‘In war no one refers to the color of your skin’

At the age of 8, Tamir Elazar walked from Ethiopia to Sudan to reach Israel. At 11, he heard his first racial slur, and struck back. Today a lieutenant colonel in the IDF, he understands the reasons for the recent protests by the Ethiopian Israeli community, and has a message for them.

Ynet News
May 9,2015

Lt. Col. Tamir Elazar remembers the first time he heard the words “Ethiopian nigger.” It happened when he was 11, a student at Talpiot boarding school in Hadera.

“A classmate fought with me because I broke his pen, and he said I was an Ethiopian nigger. Instead of being hurt, I hit him. After the break we went back to being friends. I remember it like it was yesterday. It burned me up, and I will not allow that to happen to me or my family.”

Tamir Elazar. 'The conduct towards the Ethiopian community is racist.' (Photo: Tal Shahar)
Tamir Elazar. ‘The conduct towards the Ethiopian community is racist.’ (Photo: Tal Shahar)

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