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Friday, May 31, 2013 

Manufactured controversy about an amusement park ignores the deeper concerns

An amusement park in Rishin Letzion has been attacked for ostensibly discriminatory policies of giving Jewish and Arabic schools seperate visiting days, but there's actually a reason why they had to do this:
The popular Superland amusement park in Rishon Letzion is under attack in the media and in the political arena for a policy of keeping Jewish and Arab school classes apart, but independent-thinking parents and teachers explained Thursday why they feel the policy is justified and necessary.

Arutz Sheva has spoken to parents of children who visited the park over the past year. They said that the Arab children and youths in the park have a habit of provoking fights with the Jewish kids, and that they behave similarly in other parks in Israel.

A teacher who did not want to be identified said the Arab groups have a marked tendency of behaving “with insolence and brutality,” turning the Jewish kids' fun days into violent nightmares.

"We arrive at the parks with dozens of children,” the teacher said. “Arab groups often begin to provoke the Jewish kids. The Arab youths curse, swear and try to provoke a violent fracas. We need to support Superland in its decision. We cannot surrender to the extreme Left in its attempt to harm the park, which simply wanted to have separate days in order to avoid unnecessary violence.”

Another teacher told Arutz Sheva about similar experiences at the Kiftzuba children's amusement park near Jerusalem, where there have been numerous violent fights between Jewish and Arab youth lately. “The Arab students swear and curse and behave rudely toward the Jews. We can't have fun days if the parks are mixed. That is the truth and there is no other truth.”

"The leftist media is trying to twist the truth, as it always does, and present a picture of poor Arab kids who were not allowed to enter this park or another, but what I said is the truth and this is the real picture. It's not a matter of racism.”
So parents and school systems alike cannot provide for the safety of the students from harrassing cretins? Those in the MSM and even those in the Knesset who buy into this manufacture hook line and sinker should be ashamed of themselves. The amusement park management shouldn't give in to this.

I also need to question the honesty of an Arab - and potential Muslim - teacher in this article:
The Superland amusement park in Rishon Lezion on Thursday rejected a claim by an Arab high school teacher that it was enforcing segregation between Arab and Jewish groups.

“We emphasize that Superland is not, never was and never will be a place for racism,” it said in a statement to The Jerusalem Post.

“Arab and Jewish schools requested that their attendance be separated from each other, and perhaps we made an unintentional error by accepting their requests.”

It said that the park had been in business for many years, hosting children from all sectors, including both Jews and Arabs.

Khaled Shakra, a seventhgrade teacher at the L.B. Ajial High School in Jaffa, said he tried to buy 25 tickets for his students and at first was told that the dates from June 17- 19 were reserved for schools, but once the telephone operator realized it was for an Arab school, the operator transferred the call to another operator, who said Superland was sold out for the day he requested.

The teacher then decided to call back posing as a Jew, saying his name was “Eyal,” and he ordered the tickets without any problem.
What if he's not being very honest or not telling the whole story? That would make him a publicity hound, to say nothing of someone who's trying to exploit taqqiya for the sake of sugarcoating his own prejudices. Or even those of the vulgar students who harrassed Jewish students. That told, the paper did bring up the following:
The Post asked if it mattered that the schools themselves requested the separation, perhaps to avoid tensions or violence.

“I think it doesn’t matter who asks for the separation, it is very bad that they agreed to this request no matter who it was from,” said Beeri-Sulitzeanu. “Even separate but equal is not acceptable.”

He said that if there was violence then there were disciplinary ways to deal with that, to kick the offenders off the park, but separation “is not a long-term solution to the problem,” and in the end, it “will only encourage violence.”
That's a fair and logical argument, and they should also have guards and security cameras in use. The Arabic schools whose students are anti-semitic also have to be screened carefully and made clear that if they don't follow respectable guidelines, they may not welcome them to the park any longer.

In the end, while there are reasonable arguments to be had here, I think this was otherwise a manufactured controversy that avoided some serious matters, and should be put aside. Something tells me that ironically, if Haredis wanted the park segregated by sexes, they'd be less inclined to raise a fuss, even if it weren't acceptable.

Update: there's more about the overlooked problems here too:
Not everyone agreed on Thursday that Superland's policy was mistaken.

"Those people who call this racism don't know what they're talking about," a female employee at Superland told Israel Hayom. "Days that are closed off for one sector of the population are a matter of course and based on schools' requests. Not every Arab student is bad and there have been schools that we really enjoyed hosting. But there are also ugly incidents in which Arab students come when the park is open to the public. There has been cutting in line, pushing, threats, curses and fist fights. On more than one occasion we had to summon the police after girls and female workers were sexually harassed."

A resident of Rishon Lezion said, "They [Arab youths at the park] cursed and spit, and when someone said something they made threats. On the day I was there with my children I approached the staff and they tried to help but they were afraid."
Those who turn their backs to something so disgusting should be ashamed of themselves. But I do know that any Arab/Muslim school that fails to deal with bullies and hoodlums may have to be barred from admission as punishment, and any students who refuse to comply by the rules should be banned from their grounds for life.

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