Justice Minister Tzipi Livni announced on Thursday that her ministry will establish a hotline to deal with cases of discrimination and racism.
The announcement came on the heels of claims that Israel’s largest adventure park, Superland, has a policy of segregating Arab student groups.
Livni, together with Ministry of Justice Director General Guy Rotkopf, decided to immediately launch the hotline, which will be operated by the ministry’s legal aid department.
The hotline will “receive and respond immediately to claims and complaints about discrimination and violation of the right to equality.”
Allegations of discrimination at the park were leveled by Khaled Shakra, a 7th-grade teacher at the Ajial school in Jaffa, who tried — and failed — to book a day at the park for a group of his students.
In a letter shared by the Arab Israeli Balad party on Facebook, Shakra alleged that, when he first telephoned to reserve the visit, he was told that the dates of June 17,18 and 19 were specifically set aside for group visits and that he could choose any of those dates.
However, according to Shakra, as soon as he revealed the obviously Arabic-sounding name of his school, he was relayed to a second Superland employee who informed him that there were no available dates.
Half-an-hour later, he said, he called the theme park again, this time introducing himself as “Eyal” — a Hebrew name — and saying he represented a Jewish NGO, and was told that the dates were in fact open for his group.
Superland denied the charges of discrimination, claiming that the segregation policy was due to the demands of both Arab and Jewish schools that feared outbreaks of violence between groups of students.
People who experience discrimination can call the hotline at 02-6209558 from Sunday-Thursday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Emails may be sent to Shivion@justice.gov.il.