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Tel-Aviv La Difference

Race-Riots in Israel

On 23 May, the Hatikva neighborhood in Tel-Aviv was set alight by racist rioting and violence towards the Sudanese refugee population. The protest – around 1000 people – was opposed to Sudanese migration and called for the immediate expulsion of around 60,000 illegal African immigrants in Israel.

The mob destroyed several storefront windows, trash cans were set alight, passersbys were bullied, pushed around and even beaten up. Around 20 people were arrested for assault and vandalism.

The aggro was instigated by the outright racist propaganda shouted by speakers, including government officials, referring to the African population as “the cancer in our body” and calling for the “expulsion of the infiltrators”. 

Ilan Lior, Haaretz writer, was present at the protest and these are his words: “On Wednesday, everyone with black skin was labeled an enemy. These Knesset members are largely responsible for turning the words into acts. They cannot shake off that responsibility. The harsh violence against passersby that happened to have black skin is a direct result of their wild incitements.”

Racist violence also took place last April with cocktails being thrown into refugee homes, businesses and one kindergarten. Most Sudanese in Israel are seeking refuge from the ongoing military conflicts in their country.  However, to acquire legal refugee status is almost impossible due to Israel's definition of Sudan as a ‘hostile state ‘. Not only does the government feed this idea of refugees as hostile but it also treats the political and social problem in the old and moldy Zionist racist thought, i.e Land of Israel for Jewish people. Days before the riot, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the “60,000 infiltrators are liable to become 600,000 and lead to the eradication of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” What kind of democracy he was referring to is unknown. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Eli Yishai defined the situation as the “crumbling of the Zionist dream" - a dream that's often been chased in ways more like a nightmare for those on the receiving end. 

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Twitter: @SchNEWS