I’m straight up appalled (read about it in Hareets) You’d think I wouldn’t be surprised at this, but I am. Even though I’ve been there, even though I’ve met with African refugees in Tel Aviv and know the discrimination they face and the sentiment that exists towards them. I’m still flabbergasted that, what is in effect quite normal, a racist anti-immigrant rally (this is Israel, remember, not exactly a country where racism is looked down upon). But usually Israel does a good job keeping violence against the people it oppresses in a context of deniability, and with a pretence that it’s the other’s fault. But this has many characteristics of a straight up race riot, pretty unsophisticated stuff from the world leader in PC racism. I think it’s because the country is literally getting out of control, it’s not under control by the forces that control its public relations anymore. Before you call me alarmist for using the terms “race riot”, read this:
Some people attacked people attacked Africans that passed by. Others smashed the windows of a grocery store serving the migrant worker community and looted it.
Another group of demonstrators stopped a shuttle taxi and searched for migrant workers among the passengers, while banging on the windows.
And I didn’t say it was a race riot, I said it had some characteristics and, if this behavior were to spread through the crowd, then yes it would be a race riot.
What Israelis doesn’t understand is that white people know that violent discrimination against black africans is not ok. They’ve sold their oppression of the Palestinians, but western eyes won’t as easily stand for violent attacks against “black people”.
I accompanied a group of asylum-seeking children to their homes tonight, as we always do on the days of protests with potential racist developments. As usual, we got barraged with swearwords, but policemen advised us about safer routes. The kids sang along the way: “I’m a nigger, I’m a nigger, nigger, and I clean Israeli homes” (“What, you don’t know it, Rami? Look it up on Youtube.) Two 12-year-old girls asked me if I know that pretty soon the Sudanese will suffer the same fate as Jews did in Germany.
EDIT: I need to retract not calling it a race riot (from 972):
According to Maariv’s website, the mob chased a man from Eritrea, who took shelter in a storefront and was rescued by police. At least two journalists were attacked. One fled the area and the other, whose notepad was snatched by protesters, was sheltered by the cops.
EDIT: I guess this is no longer controvertial, because the National Post is calling it a race riot as well.
Violent race riots that shook southern Tel Aviv overnight sparked shock in Israel on Thursday, but also prompted top-level calls for the immediate arrest and expulsion of tens of thousands of African migrants.
Most reports said the rally turned nasty after the crowd was whipped up by several racist speeches by right-wing MPs, several of them from the ruling Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The infiltrators are a cancer in our body,” Likud MP Miri Regev told the crowd, as fellow MP Danny Danon shouted: “The infiltrators must be expelled from Israel! Expulsion now!”