After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu called for revenge or the murders of three Israeli teens, citizens took matters into their own hands by kidnapping a 16-year old Palestinian boy and burning him alive.
This climate of state sponsored racism (Israeli politicians now refer to African immigrants as ‘Infiltrators’) has filtered through into the body politic and the blood of Israeli society. ‘Price Tagging’, the local term for acts of random violence against Palestinians, has been broadened to describe a general trend toward racial assaults across Israel. Not surprisingly, there has been a stunning escalation of late in racial violence on non-Jewish citizens, particularly by teenage and young Israelis.
The Tel Aviv Race Riots
Tel Aviv is one of the most liberal, multi cultural areas of Israel. Yet in May 2012, thousands of protesters were addressed by politicians from mainstream political parties in outrage at 60,000 asylum seekers arriving in Israel in recent years.
Leading politicians queued to slam non-Jews.
Miri Regev, a member of the ruling Likud party told the crowds that asylum seekers are a “cancer in our body,” and promised to do everything “in order to bring them back to where they belong”.
This racist crowd, sufficiently whipped up by the politicians then proceeded to go on a rampage of racially motivated violence. Dozens of African immigrants were injured. Witnesses reported seeing men and women being beaten in the streets, whilst properties and shops were also attacked. This riot is hauntingly reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht, where Jews were attacked in the streets, and their businesses were destroyed in an orgy of hate-fuelled violence sanctioned by the state. It was fascist then and it is fascist now.
Racially Motivated Assaults
There has been a spate of racially motivated attacks on Palestinians and African immigrants to Israel in recent years.
A group of young Jewish women attacked Palestinian woman Hana Amtir at a light rail station (pictured above), pulling off her hijab and punching her in the face. The perpetrator, said eye witness Jordan Dotan, was soon joined by other young women. She said several passengers and bystanders – including a security officer working for the city – looked on apathetically and did not intervene.
This is not an isolated incident.
During the religious festival of Purim, on February 24th 2013 a group of some 20 Jewish Israeli teens between 15 and 17 mobbed and beat Palestinian cleaner Hassan Ausruf in Tel Aviv whilst shouting racist slogans at him. Describing the vicious assault Ausruf said:
“Suddenly a large group came over; they yelled at me ‘You’re an Arab. You want a state? Is that what you want?’” reported Israeli news site Ynet.
These are two stories among many across Israel in recent months of vicious assaults perpetrated on non Jewish citizens whilst passers by simply look the other way.
As disturbing as these other attacks were, there was a special kind of horror reserved for the attempted lynching of several Palestinian teenagers in Zion Square in Jerusalem. Dozens of Jewish teenagers launched an unprovoked attack on three Palestinian teens last August. Eye witnesses reported seeing one of the Palestinian teens repeatedly kicked by the mob even once he was crumpled on the ground, whilst their peers chanted racist slogans. Meanwhile dozens of Israelis in the square looked on without lifting a finger. over the years, also bear responsibility.”
The Arrest and Torture of Palestinian Children
The Israeli Security Services have been documented and filmed forcing Palestinian children into making false confessions through intimidation and torture. According to ABC’s Four Corners program:
“Imagine in…(your city): regular late night raids on family homes, by heavily armed soldiers, to take away children in blindfolds and handcuffs for interrogation. Imagine a military prison where the inmates include children as young as 12, in shackles.”
This is the reality of life for Palestinian families across the West Bank and Gaza, as footage and witness testimony reveals in the documentary Stone Cold Justice (full programme below). More than 720,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been through the system since Israel began occupying the Palestinian Territories in 1967.
A Unicef report last October, reported that during interrogation by Israeli Security Forces, Palestinian children had been “threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault, against themselves or a family member” in efforts to gain confessions for alleged offenses, most commonly for throwing stones.
The ABC report has put faces to these Palestinian children and families.
A One-Sided Story
While much of the US media and Britain’s BBC have devoted days of coverage to the tragedy of the missing Israeli teens, the discovery of their bodies, the devastated reaction of their friends, families, communities and political leaders – no such treatment is provided for the daily death and violence against Palestinian children.
Just two months ago, Israeli troops shot and killed two unarmed Palestinian teenagers just an hour apart in the same street.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting last week Israel‘s police spokesman and IDF officials insisted preliminary investigations had established that no live fire had taken place and that the boys were killed during a serious riot.
But footage caught by a CCTV camera installed above a nearby office shows the deaths of Nadeem Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Salameh, 16, who were both shot through the chest in separate incidents just over an hour apart – and clearly just walking the street, presenting no immediate threat to anyone.
The incident perfectly captures the emotional apartheid built into our media systems, which creates a sympathetic narrative towards the relatively few Israeli victims of violence, versus the more frequent number of Palestinian victims of violence.
Bottom line – it is Israel that is maintain an illegal military occupation over Palestinians, cutting off essential supplies of water, food, fuel and the most basic construction materials. Any security issues Israel has, are the issues of a military occupier – not a benign nation state.
We Must Call Time on Support for Israel
The violence and vitriol which Israel persists in perpetrating against Palestinians is unprovoked, immoral and unacceptable to any nation considering itself a civilized state. Israeli society is imploding under the weight of this hatred. The streets are teeming with, mostly young, Israelis screaming for the blood of Arabs.
Just yesterday, at the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, a group of some 40 teens gathered around a woman sitting outside a restaurant who had told them to leave, and poured water on her, according to a bystander.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz explained this inexorible and inevitable state of affairs at the time of the attempted lynching in Zion Square:
“They absorbed their hatred of Arabs from their environment: perhaps at home, certainly from the educational and political systems. When incitement against Arabs has become politically correct, when rabbis urge the public to treat Arabs in a racist manner and aren’t fired from their posts, when the Knesset passes legislation over which a nationalist and racist flag waves, when the education minister extols Jewish supremacy over the Palestinians in Hebron, it’s impossible to complain solely about those teens, who translated all this into the language of violence.”
Israel is raising its children on racism and fear, and the result is a generation so hateful, so terrified, that they will happily cheer the slaying of children.
And now we have Mohamed Hussein Abu Khdeir, kidnapped before morning prayers in East Jerusalem by three Israeli settlers. He was forced into a vehicle, and later burned alive. His charred corpse was dumped in nearby forest.
At the core of it all – Americans are funding Israel’s government to the tune of $3.1 billion a year plus a bunch of undisclosed free stuff which Business Insider calculates to be $10.5 BILLION in American taxpayer handouts to the Israeli government. So not only is the US government providing legitimacy to the Israeli regime and diplomatic cover for its atrocities – but the US tax payer is actually financing the whole sorry mess.