JERUSALEM (May. 31)
A Likud minister spoke out sharply Wednesday against a decision by the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel to require Arab day laborers to wear special tags with the words “Alien Worker.”
Ehud Olmert, a Likud minister-without-portfolio, called the ostensible security measure “insensitive and unwise.” His rebuke was the most outspoken so far from a right-wing politician.
Olmert pointed out that the tag inevitably conjures up images of the yellow Star of David that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied Europe.
The parallel was also cited by others, but contemptuously dismissed by Mayor Ron Nahman of Ariel.
Olmert also criticized the decision by the Petach Tikva municipality to build a paddock where Arab workers from the territories would be required to assemble daily to be picked up and dropped off by their Jewish employers.
A city official explained that the idea was “to prevent them from roaming in the town.”