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Israel’s first Ethiopian-born MK shocked at racism allegation in Meghan interview

MK Pnina Tamano-Shata, pictured on February 4, 2020, in Hadera. (Jack Guez/AFP)
MK Pnina Tamano-Shata, pictured on February 4, 2020, in Hadera. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel’s first Ethiopian-born member of Knesset, protests the racism alleged by Meghan and Harry in the British royal family.

Meghan, who is biracial, told Oprah Winfrey that when she was first pregnant with son Archie, some members of the royal family expressed concerns to Harry over the color of the child’s skin. “In those months when I was pregnant… we have in tandem the conversation of ‘he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan told Winfrey in the couple’s bombshell interview yesterday.

Tamano-Shata, the minister of immigrant absorption, says she is horrified by the allegations of racism, and that if that was the case, it’s clear why the couple chose to escape the royal household. “It’s so shocking,” she says. “Now I understand why Meghan fled, if that’s what was going on and that’s what she had to suffer.”

Suffering that kind of situation is intolerable “no matter how golden the palace,” she adds.

Interviewed by Jacob Bardugo on Army Radio, Tamano-Shata is asked whether she would raise the issue with the queen if she were visiting the royals. “It sounds like, were you and me to visit there, they’d turn you into the gardener and me the cleaner,” she quipped, adding hurriedly that she’s kidding and doesn’t intend to cause offense.

Tamano-Shata was born near Gondar in northern Ethiopia and was brought to Israel in an airlift as a child in the mid-1980s. Bardugo’s parents immigrated to Israel from Morocco.

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