This disturbing video shows Israeli youths, escorted by police and occupation forces, marching through the Old City of Jerusalem chanting “mavet la’aravim” – “death to the Arabs” – and other cries of hate.
According to the racism-monitoring website Kifaya, the 19 April march was part of the monthly “Tour of the Gates” by Jewish extremists through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.
As part of the event, held at the beginning of every month according to the Jewish calendar, the one-kilometer-long route is blocked to Palestinians, and businesses and stores must close, Kifaya says.
Palestinians are forbidden from leaving their homes during the march.
“Some 1,500 Jews participated in the march,” Kifaya says, “and it was secured by hundreds of policemen and soldiers, who thronged the area.”
In addition to “death to the Arabs,” the marchers’ repertoire of cries and songs included: “revenge,” “may your name be wiped out,” “may your village be burnt down,” and the anti-Muslim chant “Muhammad is dead” –- all heard by the police and occupation forces who secured the event, Kifaya says.
Some of the marchers even banged on the doors of homes and businesses and there were also some attempts to damage property.
Israel expert Dena Shunra told The Electronic Intifada that “may your name be wiped out” is a “very potent curse, generally used for enemies of the entire Jewish nation. Hitler is always mentioned with that curse.”
Shunra observes that the video reveals the highly organized nature of the march: the youths in the yellow vests in front have the word “ushers” on their backs.
At 0:24, a young man can be seen wearing a kippa – skull cap – with the word “Nachman” on it, indicating that he, at least, is affiliated with the Breslauer sect of Hasidic Jews.
At 0:54 some participants can be seen holding what look like papers with slogans printed on them.
It is striking, Shunra adds, “the way liturgical texts and songs are interspersed amongst the hate cries.”
Incitement leads to murder
Last July, the Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu-Khudair was abducted from the streets of occupied Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood and then burned alive by his captors.
His alleged killers, Israeli Jews, had reportedly been steeped in the racist culture of the Beitar Jerusalem football team whose fans habitually rampage through the streets calling for the murder of Arabs.
They would also have been regularly exposed to the relentless anti-Arab bigotry and incitement from Israel’s leaders.
This week, Israel added Abu Khudair’s name to an official Israeli memorial of terrorism victims. This drew immediate criticism from Israeli groups who argued that the murdered boy didn’t merit being on the memorial.
But the move was also rejected by Muhammad’s father, Hussein Abu Khudair, who told Ma’an News Agency that the “occupation authorities are trying to improve their image in the world” and that putting his son’s name on the memorial “would not change the racist reality of the Israeli occupation.”
Nothing vindicates Hussein Abu Khudair more clearly than the sight of Israeli police and occupation forces providing an escort for a mob chanting the words “death to the Arabs” that very likely inspired his son’s murderers.
What is even more alarming is that many of the participants in this march appear to be children themselves.