A horrifying report in Haaretz today:
Dozens of Jewish youths attacked three young Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Zion Square early on Friday morning, in what one witness described as “a lynch” on Facebook.
One of the Palestinians was seriously wounded and hospitalized in intensive care in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem. Acting Jerusalem police chief General Menachem Yitzhaki has set up a special team to investigate the incident and detain the suspects.
The three were allegedly attacked by youths shouting “Death to the Arabs” at them, as well as other racial slurs. One of them fell on the floor, and his attackers continued to beat him until he lost consciousness. They subsequently fled from the scene.
Within a short period of time rescue volunteers and Magen David Adom rescue services arrived on the scene and found the victim with no pulse and not breathing. After a lengthy resuscitation attempt, he was transferred to the hospital.
A witness described what she saw on Facebook:
“But today I saw a lynch with my own eyes, in Zion Square, the center of the city of Jerusalem ….. and shouts of ‘A Jew is a soul and Arab is a son of a –,’ were shouted loudly and dozens (!!) of youths ran and gathered and started to really beat to death three Arab youths who were walking quietly in the Ben Yehuda street.”
Not isolated incidents
Much remains unknown at present, including the identities and condition of the victims. What we do know however is that such racist attacks by Israelis are not exceptional. They are frighteningly common and the incitement and permissive atmosphere that fosters them comes from the very top of Israeli society.
Yesterday, 6 Palestinians were injured in a firebombing by suspected “Jewish extremists” in the occupied West Bank.
In March there was the mob attack by Jewish youths shouting “Death to the Arabs” on Arab workers at Malha Mall in southern Jerusalem. That mob attack was caught on video (below).
Israeli police did nothing in the wake of that incident. Instead, Israel’s hasbara machinery jumped into action, denying there was a pervasive problem with racism. The Jewish Agency’s online hasbara chief Avi Mayer even mounted a publicity stunt where he went to Malha Mall to distribute candy. That didn’t solve the problem, did it?
We do not know it, but it is now a fair question to ask if any of the youths who were allowed to get away with the violence at Malha Mall in March were in “Zion Square” last night.
Getting away with murder
While Palestinians are often held in Israeli jails for years without charge or trial, the Israeli “justice” system is notoriously easy on Israeli Jews who murder Palestinians whether in hate crimes or war crimes.
Just last week two Israeli soldiers were given sentences of 45 days in jail for killing Rayah and Majda Abu Hajaj, a mother and her daughter, who were waving white flags during Israel’s 2008-2009 attack on Gaza.
In July, an Israeli youth was given a short sentence of 8 years for the brutal, unprovoked racially motivated killing of Hussam Rawidi.
Then there is Ziad Jilani, who was shot and killed by Israeli border police officers on an East Jerusalem street in broad daylight two years ago without any reason. His American wife Moira, the mother of their two young children, spoke to The Electronic Intifada in May about her so far fruitless effort to bring Ziad’s killers to justice.
Such tolerance has a long history in Israel, symbolized by the notorious case of Colonel Issachar Shadmi who commanded the troops who murdered 48 Palestinian civilians in the unprovoked massacre at Kafr Qasim in 1956. Shadmi was fined just one penny.
These are just a few cases. There are thousands more cases of Palestinians killed or injured, where no investigation is ever opened, and no justice is available for the victims.
Is it any wonder that there is so much racist violence when Israeli leaders constantly spew hatred, racist crimes and war crimes go unpunished, and Israeli children are taught to view Palestinians and Arabs as less than human from the very earliest age?