A disturbing new video by David Sheen shot on New Year’s Eve on the streets of Tel Aviv shows Israelis rallying against Africans and then Jewish youths assaulting, insulting and humiliating African people – presumably identifiable only by the color of their skin.
A rally speaker called for buses to be brought to Tel Aviv to transport 12,000 Africans to a desert internment camp.
After the rally a group of Israeli Jewish youths went through the streets assaulting and abusing Africans as police followed them doing nothing. One man, apparently a rally participant, is seen assaulting Sheen and threatening him with further violence.
Sheen, whose work has documented the rising racist fanaticism among Israelis, provided this description of the night’s events to The Electronic Intifada:
New Years’ Eve, 31 December 2012, saw the third anti-African rally in Tel Aviv in three weeks. The trigger for the protest was the publication of the ethnicity of the suspect of a horrific rape attack on an elderly lady in the yard of her home in south Tel Aviv. The fact that the suspect is a non-Jewish African man, one of about 60,000 who have sought refuge in Israel in recent years, was immediately seized upon by right-wing politicians to smear all of these African asylum-seekers as criminals and demand the immediate round-up and deportation of the entire group. (Naturally, no such protest is taken up in the cases of any of the other 3,000 violent sex crimes which occur in Israel annually and are perpetrated by non-Africans).
About 100-150 people marched in the direction of Levinsky Park, the epicenter of African people in Tel Aviv, but police prevented them from reaching the park. Various speakers vented their anger against African people for almost two hours, including Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, who spoke twice.
A couple of anti-racist protesters on the other side of the street drew jeers but no physical confrontations ensued. After the protest finally dispersed, a group of about 8 followers of Ben Ari’s Strength For Israel party marched back to his parliamentary office in the HaTikvah neighborhood of the city, haranguing and humiliating every African person they passed on the street. Police maintained a presence until the group crossed the Ayalon bridge separating the city proper from its suburbs, at which point they bid good night to the group, which continued its harassing of African passersby.
Max Blumenthal, who accompanied Sheen and is seen in the video, commented to The Electronic Intifada that the anti-African protest was “the equivalent of an election campaign rally for Ben-Ari and the Strong Israel party.”
For more background, read Sheen’s recent piece for The Electronic Intifada, “The dirty dozen: Israel’s racist ringleaders.”