We learned a few days ago that 19 rabbis were arrested in NYC during a protest at Trump International Hotel. The Rabbi operates within the T’ruah organisation, a rabbinical human rights group that was formed (in 2002) to convey an image of Judaic ethical and universal awareness.
patch.com reports that the rabbis sat down in the street in front of the Trump Hotel in an act of protest against Trump’s executive orders affecting Muslim immigrants and refugees. But T’ruah do not just oppose Trump’s policy as ordinary human beings or American patriots. They actually operate as ‘Jews.’
Chutzpah, as we know, is a Jewish invention and Rabbi Jill Jacobs, T’ruah’s executive director, has a lot of it in her disposal. “It makes a statement when we (Rabbis) are willing to put our bodies on the line.” she said. Perplexed Goyim may wonder how exactly Rabbi Jacobs puts her ‘body on the line’ (sitting down on the street in the middle of Manhattan)? The rabbi must have realised how ridiculous her statement was, as she then corrected herself. “Right now the people whose bodies are really on the line are people trying to get to America, and risking death to do so. The least that we can do is put our bodies a little bit on the line…to bring attention to the situation of refugees.”
Rabbi Kleinbaum also added a statement concerning rabbinical heroism. “I’m risking arrest today because America welcomed my own immigrant family to its shores, as it did millions of families before us who fled persecution.” But if Rabbi Kleinbaum is actually talking as an American Patriot who cares for American universal values, why is he protesting ‘as a Jew’? He should really protest as a proud American.
“As Jews, who know what it means to be targeted by discriminatory laws, we stand firmly with refugees fleeing war, persecution, and economic strife,” T’ruah Rabbis said in a statement.
Along the years I have developed an allergy to “as a” statements in general and “as a Jew” proclamations in particular. For one reason or another, rather often ‘as a Jew’ constructions happen to be grossly duplicitous. If Jews know so much about persecution how come their Jewish State is institutionally racist and discriminatory towards minorities and gentiles? If Jews are pro immigration, how come their Jewish State is vile in its attitude towards illegal immigration. If the Jews ‘stand firmly with refugees’ isn’t it about time their Jewish State invites millions of Palestinian refugees to return to the land that belongs to them and them alone? Do T’ruah rabbis openly support the Palestinian right of return? If they do, they manage to keep quiet about it.
But let’s take it further, can the T’ruah rabbis report to us how many Syrians have found a refuge in Jewish homes? How many refugees are living in rabbi Kleinbaum’s and Jacobs’ spare bedroom? Considering the war against Islam was a Zio-Con project, can the Rabbis tell us when is the last time they sat down in the street in front of Paul Wolfowitz’ or Bernard Henri Levy’s homes? After all, Henri Levy claimed that ‘as a Jew’ he ‘liberated’ Libya. Shouldn’t the T’ruah rabbis at least occupy the streets in front of the Israeli Embassy and AIPAC offices? After all, it was Israel and its lobby that pushed for war in Syria. It was Israel and its lobby that are directly involved in the creation of the refugee crisis in Syria.
I kindly advise T’ruah and other Jewish human rights groups to be slightly more economical with their duplicity. By now, the Goyim know. They see it all and their patience is about to run out.
Over 5,000 people marched in Tel Aviv in one of the largest Arab-Jewish demonstrations the city has seen in years.
Members of Knesset lead a demonstration in Tel Aviv, attended by thousands of Arabs and Jews, against home demolitions and for equality. (Members of Knesset lead a demonstration in Tel Aviv, attended by thousands of Arabs and Jews, against home demolitions and for equality, February 4, 2017. (Tohar Lev Jacobson)
Over 5,000 Arab and Jewish demonstrators from across the country marched together on Saturday night in Tel Aviv against home demolitions and in support of equality for all. The demonstrators called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to step down, after months of incitementagainst Palestinian citizens of Israel.
The demonstration was organized by a large coalition of organizations and political parties, including “Standing Together,” Hadash, Meretz, “Yad B’Yad,” “Sikuy,” and others, was the largest Arab-Jewish protest Tel Aviv had seen in years. The protesters marched along King George St. while chanting slogans such “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies,” until they reached Dizengoff St., where they held a large rally. Among the speakers were Joint List head Ayman Odeh and Meretz MK Michal Rozin. Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon and representatives of the Zionist Union, who were supposed to attend, were absent.
Thousands of Palestinians and Jews march in Tel Aviv against home demolitions and in support of equality for all, February 4, 2017. (Tohar Lev Jacobson)
Dr. Amal Abu Sa’ad, the widow of Yacoub Abu al-Qi’an, who was shot and killed by police in the Bedouin village of Umm el-Hiran last month. Abu Sa’ad spoke about her husband’s death at the hands of the police, about the struggle to force the state to release his body and clear his name of all wrongdoing, as well as the tragic death of Erez Levy, the police officer who was also killed in the clashes in Umm el-Hiran. “It is important for me to send a message to the prime minister and his cabinet: despite your incitement, racism, and discrimination in legislation, enforcement, infrastructure, and government services — you will not be able to divide the citizens of this country.” Abu Sa’ad also called to establish a government commission to investigate the events at Umm el-Hiran. “Let us make this place worth living in, out of respect for Yacoub and Erez.”
Dr. Amal Abu Sa’ad, whose husband was killed by Israeli police last month, speaks to thousands of demonstrators in Tel Aviv, February 4, 2017. (Tohar Lev Jacobson)
Odeh, who spoke next, reiterated his call from a year ago to build an Arab-Jewish democratic camp that would oppose both the Right and the Zionist Left, that would call for full equality and democracy. Dr. Meir Buzaglo, a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the Hebrew University, invoked the shared history of Jews and Muslims in Morocco to promote coexistence in Israel, while Bar Itamari and Fatima Yahiye, two students from the bilingual Arab-Jewish school, Hand-in-Hand — Bridge over the Wadi, described both the challenge and privilege of studying together.
Thousands of Palestinians and Jews march in Tel Aviv against home demolitions and in support of equality for all, February 4, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)
Muhammad Barakeh, who heads the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, called on the demonstrators to come back to Tel Aviv this month for another demonstration, warning against the growing partnership between the Netanyahu government and fascist parties in Europe and the United States. MK Dov Khenin (Joint List) added that it is “infuriating to see Netanyahu copy the anti-Semites in Europe. In Europe the supporters of the Tsar said ‘strike the Jews and save Russia.’ The prime minister says ‘strike the Arabs and save Netanyahu.’”
This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.
The Guardian reports today that the White House has defended its omission of Jews and antisemitism from a statement remembering the Holocaust by saying that Donald Trump’s administration “took into account all of those who suffered”.
In practice the conservative ‘reactionary’ president has succeeded where ultra progressive Jackie Walker failed. Walker was suspended from the Labour party a few months ago for pointing out that the Holocaust Memorial Day was not wide-ranging enough to include other genocides.
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day last Friday, the White House ‘failed’ to mention Jews, Judaism or antisemitism. The presidential statement, instead, universally referred to the suffering of all innocent people, a fact that upset many American Jewish leaders such as Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League and Steven Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Centre. Both Goldstein and Greenblatt believe that the Holocaust is a jews-only territory and the holocaust memorial must promote the primacy of Jewish suffering.
But for the rest of humanity, it seems, it has become clear that the Jewish State is at the root of a regional disaster. The rest of humanity is also becoming aware that it is the Jewish lobby and Zio-cons that are pushing for more and more global conflicts whether it is a war against Libya, Syria, Iran or Iraq. Those who follow my writings are aware of Israeli writer Sever Plocker, who admitted a few years ago on the Zionist outlet Ynet that “We (the Jews) mustn’t forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish.” Plocker basically accepted that the Holodomor, the systematic starvation of Ukrainian peasants, was largely perpetrated by a bunch of Jewish bolsheviks who were “Stalin’s willing executioners” (as Jewish historian Yuri Slezkine refers to them in his monumental The Jewish Century)
Jackie Walker was obviously spot on suggesting that the holocaust memorial day must address other people’s suffering. Walker is a Black woman, she would probably have liked to see the Holocaust memorial day commemorating the crimes of slavery.
Bizarrely enough, despite progressive Jackie Walker telling the truth, she was expelled by her ‘progressive’ party yet it was the ‘reactionary’ Donald Trump who succeeded in making this day universal. This anomaly demands our attention, because it is far from being a coincidence. In the world in which we live, it is often the so-called ‘reactionaries’ who lead the push for universal thinking, while those who claim to be ‘progressives’ often subscribe to tribalism and the primacy of one people’s suffering.
Caroline Glick is an editor at the Jerusalem Post. In the talk above, she seems to have forgotten who is occupying whom. Glick obviously believes it is Palestinians who are discriminating against Jews, rather than the other way around.
“What they (Palestinians) are saying essentially is that Jews should not be allowed to live there just because they are Jews.”
Glick tries to advance an argument that Israeli settlements are not an obstacle to peace, that the real problem is Palestinian racism, and she alleges that a Palestinian state in “Judea and Smaria” would be so “inherently bigoted” that Jews wouldn’t even be “allowed to live there.” She further claims that dismantling the illegal settlements that have been built would be tantamount to “ethnic cleansing.”
Are Palestinians calling for a state that would be ethnically cleansed of all Jews? I have never heard any Palestinian official issue such a call, but Glick is repeating a talking point that has been made by other Israelis, including Benjamin Netanyahu.
This is not simply a case of twisting the truth; it is standing reality on its head.
Three questions here should be asked:
Does a sovereign state have the right to deport aliens who have entered the country illegally?
Should sovereign states have the right to set immigration policies based upon concerns about national security and public safety?
Should a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank, were one to be established, have the right to expel settlers who have carried out, for instance, arson attacks on Palestinian homes, or poisoned Palestinian livestock, or destroyed olive trees?
The answer to all three of these questions is yes. But this is not the same as saying “No Jews allowed.” To the contrary, were Jews who have demonstrated their good will, and there are a number of these, a few of them quite prominent and whose names come readily to mind–were Jews such as these to apply for residence permits or even citizenship in the new Palestinian state, would they be turned down? The answer almost surely is no. But in Glick’s view “this is a racket.” She goes on:
Jews don’t have civil rights. We’re not allowed to live wherever we have property rights to build–just because we’re Jewish? And this is a moral argument? This is a reasonable argument? This is establishing what, exactly? Ethnic purity? This is where we’ve come to?
But wait–is it not Israel which demands to be recognized as a “Jewish and democratic state”?
Recently Stuart Littlewood published a commentary on a publication put out by a pro-Israel advocacy group called The Israel Project. The publication is a 116 page booklet entitled “Global Language Dictionary,” a document intended as a “guide to visionary leaders who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel,” as an official with The Israel Project describes it.
Basically you could think of this as a manual designed to teach people how to stand reality on its head. Littlewood’s commentary on the Global Language Dictionary can be found here. The full PDF is here. Included is a whole chapter devoted to settlements. The following, described as “the best settlement argument,” provides the opener for the chapter:
“If we are to have real peace, then Israelis and Palestinians will have to live side by side. The idea that anywhere that you have Palestinians there can’t be any Jews, that some areas have to be Jew-free, is a racist idea. We don’t say that we have to cleanse out Arabs from Israel. They are citizen (sic) of Israel. They enjoy equal rights. We cannot see why it is that peace requires that any Palestinian area would require a kind of ethnic cleansing to remove all Jews. We don’t accept it. Cleansing by either side against either side is unacceptable.”
You’ll notice that the future state of Palestine is referred to not as a country or nation, but as a “Palestinian area,” and that the passage fails to take into account any Jewish responsibility for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages that occurred in 1948, or for the near 70 years of home demolitions and denial of building permits that have occurred since. Moreover, the idea that Palestinian citizens of Israel enjoy “equal rights”–as this “best argument” does claim–is preposterous to say the least. The chapter goes on:
The settlements are the single toughest issue for Israel and the hostility towards them and towards Israeli policy that appears to encourage settlement activity is clearly evident. Unless and until Israeli government policy changes, here’s the best communication approach:
The document then proceeds to list four talking points, followed by tips on how to obfuscate the whole issue with such irrelevant declarations as:
“Peace is not just about settlements. It’s about jobs, prosperity, and hope for all sides of the conflict–for Palestinians and Israelis alike. Every Palestinian child deserves a better future, and so does every Israeli child. If we can agree on that, and stop doing those things that hurt our children, we can start on the road to mutual understanding and mutual respect.”
And if you’ve any doubts this manual for standing reality on its head was written as a guide for fooling Americans especially, then consider that it also advises readers to:
Emphasize solutions wherein nobody has to leave their own homes. Americans are far more favorable towards solutions that are “just a redrawing of borders on the map” and do not require anyone–Israeli or Palestinian alike–to leave their own homes, businesses, and communities. Again–mutuality and the right to live in your home are the key themes to weave in.
Basically, the whole approach comes down to a simple tactic: accuse the Palestinians of being racists while portraying Israeli Jews as the very embodiment of liberal tolerance. And this in effect is the approach Glick takes in the video above. Glick, of course, is Jewish, and the Jerusalem Post, where she works, is one of the most prominent newspapers in Israel. In other words, she is a Jew who holds a high-ranking position in a major media outlet (albeit in Israel).
A couple of days ago I put up a post that included the following graphic:
One picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and the artwork provides a perfect illustration of how the western mainstream media basically stand reality on its head. In addition to the Palestine-Israel conflict, other areas in which mainstream media news organizations are hard at work inverting truth into its mirror opposite include:
Syria, where a democratically elected president is depicted as a dictator and where terrorist, head-chopping cannibals are rendered as “moderate rebels” deserving of Western support;
Russia–accused of “aggression” even as NATO builds bases and holds war game exercises on its borders;
Ukraine, a country portrayed as a peace-loving democracy but which in reality is ruled by a US-installed puppet government that has been rejected by a sizeable portion of the population–ethnic Russians who have broken away and established a de facto independent state in the country’s eastern region
So far as I’m aware, “Global Language Dictionaries” have not been published in these other areas, but the pattern of “reality reversal” is the same. Reporting on 9/11 has also followed the same pattern, with the “terror attack” vs. “false flag attack” dichotomy serving as the antipodal opposites, and in this case the equivalent of a “Global Language Dictionary” has been published–in the form of the official 9/11 report. The most obvious tip-off that the media are engaged in willful deception on 9/11 is the stubborn and persistent refusal to report the overwhelming body of evidence assembled by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth pointing to controlled demolition as the cause of the collapse of Building 7, but were the media to report even a sliver of this information it would cause the whole house of cards to fall.
So here we have a small group of people who together enjoy the vast majority of ownership and/or executive control of the mainstream media, now engaged, in almost perfect sync with each other, in a number of deceptions so utter and absolute that the truth in each case is almost literally inverted.
Never before in history has one group of people exercised such power.
So what can be said of such people? Well, a starting point might be their “singularity.” That at least is the word used in a book review, here, published by Daniel Lazare, a liberal Jewish writer whose articles have appeared in The Nation.
“Eventually, nearly every discussion of the Jews, pro or con, sympathetic or hostile, gets around to their alleged singularity,” Lazare writes in an article which poses the question: “Are the Jews Unique?”
Jews, he says, have always been “stubborn, clannish and standoffish, and even when they stopped wearing those funny clothes in the modern era and tried to blend in–especially when they tried to blend in–something about them remained at odds with the larger society.”
The article, as I say, is a book review. The book Lazare is reviewing is The Jewish Century, by Yuri Slezkine, a Russian-American Jew who holds a faculty position at the University of California at Berkeley. Slezkine’s thesis is that the human race is comprised of two different types of people, “Apollonians,” or food producers, and “Mercurians,” who provide a variety of services to the food producers. Comments Lazare by way of his review:
In Greek mythology, Apollo is the god of livestock and agriculture and hence of settled existence in general. Hermes–Mercury to the Romans–is, by contrast, a trickster god who serves as “the patron of rule breakers, border crossers, and go-betweens,” i.e., less permanent types who prefer to live by their wits. Rather than settling down and blending in, the Mercurians seek the opposite goal: to keep themselves apart by deliberately cultivating strangeness‚ strange customs, strange languages and so on.
In what seems to be an exercise in public relations (perhaps not unlike the Global Language Dictionary), Slezkine argues that the Jews are not the only population group that has played the Mecurian role, and he names others, including the Koli such’ok people of medieval Korea along with a number of tribal groups in northern Africa, who have played similar roles–but of course none of these peoples presently find themselves perched at the pinnacle of world power.
So in evaluating Glick’s comments in the video above, along with similar speeches and commentaries by other Zionist speakers, should we perhaps keep in mind the “trickster” and “Mercurian” tendencies which may be at play?
Back in December I wrote and posted an article entitled “Light and Darkness,” which included a commentary on the following passage from the first epistle of John:
Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
Modern day scholars, as I noted, have argued that the “antichhrists” John referred to were the Gnostics, but the early Gnostics–as I also noted–held a reverence for Christ, and I argued that the reference in reality is to Jews–specifically Jewish Christians who, at the end of the first century, abandoned the faith and returned to Judaism. This is what John means by “they went out from us, but they did not really belong to us.”
Jewish Christians were persecuted (by other Jews), thrown out of the synagogue, and following the sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, the intensity of these persecutions increased. The “Mercurians” apparently wanted nothing to do with any teaching about loving one another or seeing all peoples as fellow children of God.
In the video above, Glick seems well aware that the settlements are “the single toughest issue for Israel,” and she lays the blame for the turbulent situation on the Palestinians, the Egyptians, the Iraqis, Syrians, the British–everybody pretty much is at fault…except of course for the Jews.
And so we find ourselves in a world of inverted realities–where Palestinians who have had their lands stolen are the “racists” and Jewish settlers who believe that “one million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail” are absolved of blame; where Russia is an “aggressor”; where terrorists are “moderates”; where light becomes darkness and where darkness is celebrated.
In this Manhattan gathering I examine the ideologiesthat were set to divide the working people and their ability to resist Globalisation. I point at the bond between the New Left and Jewish progressive intelligentsia.
Those who are interested in my work may find this talk very interesting.
Netanyahu openly boasts of Israel’s war on Africans
Donald Trump’s election as US president has given closeted racists the license they have long sought to openly advocate against Muslims, refugees and people of color.
As progressive Americans strategize on how to defend victims of bigotry, they would be wise to take stock of how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already carrying out ethnic cleansing similar to that which Trump has promised to implement.
Two incidents bookending the year capture the zeitgeist of Israel’s war on African refugees in 2016. In January, an African refugee family, whose 1-year-old baby, Kako, had been stabbed in the head, departed Israel after the Netanyahu government refused to help them defer the child’s medical bills.
In February, the dean of an Israeli university gave his students an exam that contained a question which implicitly compared African refugees to rats.
In the test authored and administered by Moshe Kaspi, a dean at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, engineering students were asked to calculate the cost of removing rodents from the Tel Aviv area, transferring them to a holding center in the south of the country, and then shipping them to Africa, where they would be experimented on.
While the exercise did not explicitly mention African refugees, the analogy would have been obvious to many students, since the scenario it posits closely parallels political developments in Israel. For the last three years, the Israeli government has been rounding up African refugees in the Tel Aviv area and transferring them to a detention center in the south of the country. Following their detention, many of the refugees have been expelled to Africa, just like the rats in Kaspi’s test.
After one woman accused him of racism, Kaspi apologized for the question, claiming that he had intended “to insert an aspect of humor into the exam.”
The incident did not seem to significantly tarnish the reputation of Ben-Gurion University. A few months months later, the college received a $400 million gift, the largest college endowment in Israel’s history.
9. Israel Ziv, security consultant
Israel Ziv’s prior career as an officer in the Israeli military ended just before African refugees began arriving to the country in large numbers a decade ago. But since that time, Ziv has parlayed his army career into a successful business in the private sector with the security consulting firm Global CST.
In that capacity, Ziv has provided services to Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of South Sudan. Kiir is responsible for horrific crimes against his own citizens.
Earlier this month, an Israel Channel 2 video report revealed that Ziv had advised Kiir in an effort to rehabilitate his international reputation. Kiir has come into disrepute for allowing his soldiers to rape women and young girls, in lieu of salary payment, and to castrate and kill young boys.
Israel is a significant supplier of weapons to South Sudan.
According to the Channel 2 report, Ziv hired Ron Prosor, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, as part of his work. One idea considered was that Kiir would make a speech at the UN, flanked by a woman who had been raped by soldiers from South Sudan.
Is it inherently racist of Ziv to want to profit from whitewashing a criminal despot like Kiir? Or did Ziv only take advantage of a global white supremacist system where Black lives matter so little that their mass rapes and castrations can be covered up, guilt free?
Either way, Ziv’s conduct was deplorable.
8. Eliyahu Asulin, rabbi
Hatred for African refugees extends even to their children.
In May, the spouses of foreign ambassadors serving in Israel volunteered to help clean up the outdoor play area of a Tel Aviv nursery for African children. Their aid had become necessary because Israelis had defiled the playground with dead animals, garbage and feces.
Refugee children playing in public parks are regularly harassed. In addition to cursing the kids, their harassers make a show of distributing condoms to African refugees, apparently thinking this is a clever way of saying Africans should not bear children, as long as they live in Israel.
But while ordinary Israeli citizens are trying to shame Africans into foregoing their reproductive rights, leading religious figures have been actually harming the reproductive organs of newborn babies.
In November, it emerged that Israeli circumcisers allow trainees without the necessary experience to practice their cutting techniques on the genitals of black and brown babies.
An exposé by Israel’s new public broadcaster Kan revealed that – for an $11,000 fee – Eliyahu Asulin, a popular rabbi, would allow novices who had not completed their professionally mandated studies to perform circumcisions in his stead on infants from African and Asian families.
Unaware that an undercover journalist was filming him, Asulin urged his new “apprentice” to carry out a circumcision ritual on the son of a Filipino woman. The baby’s mother had been misled as she had only consented to a circumcision undertaken by a professional.
In the video, Asulin describes African babies as “cannon fodder.” He says: “Even if your cut isn’t straight, they won’t say anything, because they don’t understand anything.”
After Asulin’s misconduct was publicly exposed, Israel’s chief rabbinate punished him lightly. Asulin was forbidden from training others for three years, but was still permitted to practice circumcision himself.
7. The Petah Tikva killers
In November, 38-year-old Sudanese asylum-seeker Babikir Adham-Uvdo was beaten to death by two Israeli youths outside of the city hall in Petah Tikva, a town near Tel Aviv. Security camera footage of the incident revealed that the youths beat Adham-Uvdo for more than an hour. He was brought to hospital but never recovered, and was disconnected from life-support systems days later.
Although the killing bore similarities to other attacks on Africans, an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz stated that “people close” to a suspect in the killing believed it was not a racist incident. Relying on those sources, Haaretz suggested that Adham-Uvdo may have been killed because he “made insulting comments to girls.”
Adham-Uvdo was seen walking and then stopping in front of three 16-year-old girls. The girls shouted at him to leave, and within seconds of first encountering them, Adham-Uvdo raised his hands and walked away.
The 16-year-old boy then attacked Adham-Uvdo from behind; another youth soon joined in, kicking Adham-Uvdo as he lay on the ground.
The video footage also shows that paramedics arrived on the scene midway through the beating. In the video, they are seen tending to Adham-Uvdo but, after a short while, leave him to fend for himself, seemingly satisfied that he no longer requires their aid. Within seconds of their departure, the two young men return and continue the beating.
Two persons have been charged in relation to the incident: one is Dennis Barshivatz, a Petah Tikva local, now aged 20; the other is a 16-year-old, whose name has not been published. An Israeli prosecutor has decided to charge the two with manslaughter, rather than murder.
Some observers noted the parallels between the deaths of Adham-Uvdo and Emmett Till. Till was an African-American teenager who was murdered in Mississippi, beaten until he was unrecognizable, ostensibly for flirting with a white woman.
Just three months ago, an Israeli court was told that the Petah Tikvah municipality had hindered African refugees from registering their children for pre-schools in town.
Since the killing of Adham-Uvdo, dozens of African refugees have been arrested in Petah Tikva. The local mayor, Yitzhak Braverman, has approved the arrests.
6. Tal Schwartz, judge
Babikir Adham-Uvdo was the latest, but not the first, African refugee to be lynched in Israel. In October 2015, after a gunman shot and killed an Israeli soldier and wounded about 10 other bystanders in the central bus station complex in Bir al-Saba (Beersheba), a mob of Israelis attacked 29-year-old Eritrean refugee Haftom Zarhum.
Those who took part in the killing included Israeli soldiers, police officers and a prison warden.
In June this year, an Israeli tribunal ruled that prison warden Hananiya Shabbat would not be charged for beating Zarhum with a bench.
Rather than reprimanding Shabbat, Tal Schwartz, a judge in the tribunal, complimented him. Schwartz stated that Shabbat had “acted in a way that is expected of a prison guard, that which is needed to contribute to the positive image of the prison service.”
5. Zion Amir, lawyer
Zion Amir is a lawyer who has defended the rapist and former president of Israel Moshe Katsav.
Amir has represented some of the Israelis accused of firebombing a Palestinian family in the occupied West Bank. Ali Dawabsha, an 18-month-old baby, and his parents were fatally injured in that attack.
So it should come as no surprise that Amir is also defending some of the Israelis charged with the lynching of Eritrean refugee Haftom Zarhum.
In March, Aryeh Deri, Israel’s interior minister, announced that he would appoint Amir to head the government’s advisory panel on refugees.
After Amir had been on the job for four months, Haaretzreported that not even one asylum request had been approved. In that time, more than 1,000 asylum requests were rejected.
4. Roni Alsheikh, police chief
In the year he has occupied the post, Roni Alsheikh, head of Israel’s police, has advanced the idea that African refugees are inherently criminal, giving his officers a green light to attack them.
In August, Alsheikh made his anti-African bias explicit when he told a conference of the Israeli Bar Association: “In all criminological studies worldwide, it has been proven that immigrants are more involved in crime than others.”
Alsheikh’s comments drew strong criticism from Israeli citizens of Ethiopian descent. “With one sentence, the police chief has summarized and confirmed all of our complaints [about police racism],” Ethiopian-Israeli activist Inbar Bugala said, according to Haaretz.
Israeli police seem to be especially bothered by communities of color finding common cause in the struggle against Israeli racism.
When Haftom Zarhum was killed by a mob of Israelis in 2015, Bugala wrote on Facebook that a racist lynching had occurred. “Black people have become terrorists – there was no mistaken identification,” she wrote.
Minutes after posting the message, the Israeli police contacted Bugala and demanded that she delete it. The post disappeared from her Facebook page, and though she re-posted it several times, it was taken down after each instance.
3. David Amsalem, lawmaker
While some Israeli officials discriminate against all Africans in equal measure, others advocate opposing policies for Black people, depending on whether the people in question are Jews. Such is the case with David Amsalem, a rookie lawmaker from Likud, the largest party in Israel’s ruling coalition.
Amsalem labors to bring Black Jews to Israel, while working simultaneously to expel Africans who are not Jewish.
In March, when Israeli officials reversed a 2015 decision to facilitate the immigration of 9,000 Falashmura, the extended family members of Ethiopian-Israelis still living in Ethiopia, Amsalem accused the government of racism. “They don’t want to bring Black people to the country from a troubled place,” he said.
In protest, Amsalem refused to vote in favor of government-sponsored legislation, until the Falashmura were allowed to immigrate. The government eventually allowed some Ethiopians to enter Israel. But as punishment for disobeying party discipline, Amsalem was temporarily blocked from proposing laws or speaking in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
As chair of the Knesset’s interior and environment committee, however, Amsalem worked to make the already precarious lives of non-Jewish African refugees much more difficult. In November, Amsalem secured committee approval for an amendment to Israel’s Anti-Infiltration Law which would automatically deposit part of the wages paid to African refugee workers in a fund. The refugees would only be able to access the money taken from them when they leave Israel for good.
Refugee advocacy groups have warned Amsalem that the move would further impoverish African refugees, potentially triggering a humanitarian crisis. In a complaint, the groups wrote: “Asylum seekers are liable to find themselves on the streets, children will go hungry, women may turn to prostitution and more.”
Amsalem casually dismissed these appeals, asserting that Africans should be able to survive on their reduced salaries.
2. Aryeh Deri, interior minister
Ever since Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election as prime minister in 2009, the post of interior minister has been filled by a steady stream of unabashed racists.
Aryeh Deri, the current incumbent, returned to politics in 2012 after a 13-year absence, two of which were spent in prison for corruption. He has developed a reputation for defending Israel’s downtrodden.
Deri’s compassion does not extend to Africans, however. In his first year on the job as interior minister, a post he also held before his downfall, Deri has campaigned with as much enthusiasm as his predecessors to expel African refugees.
In March, Deri told the Knesset’s interior and environment committee that if Israel’s high court won’t permit him to deport African refugees against their will, he would order the construction of an additional facility to imprison them. Since 2013, Israel has held 10,000 African refugees in Holot, a desert detention center.
In April, Deri’s ministry launched an advertising campaign warning Israeli citizens not to hire non-Jewish African refugees, even though a high court ruling allows them to work in Israel.
A week later, the ministry clarified that it would not issue temporary residency visas to the teenage children of African refugees. African teens need these documents because they can be easily mistaken for adults and detained by immigration police who patrol Israel’s cities.
After a migrant rights lawyer appealed against the policy in court, Deri agreed in principle to issue visas for African teens. The lawyer who challenged the policy, Osnat Cohen-Lifshitz, has predicted that it may take a long time before Deri’s agreement is implemented.
In September, a Jerusalem tribunal ruled that fleeing forced service in the Eritrean army can be grounds for refugee status. Determined to deport all Eritreans, who constitute a majority of the African refugees in Israel, Deri protested that the tribunal’s decision would cause “endless trouble” and ordered an immediate appeal.
1. Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister
In 2016, Benjamin Netanyahu held five separate cabinet portfolios, as well as the prime minister’s post. He used the powers at his disposal to deport thousands of African refugees. Without question, the worst of these were the powers Netanyahu continues to wield as Israel’s foreign minister.
When the first wave of refugees from war-torn Darfur started to arrive in Israel 10 years ago, the government argued that they couldn’t be trusted to live in the country because they were from Sudan, a country that does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
This argument has never made sense, as Darfuri refugees first fled to Israel precisely because they and their families were victims of the Sudanese regime, not supporters of it.
Paradoxically, in September, it emerged that Israel’s foreign ministry has been quietly lobbying the US to forge closer ties with Sudan.
Israel reportedly favored this move because Omar al-Bashir’s government had distanced itself from Iran.
Just two weeks after Netanyahu’s shilling for al-Bashir made news headlines, Amnesty Internationalrevealed that the Sudanese leader’s long list of war crimes now also includes the use of chemical weapons in Darfur.
In the past three years, Netanyahu’s government has spent $260 million to round up African refugees and bring them to desert detention centers. Israel has the gall to categorize this massive expenditure as “foreign aid.”
In late September, Netanyahu marked the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah with a self-congratulatory address to members of Likud, summarizing his supposed successes from the previous 12 months. Netanyahu boasted of his efforts to deport African refugees.
“Sixty thousand illegals entered,” he said. “Until today we have already removed 20,000, and we will remove another 20,000. We’ll remove all the illegal aliens because they are illegal, even the ones in southern Tel Aviv.”
Netanyahu has made similar boasts in the past. But what set 2016 apart from previous years was his new willingness to not only point out his anti-African policies to Israelis in Hebrew, but also to proudly announce them in English.
Apparently confident that his efforts would be admired abroad, Netanyahu tweeted in March: “A strong Israel prevents the passage of masses of refugees to Europe. The world would be different if we were not here.”
In a year-end opinion piece, the editorial board of Haaretzstated that Netanyahu “should be ashamed,” adding, “Israel can and must accept the 40,000 Africans living here today, along with the 6,000 children who were born here.”
For the eight years that the United States was led by a president of African descent, Netanyahu felt no need to rein in Israel’s war on Africans. Now that Donald Trump, the darling of white supremacists, has been elected to the Oval Office, we can only expect Netanyahu to ramp it up into an even higher gear.
Muslim Press: Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has said that “the era of the Palestinian state is over.” What’s your take on this?
Gilad Atzmon: This idea is more than welcome. What we need is one state from the river to the sea and this state will be Palestine. I do not think that we are talking about a political shift but simply facts on the ground.
MP: How do you predict the fate of the two-state solution? How could Trump presidency affect the solution?
Gilad Atzmon: I do not engage in prophecy. The two-state solution is dead and if I am reading the map correctly, the US is not a key player in the Middle East anymore. Putin took their place and this fact may have a significant positive impact on the future of the conflict.
MP: How do you evaluate Donald Trump’s policies towards Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
Gilad Atzmon: We are clueless in regard to Trump’s policies. In fact I do not even believe Trump has a Middle East policy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But as I mentioned above, the US is not a key player in the Middle East. Accordingly, America’s position is hardly relevant. This may change.
MP: Do you think the international community has failed to defend Palestinians rights against Israeli crimes?
Gilad Atzmon: Of course! The question is why. The answer has something to do with the total hegemony of the Jewish Lobby in the West. The Israeli Lobby dominates American, British and French foreign affairs. Even the Palestinian solidarity movement is shy of the topic. Why? Because the Palestinian solidarity movement is also dominated by similar Jewish institutions such as JVP, JFJFP etc. In other words, the voice of the oppressed is shaped by the oppressor and oppressor’s sensitivities.
MP: What role does the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Mahmoud Abbas play in the conflict? Do you see their role as positive?
Gilad Atzmon: I never take sides on Palestinians or Arab political matters. As far as I understand, Abbas believes that Palestine’s ultimate bomb is the demographic bomb. In other words, for the Palestinians to win, all they have to do is to survive. I guess that this explains a lot.