Back in September, I featured a reworked interview with Oren Milstein, then Deputy Mayor of Karmiel, in which he denied accusations of racism against local Arab residents. He said he wanted to live ‘side-by-side’ rather than with Arab neighbours.
However, I attempted, very delicately to suggest that his views and actions were indeed discriminatory. It seems I was A1-***** correct:
Yesterday his boss, the city’s Mayor Adi Eldar announced that he had dismissed him and dissolved the coalition with his faction and that the move followed his discriminatory remarks and actions against Arabs during the past two years.
Now I quote the report which appeared today on Haaretz.com:
“Milstein, who headed an independent list in the municipal elections, had objected to Arabs living in Karmiel and tried to prevent Israeli Arabs from renting or buying homes in the city. He also spoke about "preserving Karmiel's Jewish Zionist character."
“Ironically, Milstein will be replaced by Rina Greenberg, a central activist of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, headed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
“Sources close to Eldar told Haaretz that the mayor had already decided to fire Milstein weeks ago, but was prompted to do so yesterday thanks to the growing number of complaints filed against his deputy over the past two weeks.
“Last week Haaretz reported on Milstein's efforts to ban Arabs from Karmiel. His campaign included taking out an advertisement in a local paper urging residents to e-mail anonymous information about apartments being rented or sold to Arabs.
“Milstein denied having anything to do with the advertisement, saying he could not prevent Arabs from renting or buying homes in the city. But he said it was important to preserve the city's Jewish-Zionist character, and that Jews and Arabs should live beside each other, not together.
“Milstein's comments evoked angry reactions from Arab mayors in the region, who demanded to meet with Eldar. The mayor put off the meeting until next week, presumably in order to announce Milstein's dismissal first, rather than being seen as having given in to the Arab mayors' demand.
Now please see my closing remarks in the following post:
Yes folks, you read it here first (well, very nearly)!