The Anti Defamation League calls for calm and for government action in wake of attacks on African refugees. The statement includes some racism of its own:
While we recognize the complexity involved in properly addressing this issue, and sympathize with Israeli citizens whose personal security has been compromised by the lawlessness and violence of some migrants, we are disturbed by inflammatory public statements made by certain Israeli officials, some of which has veered into racism. These statements are counterproductive and only serve to further inflame tensions.
But in "Police distort crime date, inciting violence against refugees," Sigal Rozen at +972 quotes police statistics showing a low crime rate among the migrants:
Real police data, presented in a meeting held by the Knesset Committee on Foreign Workers on March 19, indicate that the crime rate among foreigners in Israel stood at 2.24 percent in 2011 (1,223 criminal cases out of a total of 54,497 foreigners).
The 2011 data on Israeli crime has not yet been published, but according to police data reported to the Knesset, the crime rate among the general population in Israel stood at 4.99 percent in 2010....
the general crime rate in Israel is more than double that of Africans in Israel.
Scant mention by Jeffrey Goldberg of the attacks; he diminishes the episode and leaves out the official encouragement of the riots:
Then came the disturbing news that in a poor neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Sudanese immigrants were set upon by Israeli hooligans. 'Fascism' might be a strong word, and of course Israel is judged by a double-standard (triple-standard, actually), but this is not what should be happening in a country that calls itself a Jewish state.
Great post by liberal Zionist Peter Beinart concludes with some implicit sympathy for the delegitimizers of Israel. Excerpt:
A reviled, powerless minority discussed in the language of war and disease? Where have my Jewish ears heard that before?
Last night, looking for a little moral outrage, I went to the Anti-Defamation League’s website, since they’ve done good work on anti-immigrant racism in Europe and the United States. Nothing doing. The top stories were on Holocaust denial in Greece, the Rutgers spying case and school bullying. I tried the American Jewish Committee, whose mission is to “advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world.” Nada. Their featured stories were about Memorial Day, Iran and black-Jewish cooperation for civil rights (ah, the irony). How about AIPAC, which declares that America and Israel are natural allies because “both nations were founded by refugees seeking political and religious freedom… Both have absorbed waves of immigrants seeking political freedom and economic well-being.” Nope. Or the Presidents’ Conference, which aims to “enhance the security and dignity of Jews.” Sure seems like Jewish dignity could use a little enhancing right now in south Tel Aviv. Zilch.
Oh and this just in (thanks Susie Kneedler), from Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street. I'm removing his disclaimers to emphasize the positive aspects of his statement:
So, seeing pictures and reading first-hand reports of Wednesday night’s riot in which Jews targeted African refugees in Tel Aviv left me shocked and saddened. ... what happened Wednesday is simply inexcusable.... What’s most distressing about Wednesday’s events is the role played by Members of Israel's Knesset in inciting the crowd to violence. One is a disciple of Meir Kahane. Others are identified with extreme-right views on issues related to Palestinians and Arabs. It's no surprise to see those who peddle hate against one group inciting a crowd to violence against another. This incident is part of a pattern of broader and disturbing actions by these MKs that put Israel’s democracy and the rule of law at risk. ....
the test for [all] nations is how they deal with their most extreme fringe. And there is a growing fringe in Israel whose values are out of sync with those of the Jewish community broadly and whose actions are undermining their country's interests.