The ADL is disturbed by reports that a number of high-school students from Mevaseret Zion used Ku Klux Klan (KKK) clothing and symbols as part of group Purim costume. In pictures that surfaced on Facebook, individuals are shown wearing white hoods and cloaks bearing the KKK emblem, while carrying a cross and a flag emblazoned with KKK symbols. The group is standing around three tied up individuals whose faces are painted black and wearing afro wigs.
The KKK, which was founded in the US in 1866, is a racist, anti-Semitic movement with a commitment to extreme violence to achieve its goals of racial segregation and white supremacy. Historically, the KKK focused its anger and violence on African-Americans, on white Americans who stood up for them and the federal government which supported their rights, as well as against Jews, Catholics (less so after the 1970s), homosexuals, and different groups of immigrants. Click here to read more about the KKK.
The offensive nature of the students’ photo demonstrates a lack of understanding regarding the racist and insensitive statement made by their choice of costume. It suggests a need for additional anti-racism and tolerance education within the Israeli school system, and we hope that parents and educators use this as an opportunity to teach about the racist implications of this as well as similar actions.