Israeli Jewish hate rally against Africans in Tel Aviv caught on video as Haaretz deletes article about it

Anti-African Rally in Tel Aviv

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz mysteriously removed from its website an article exposing atrocious Israeli racism against black people just hours after it was published.

The article by David Sheen – a copy of which was made by The Electronic Intifada before Haaretz deleted it – reported on a rally by Israeli Jews on Sunday in Tel Aviv against African immigrants, demanding that they be sent home because Israel is a “Jewish state.” The rally was addressed by Michael Ben-Ari, a member of the Israeli parliament from the National Union party which also favors expelling Palestinians.

We have come to expunge the darkness

The deleted article stated:

The demonstrators chanted “The people demand the expulsion of the infiltrators,” “We have come to expunge the darkness,” and “Tel Aviv is for Jews, Sudan is for Sudanese.”

Ben Ari criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu for allowing African migrants to remain in the county after they had already entered in recent years. He called Netanyahu’s cabinet “the blackest government ever for Tel Aviv.”

Shocking video of hate rally

Video taken at the rally and posted on YouTube by Sheen, shows some of the vile racism, including by Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari.

Protesters can be heard chanting such slogans as, “Sudanese to Sudan, Tel Aviv is for Jews” and “Their place is in Sudan, not here. This is a Jewish state!”

“Restrict their movements”

Ben-Ari apparently referring to some nearby counter-demonstrators said: “I can see them over there, those who want to destroy our country. I see those who are setting up a welcome tent for the millions of Africans who are on their way here and I tell them it’s no use, our response is the Jewish nation lives!”

Ben-Ari and several protesters then broke into singing the nationalist refrain, “The Jewish nation lives.”

Ben-Ari then praised the mayor of the Red Sea port city of Eilat for his alleged harsh treatment of Africans. The mayor, Ben-Ari said, “is doing a great job with the Africans there. I only wish we did the same here in Tel Aviv. He doesn’t allow them to attend schools, he restricts their movements, he knows what to do.

Africans ‘bad for property values’

The handful of counter-demonstrators calling for an end to racism are confronted by some of the protestors and one woman shouts: “Disgusting! Why should my son go to school with 30 Sudanese in a class?

The same woman adds, “Let’s see you take them back home to your neighborhood and then we’ll see you complain that your property values are dropping.”

Why did Haaretz delete the article?

It is very unusual for a publication to delete an article without explanation after it is published. Responding to my questions on Twitter, Sheen suggested it was because the article was no longer “newsy,” coming 24 hours after the rally.

While this may be what the Haaretz editors told Sheen, it is far from convincing. In a professional publication, such decisions are made before an article appears, not after.

Embedded rich on Twitter

After some further discussion, Dena Shunra suggested a more sinister motive:

Embedded rich on Twitter

Israel Right-wing Activists Rally in Tel Aviv, Demand Expulsion of African Migrants - Haaretz Daily Newspap…


I'm speechless. This was beyond perverse, beyond disgusting. I just don't know what to say.

Seems the Israeli gov't spends millions to make Tel Aviv look open-minded and liberal. These leaks don't help their agenda. Shame to all artists, bands, and public figures who perform in Tel Aviv.

I doubt it's anything sinister. Haaretz removes and changes titles all the time. I don't think they're trying to cover anything up...other than the fact that Israeli society doesn't find this racism something to worry about.

Israel has always been racist so why is this a surprise to some? Left and right, they both are racist. Encouraging immigration means destroying more homes and building more settlements for Jewish people. I'm not going to sympathize with whoever goes to Israel and claims to be Jewish knowing that he/she is living on someone else's land and taking someone else's home. I'm not going to sympathize just because they're not white. Sorry.

Suha, I understand your point..

The Jews that moved to Palestine, later renamed Israel, were already living on someone else's land and taking someone else's home. Are those the people you're referring to, and what point are you trying to relate about their racism?

Much self-censorship in the Israeli press is enforced by the Editors Committee, which is explained clearly on the Wikipedia page about it, here

A couple of years ago members of the Editors Committee met in Eilat and slammed Haaretz for being too pro-Palestinian. Immediately thereafter, then-editor of Haaretz Dov Alfon pulled an interview that he'd commissioned about the one state option. Alfon, who proudly identifies as a former intelligence soldier, never admitted that this was the direct cause, but the timing (interview commissioned, editors committee meeting, interview pulled with no explanation) leads me to that conclusion.

The reason for censoring such an article seems obvious: it makes Israel look less like a Western-style democracy, thus playing into the hands of those of us who want to point out that it indeed is not one. Israel's government has announced that it is spending many millions of tax payers' dollars to this end. Working against that goal is still highly transgressive among Israeli Jews - and that's the demographic which Haaretz editors fall into.

So an alternative explanation is that someone said: "hey, wait, that really makes Israel look bad - let's disappear it and maybe no-one will notice."
Kudos, Ali, for keeping a copy of David Sheen's fine reporting of this travesty.

I like this comment and agree with its sentiment. But which "western-style democracy" government are you talking about that is more open-minded than Tel-Aviv? Surely not the Wikileak persecuting US!

...But it's a strong brand, and the purveyors of dreams and fantasies about Israel are using it, hard, to sell Israel, regardless of its realities - to the U.S., which talks a great talk and appears to be at war with Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and probably a few others.

My criticism of Israel does not imply endorsement of any other system or implementation of any other system.

I never commissioned an article about the the One-State solution, let alone pulling it.

...the journalist who was charged with doing the interview felt that he had a firm commitment to do it, from the editor of the Musaf. And he's not given to wasting vast swathes of his own time (and his interviewees' time) without that sort of commitment.

Now, I don't know what the truth is, not being a mind-reader. But at the time, that's what he told me.

and if you deny you knew about the article and were involved in its eventual shelving I'm afraid I won't believe you. Nothing personal.

the article wasn't pitched as "about the one state solution", but rather as "an interview with the man behind the Electronic Initifada". Ring any bells now?

Seems the Israeli gov't spends millions to make Tel Aviv look open-minded and liberal. These leaks don't help their agenda. Shame to all artists, bands, and public figures who perform in Tel Aviv.

@ Suha

Where was it mentioned the Sudanese are Jews or claim Israeli citizenship? They are mostly migrant workers who make very little working menial jobs. If you find it hard to sympathize with their plight, so be it, but don't cry wolf when South Sudan, and its citizens reciprocate such indifference.

Why do Israelis always have to bring the Holocaust into everything when someone disagrees with them? In this protest, the Holocaust is completely irrelevant. Yet when someone opposes the man towards the end of the video's view, he automatically dubs them as "Fascists against Jews" and as "Holocaust deniers". Get over yourself.

As a Sudanese I am very disturbed and saddened by this ignorant outburst from certain segments of Israeli society. Its so tragic that after all that these refugees have endured they are met with such hostility. At the same time, I would like to ask those expressing their indignation, where they were when the Egyptians would shoot these "infiltrators" in the backs and murder them in cold blood when they were fleeing to Israel? And where they when the Sudanese government has been slaughtering its own people by the tens of thousands and the whole Arab world sat and watched with apathy? Sudanese refugees are treated no better in Cairo or Beirut where they are subjected to the same kind of racism, and even worse verbal and physical abuse at the hands of the local police and population. Where were they then?? All I have to say to these racist Israeli protesters is to look to their own diasporic history of refugeeness and I hope that those Israelis who still have their humanity and empathy intact to make a strong stand against these regressive trends

Dear Mr. Sudani,

I still believe there are israelis who behave like normal human beings and have enough empathy towards people with dfifferent denomination, to act normally.
Unfortunately most israelis have a disgusting mind and behaviour and they pretend being the choosen people although their actions and thoughts are quite the opposite.
In the Netherlands where I live, unfortunately it is not very much better. See that tug Wilders. I however hav ethe impression that checks and balances are more equal in the Netherlands

I definitely find the video disturbing but I also think you need to focus on the fact that there are maybe 100 people at the rally. Anti refugee feeling against Africans cannot be said to be widespread in Israel by any stretch of the imagination. Take the Academy award winning documentary Strangers No More about a Tel Aviv school that welcomes all and teaches tolerance. I prefer to focus on people like that. This is a small group of horrible racist Israeli's - not all of Israel. And I do not deny that racism exists in Israel. Of course it does, it's like anywhere else. Hell Jews hate eachother - look at the Ashkenazi/Sephardi divide?
As for Ha'artz, I don't by their excuse. Why take it down even if it wasn't newsy...they archive old stories, they don't delete them! Fishy for sure.

There is no greater sign of ignorance in my mind than racism. I am angry and ashamed at this group - but recognize that they are just a small group of ignorant fools.

Its not news that zionists are racist but i dont have any sympathy for those who seek refugee with an occupier regardless if he is sudanese, lebanese, palestinian or anything else. They could have gone to south africa, europe or any other welcoming place but they chose to seek help from the state of israel and as such i find it hard to care for them. Bare in mind, that i would feel the same thing about my father had he fled to "israel".

Netanyahu: 'Infiltrators' Threatening Jewish State

How is it after the Jews were decimated and suffered so greatly at the hands of Hitler and his followers with others who were former neighbors and friends and fellow townsfolk who exercised their racist hatred and was a major factor in the implementation of the Final Solution. I watched tearfully, and often sobbing, at viewing Stephen Spielberg and the Shoah Foundation's Days of Remembrance about the Holocaust as seen from the view of some of the children who survived. They told of crawling out from under piles and piles of dead naked bodies covered in human excrement, blood, vomit, and urine and some thinking they had made it only to be gunned down as they tried to get away. Of the 6 million Jews who died, 1.5 million were children, innocent kids who had barely been alive for a decade more and less, and I saw the films of the dead mothers still clutching their babies in their arms both dead from the Politsia's bullets, some who complained of their fingers being so sore from pulling the triggers of their revolvers and rifles used in the massacres of these poor unfortunate ones.Yes, I cried at the sights and sounds of the stories and views on the films about the terrible suffering and degradation of the Jewish and other victims caused by a group whose inhumanity had reached a summit of that inhumanity to their fellow human beings and left them as barbarous toadies with no empathy for their brethren and cousins of the human species. The kicker is that these same Jews whose parents and grandparents suffered so are now causing so much of the same kind of suffering to another group the, Palestinians, with the equating of military targets with civilian targets. with children being fair game in their crimes against the Palestinians as the Zionist continue with the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the stealing of their land, all while the world watches and does nothing to stop themThis also makes me sad and I cry too for them as I did for those in the Holocaust&Sudanese.

African are hated everywhere they go, but the question is, as long as the world 1% stops to plunder Africa while causing wars, African will go home and live peacefully and enjoy their minerals...

@ Capone: Oh really? Do you even know what you're talking about? Africans are not the only hated race in the world.. Look at arabs and so called "new age" Jews. You people talk about Africans like they were a plague to human race, but then forgot that they also have a major role to play in the world someday. Not all africans travel to "your" countries to seek refugee! Keep that in mind next time you talk about what you don't know.
Peace out

I'm a resident of Tel Aviv and I'd like to set the record straight for those of you who are not familiar with Michael Ben Ari. In Israel, he's viewed by the vast majority as a radical provocateur, and nothing more than that. Most Israelis don't even know this demo took place, not because the media wishes to cover this up (on the contrary, Haaretz would be the first Israeli outlet to highlight a story like this) but because it's marginal. The protesters fail to acknowledge the painful subtleties of the story, and Haaretz probably realized this. Even those of us who agree with the basic notion (i.e. the government needs to tackle illegal immigration) do not agree with the provocative and thoughtless messages seen here. What I CAN say is that the illegal immigration from Africa to Israel is a GENUINE problem. It's not a racist issue. It's not because they're black. Few Israelis would deny that these immigrants are fleeing awful hardships, whether it's a violent conflict (although very few are actually entitled to refugee status), debilitating financial hardships, or compulsory military service, as in the case of Eritrea. Many have found jobs in Israel on the black market doing menial tasks such as cleaning or construction, but many are unemployed and have turned to crime. South Tel Aviv has become a hotbed of crime and it's damn scary going there. Israel is not equipped to take in tens of thousands of people who enter the country illegally every month through the porous border with Egypt. You may not like Israel's politics (and yes, I gathered from the comments that most of you don't) but forcing the story through a racial prism dumbs down the issue, and is very inaccurate. Just do the math - it's purely economic. This situation would be detrimental for any developed country, and Israel is no exception. That's all there is to it. Please don't give Ben Ari more exposure than he deserves. He's not worth it.

Dear Leyla,
I certainly agree with you on the issue of economics being an important factor. However, where I differ is in how I see the threads of connectedness between poverty, refugeeness, class, gender, race and marginalization. The fact is when you look to the profile of those who do the menial jobs that are highly exploitative, you will find they come from racialized minorities who are disadvantaged on several levels because of their background, culture or citizenship status. You can't separate all these factors from each other. So while I believe Ben-Ari was making economic arguments, it was patently clear that he and his supporters were equally playing on racial anxieties concerning the flow of refugees and migrants. This can be seen in the kind of language they use in describing these vulnerable communities. I remember a few months ago there was a similar demonstration (and I should add they were not that many, just as in this case) and the racist vitriol was disturbingly blatant. Of course detractors of Israel will jump on such incidents in order to indict an entire nation which I personally find problematic and ideological rather than being entirely grounded in reality. I'm not saying that Israel as a sovereign state, doesn't have the right to regulate that flow. It certainly does and an open door policy is not the best choice given the numerous constraints regarding the state's capability, resource distribution...etc

"They could have gone to south africa, europe or any other welcoming place but they chose to seek help from the state of israel and as such i find it hard to care for them. "

To Elias, inta insan ma 3indak la tayoog wala fahm. You simply lack any human empathy. When refugees are fleeing the horrors of genocide they will go wherever they can for safety. Do you have any idea about geography? Why would they go to South Africa as opposed to Israel? A lot of refugees chose Israel for a reason, and it didn't only have to do with its geographic proximity. Initially many made Egypt a temporary refuge but the vicious racism and violence from both the Egyptian police and society made their lives a living nightmare. Where was your sympathy then? Where were was your "sympathy" when the Egyptian police bludgeoned and killed Sudanese refugees demonstrating peacefully against their mistreatment? Da ismu nifaq, its called hypocrisy. They found infinitely better treatment in Israel, despite all its shortcomings, when you compare it to the bullets of the governments of Sudan and Egypt. Ya 3azizi al fadil, we have long stopped expecting any kind of sympathy from the Arab world which has for decades apathetically watched the slaughter of millions in South Sudan and Darfur in the name of Arabism and Islam...

Couldn't have said it better. Well done

Well said.