Press Releases 

Standing together against Kfar Vradim racism

Last week Sivan Yehieli, mayor of the community of Kfar Vradim in the Galilee, announced the cancellation of building construction tenders - because 50% of the winners in the first tender were... Arabs. In a message to all inhabitants, he spoke in an openly racist way and declared himself in favor of "limiting the access of Arabs to the community". But not all inhabitants of Kfar Vradim think this way - and they don't intend to stay silent. We will not stand racism and discrimination in Kfar Vradim, and will not stand aside when the mayor decides to exclude Arab citizens from living in the community. What do we suggest? To stand together, Jews and Arabs, and demand full equality. Today, Wed.March 21, at 19:30. we will stand at the entrance to Kfar Vradim from the direction of Tarshiha (Traffic Circle 6, near "Ved Be'Yad Ba'Galil) and speak out for coexistence and joint life of Jews and Arabs - in Kfar Vradim, in the West Galille, and all over the country.

Background: Kfar Vradim, a Galilee town founded in 1984, presently has 1,700 houses and 5,800 inhabitants - all but a handful of them Jews. It is in the midst of an expansion plan which would more than double its size - an additional 2,200 homes would increase the population to some 14,000 people. However, after 58 of the first 125 plots were purchased by Arab families, mostly from the neighboring Arab town of Tarshiha, the Kfar Vradim Mayor Sivan Yechieli, announced that no new tenders would be issued until "he had discussed with government authorities a way to retain the town’s Jewish character". The mayor was strongly condemned as a racist by political parties and movements and by human rights organizations. A protest demonstration will be held outside Yechieli`s home tomorrow (Wednesday). It had been noted that much of the land on which Arabs from Tarshiha want to build their homes had originally belonged to Tarshiha and was confiscated after 1948. arabs-buy-up-land/