Israeli parliament: Arab construction workers ordered to wear distinctive helmets

Published March 9th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

An Arab Israeli Knesset (parliament) member on Tuesday accused the Israeli political establishment of “effectively following the footsteps of Nazi Germany.” 


MK Ahmed Tibi described instructions by the Knesset security corps obliging non-Jewish workers, especially Arabs, to wear distinctive helmets or caps, as “a clear example showing how fascism is mushrooming so fast in this country.” 


Tibi said Israelis should remember that this is the way the holocaust started. 


“Before there were concentration camps, the Nazis began with little things like forcing Jews to wear special ribbons. Now Jews are doing the same to the Palestinians,” said Tiibi. 


The Israeli Ma’ariv newspaper disclosed Tuesday that security officials at the Knesset ordered Palestinian workers to paint the (X) sign in red on their helmets and head-caps to enable security personnel to distinguish them form non-Jews. 


The workers were Israeli citizens from the northern town of Nazareth. 


The head of the security corps at the Knesset defended this measure, saying he was acting on orders from the highest security echelons. 


Following the publication, Knesset Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, ordered "to immediately remove all special identifying marks from workers at the Knesset construction site." 


In a statement, Rivlin said he was "surprised" by the security directive to specially mark the helmets of "those workers who have yet to receive all security permits which are necessary for them to work at the secure Knesset 

construction site." (

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