Parents Fuming After Youth Movement Books 'Fun Day' at Amusement Park That Segregates Jews and Arabs

Parents say that sending kids to Superland amusement park could create impression that Bnei Akiva youth movement supports racism; Bnei Akiva chief says that while movement denounces discriminatory acts, it does not intend to boycott any organization.

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Parents of teenagers from the Bnei Akiva youth movement are up in arms over the movement’s plan to hold an annual event at the Superland amusement park in Rishon Letzion, citing the park’s policy of segregation.

“I don’t want my daughter to get the message from going to Superland that Bnei Akiva supports racist segregation,” said Yair, whose daughter is a member of the religious youth movement. “I send my daughter to a youth movement to learn values of tolerance and equality. ... A leading educational Zionist youth movement must not support this. They should have held the event somewhere else.”

Recently it was discovered that Superland rents out its facilities separately to Jewish and Arab schools on different days. The segregation policy was revealed after a Jaffa teacher who contacted Superland about bringing his class there on a school trip was told no tickets were available to Arab students that day.

Superland management has publicly admitted it segregates Jews and Arabs. It said the segregation policy has been in place for three years following requests from school principals, Jewish and Arab alike.

In response to the news, parents of Bnei Akiva members are calling on the movement to cancel its annual event at the amusement park.

“Why is Bnei Akiva not joining the protest against Superland?” one person posted on the Bnei Akiva website. “How can they cooperate with this racism? As a youth movement advocating values, don’t cooperate and cancel the event.”

Bnei Akiva secretary general Dan Hirschberg responded that “The movement’s summer events kick off with a fun day at Superland as they do every year. The event was scheduled several months ago, long before the report about discrimination at the park.”

“Discrimination among groups is a serious matter and we denounce it utterly. But boycotting an organization or person is not our way. We believe the solution for change is in education, not acts intended solely for the media,” he said.

Hirschberg said no one − including parents and members of the movement − had asked Bnei Akiva to cancel the event.

“It’s a pity the parents or members who went to Haaretz didn’t come to us first,” he said.

The Knesset has also taken up the issue of Superland’s segregation policy, with ministers and MKs blasting the park for discriminating against Arab students.

Children on the carousel at the Superland amusement park.Credit: Nir Keidar
A Bnei Akiva youth movement event in Latrun.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

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