Wednesday Weekly Roundup of Israeli Racism: Vol. 5


Every week, this blog tries to chronicle the most egregious acts of racism committed by Israel. You can find a longer explanation of the purpose of this exercise here. As this list will, unfortunately  be far from exhaustive, feel free to add additional stories of relevance and importance in the comments below.

Another week of extreme and shocking racism on both sides of the Green Line. This week’s stories tend towards the bizarre. So read below for 12 stories wherein racists get confused, beat up the wrong people, are excused by newspapers, deny the Holocaust, and prosecute people who stopped a terrorist in the act.

  • Five young men from South Tel Aviv went out at night looking for some African migrants to beat up. They started beating up the first black people they saw, who happened to be Ethiopian Jews. The fact that these racists were particularly stupid might actually result in police action this time around. 
  • Apparently taking his lead from these youth, the new interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar took a tour of South Tel Aviv in which he refused to speak to a single African migrant. He did, however, take time to note that his job was to get rid of all asylum seekers.
  • Some of the Jewish residents of the area greeted him by placing their racism on full display:

Tempers flared periodically during the tour, with a handful of Jewish residents embroiled in verbal altercations with African migrants as Sa’ar continued his tour farther down Salomon Street. At one point, former Strong Israel party list member May Golan spit at an African man and began arguing with several more, and was joined by a fellow protester.

Shockingly, the Jerusalem post followed this paragraph by noting that “Despite the heated exchange of words, however, the situation did not deteriorate into serious violence.” Apparently spitting on a person no longer qualifies as an act of violence, so long as that man is an African migrant in Israel.

  • In an amazingly bizarre Holocaust Memorial Day lesson, a Hebrew teacher in Haifa called the blond-haired children of Soviet migrants up to the front of the class to demonstrate what an aryan looks like. Not content with the latent racism, she also applied displayed historical revisionism as to the logic and methods by which the Holocaust was carried out:

“The teacher herself, who has dark skin and hair, asked the rest of the children in the class to explain the differences between her and the children standing in the row. They started answering ‘they have blond hair and you have black’ and ‘they have light skin and you have dark.’ She answered. ‘Very true, that is the reason, these children would not have been taken to the ghetto or killed, because they don’t look like Jews rather more like Germans,'” said the shocked mother.

  • The wave of attacks against Palestinians in and around the Old City of Jerusalem continues. This week, someone in the Old City sprayed a 14-year old child with tear gas.
  • A Palestinian cameraman was shot in the face by an Israeli soldier while covering ongoing clashes in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem. The journalist posed no threat, was not caused in the crossfire, and seems to have been deliberately targeted. +972mag has some rather graphic photos of the incident and its aftermath as well.
  • An 80-year old Palestinian shepherd was beaten unconscious near the settlement-colony of Avnei Hafetz.

After regaining consciousness, he recounted that he had been tending the sheep when he was approached by two young people coming from the direction of the settlement, and that they then began beating him with sticks. He said he remembered little of the incident.

  • In yet another “price-tag” attack, settler-colonists near Bethlehem defaced two mosques in the village of Tuku. 
  • Moving away from the spectacular violence of particular settlers towards the bureaucratic and systematic racism of the state: Amira Haas reports on how the Oslo-era Joint Water Committee – often held up as a model of cooperation and peace-building – effectively held basic Palestinian infrastructure investment hostage to the demands for increased settlement-colonialism. Al-Haq has some important general background info on the subject of water discrimination in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in a report that came out this week as well.
  • Lest anyone imagine that President Obama’s renewed push for peace talks might yield fruit, Naftali Bennett this week reportedly told the Norwegian Finance Minister that neither he nor “centrist” Yair Lapid had much interest in the two-state solution. Instead, he advocates either apartheid or ethnic cleansing.
  • Yet another report of online incitement against Palestinians. I’ve largely stopped including these sorts of reports in the Roundup. But this time, I thought it appropriate to include, as Ynet (Heb) captures a Tel Aviv City official joining in the mix, wishing to kill Palestinian children.
  • Electronic Intifada profiles the prosecution of seven Palestinian Citizens of Israel who are being prosecuted for a clear act of self defense against a “Jewish terrorist” (Ariel Sharon’s words). Have no doubt that if the roles had been reversed, the people currently under investigation by the state would be national heroes.
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