|Court Compensates Israeli Ethiopian for Racist Insults from Bus Driver|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
The Rishon Lezion Magistrates Court has ordered that Yadno Varka, a young Ethiopian Israeli, will receive $19,000 compensation for racial abuse and for being refused to be allowed to board a bus by the driver because of the color of her skin. Varka was represented by NIF grantee Tebeka, Center for Legal Aid & Advocacy for Ethiopian Jews in Israel.
The court heard how in 2009 Varka was waiting at a stop when a bus driven by Nissim Ben Yakar pulled up. In front of astonished passengers, Ben Yakar screamed racist abuse at Varka and said, "Don't you know that I don't let Blacks on board. In Ethiopia you didn't have buses, so why can't you walk? These Blacks. Who brought them here? We should send them back you're just stupid people that damage the country."
Ben Yakar was ordered to pay Varka $16,000 compensation and a $1,500 fine while the Egged bus company must pay Varka $3,000 compensation.
Varka said that the compensation does not make up for the humiliation. She said, "Every time I board a bus I'm scared that the driver will scream at me because of the color of my skin."