Attack in Tel Aviv: ‘Jewish girls do not go out with Blacks!’

Israel/Palestine
on 47 Comments
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An African refugee watches an anti-refugee demonstration held by right-wing activists in south Tel Aviv on December 31, 2012. (Photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

A year has elapsed since the May 23, 2012 anti-African pogrom in Tel Aviv, and though there have been no other full-scale race riots since, the city continues to witness low-level anti-African attacks on a regular basis. Their occurrence is so commonplace that they rarely merit any mention in the media, but by North American standards, any one of these incidents would be considered scandalous. 

On Friday, I received an email from a fellow native of Toronto, Canada, who is currently living in Israel, detailing such an attack. In her letter, 27-year-old international development researcher Leah McDonnell describes how she was accosted the night previous [June 27], while out walking with a group of friends, as the city celebrated an outdoor art festival into the early hours of the morning. Without any provocation, two men who presented themselves as religious Jews and members of some kind of security force berated the group for befriending an African man and physically assaulted their dark-skinned friend.

It is important to understand the context in which these regular racist attacks occur. For the past several years, high-level Israeli politicians have competed with one another to vilify Africans in the most dehumanizing language possible, casting them as diseased, criminals and terrorists. In the last two years, the government has built both a desert fence to prevent any more Africans from crossing Israel’s border to seek asylum, and a series of desert jails to indefinitely hold without trial any others who arrive and increasing numbers who are pulled off the streets. In recent months, it has secretly deported thousands of Africans back to the countries they fled from, and is trying to bribe other African nations with arms shipments to convince them to take in all the other non-Jewish Africans living in Israel, 55,000 in number.

Although the government is considering proposals to sweep all the Africans off the city streets and into jails and out of the country, it has refrained from doing so on a large scale as yet, knowing that this will not photograph well. But its official policy, as publicly expressed by former Interior Minister Eli Yishai and never disavowed since, is to “make their lives miserable“, so that the Africans will pick up and leave of their own volition. With the blessing of the government, gangs of Jews continue to prey upon any African they can get their hands on, to add to the misery-making.

I include below McDonnell’s letter in full.

Myself and several of my friends (6 of us in total, one being African) were out to celebrate Laila Lavan, or the “White Night”. As we were on out way back home, our night took a very dark turn.  We were walking to the South and were at the corner of Ha Aliya and Levinski when we were approached by two young men wearing matching black security uniforms and kippas [skullcaps].  They first asked, “Is the kushi [nigger] with you?” 

A conversation between my friend and the aggressors went as follows: 

My friend:  “He is my boyfriend, leave us alone.”

Aggressor: “In that case we have a few questions for you.”

My friend: “I am not interested in your questions.”

Aggressor: “Why? Are you an idiot? We are from the security!” 

At this point they started to scream at us, demanding to know if we were Jewish, then if we spoke Hebrew.  My African friend tried to say, “What happened?”, in honest and utter confusion of the events taking place.  One of the young men answered by putting his finger to my friend’s face and angrily told him, “You don’t talk”.  The other started to scream, “What happened? What happened?”, as if he had been personally offended – he then started to brandish pepper spray in a threatening way and yelled, “Jewish girls do not go with Blacks!”. We tried to separate these aggressors from our friend, putting our bodies in between theirs, yelling, “No, stop, go away!”.  

The men kept tugging at our friend, trying to push him and us out of their way.  We started to walk, trying to evade them.  They followed us down the street.  One of the men tried to punch our friend, but was held back by his accomplice; we can only assume that, as we were in front of a store, they did not want to attract any further attention.  

They both continued to follow us while trying to grab our friend, attempting to push us out of the way.  Three of my friends managed to distract the men, blocking them from our African friend.  The other three of us ran down the street, then turned onto a side-street, leading us away. 

 I then ran back to meet my friends who stayed to distract these attackers.  When I reached them the men had vanished.  They told me they yelled very loudly, “I don’t know you” and a couple passing by on a scooter stopped and yelled, “Do you want us to call the police?”.  The men then dispersed.  I am so thankful the couple stopped and offered their assistance. 

Afterwards, we all gathered at a nargila bar to sit and relax after this terrible event.  One of my friends sat at the table next to me.  She looked very troubled and she started to speak. “This is the same reaction my grandmother faced in Germany when the Nazis would stop Germans from walking with her, because she was Jewish.” 

 
 
 
 

47 Responses

  1. justicewillprevail
    June 30, 2013, 10:17 am

    50 years of making Palestinians lives so miserable that they might leave, now Bedouins, Africans, anybody apart from Jews gets the same treatment, which is official policy. Jew Klux Klan – well said. Sick. Now that they have bred a society like this, supported and validate by their agents in Washington, how is it going to be repaired? Can’t they see how ugly and brutalised they have become, or is that they angrily smash any mirror held up to them?

  2. Citizen
    June 30, 2013, 10:47 am

    Ah, the banality of evil on the daily Israeli streets. All fostered by the banality of Israel’s official governance. It would be much more official except for the internet & worry about Brand Israel in hasbara, PR circles in the contemporary age. It could be less evil, but that would require real US leaders, holding real US values, and a less complicit US mainstream media. Guess if the US Congress’s Black Caucus even is aware of this….

  3. DICKERSON3870
    June 30, 2013, 11:46 am

    RE: “I received an email from a fellow native of Toronto, Canada [Leah McDonnell], who is currently living in Israel, detailing such an attack… Without any provocation, two men who presented themselves as religious Jews and members of some kind of security force berated the group for befriending an African man and physically assaulted their dark-skinned friend.” ~ Sheen

    MY COMMENT: She should just be thankful that she is not in France!

    SEE: “France’s soaring anti-Semitism lures Jewish Defense League vigilantes out of shadows”, By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, 6/25/13

    [EXCERPT] PARIS (JTA) — With scooter helmets in hand, a man called Yohan and six buddies stroll around Paris’ 20th arrondissement. The seven look much like a typical group of French students — until they locate a group of Arab men they suspect of perpetrating an anti-Semitic attack the previous day.
    Using their helmets as bludgeons, members of France’s Jewish Defense League, or LDJ, set upon the Arabs and beat them. Several of the Arabs attempt to escape in a blue sedan, but the LDJ members pursue the vehicle, causing it to crash into a stone wall.
    The attack last August, filmed by a television crew shooting a documentary on LDJ, was one of at least 115 violent incidents that critics attribute to the group since its registration in France in 2001 . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to jta.org

  4. yourstruly
    June 30, 2013, 12:21 pm

    behavior that’s not unexpected in an apartheid society.

  5. YoungMassJew
    June 30, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Jewish people are obsessed with race I think due to Israel/Palestine’s location next to black Africa, the Arab Middle East, Caucasian Europe, and how this interacts with the history of human evolution from our being evolved from chimpanzees. Did the Jews have it easier than other tribes due to its geographic location at critical points in human evolutionary history? Resentment by hunter-gathers at sedentary farmers?

    • yourstruly
      June 30, 2013, 1:01 pm

      are you saying that natural selection is behind jewish nationalism with its racist tendencies? if so please explain how this works, and how it is that so many of us have turned out to be egalitarian rather than racist?

      • Cliff
        June 30, 2013, 3:47 pm

        Yourstruly,

        YMJ is, I think, referring to the concept of ‘geographic luck’. Have you taken a history course on early human civilization?

        Why was it that the people of Papau New Guinea were never able to amount to much? They are still practicing cannibalism today.

        What crops you can grow, what animals you can domesticate successfully, whether you can in-turn obtain a ‘surplus population’ of artisans and technical professionals, etc. all determines your mobility as a civilization.

        And a lot of that capacity to succeed/meet the above criteria depended on where you resided.

        War helps too because it creates competition and exchange.

        Applying the term ‘natural selection’ to what YMJ said as a kind of summary is incorrect and unfair.

        You should watch ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’ on YouTube. Its an excellent documentary that talks about this exact issue.

        And really its sort of common sense.

        It makes sense that people who had good land and good livestock to do their heavy lifting early on in human civilization would prosper.

      • seafoid
        June 30, 2013, 4:52 pm

        “Why was it that the people of Papau New Guinea were never able to amount to much? They are still practicing cannibalism today.”

        Rank of the United States among porn actor–producing nations : 1

        “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless”

      • YoungMassJew
        June 30, 2013, 7:45 pm

        Yes, but also with that location being in between three continents with various skin tones, Jews are anxious where they fight on the racial scale.

      • Cliff
        June 30, 2013, 7:56 pm

        A better example seafoid is to ask where most of the world’s psychological journals and psychological investigative reports come from.

        Mostly the Western countries. Developed, industrial societies can spend time with that kind of stuff.

        Other people are just trying to survive. They can’t allocate resources to a potentially thriving porn industry let alone scientific investigation.

        Value judgments have nothing to do with it.

        It’s system’s analysis.

    • tree
      June 30, 2013, 1:54 pm

      Did the Jews have it easier than other tribes due to its geographic location at critical points in human evolutionary history?

      WTF? Now Jewish history is not 2000 to 3000 years old but more like hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years old????

      Do you have any idea of the actual time span involved in human evolution? A couple of thousand years is a mere drop in the ocean. All “critical points in human evolutionary history” happened way before anyone thought up any Abrahamic religion.

      • Cliff
        June 30, 2013, 3:48 pm

        I really don’t think that’s what he meant.

    • German Lefty
      June 30, 2013, 5:55 pm

      Jewish people are obsessed with race
      US citizens, too. There’s a lot of race-baiting going on in the media. However, it’s different than in Israel.

      • Citizen
        July 1, 2013, 6:18 am

        @ German Lefty

        The race card is played every day by pundits on US cable TV news shows, and the more liberal the channel, the more the race card is played on a myriad of issues, for example, on MSNBC, it’s incessant. Perhaps if there were more Palestinian pundits on Israeli TV, ethnicity card would be played on lots of issues and breaking news.

      • Woody Tanaka
        July 1, 2013, 9:12 am

        “US citizens, too [are obsessed with race].”

        Because there is a lot of race discrimination, bias and bigotry in the US, both systemic and private.

      • Les
        July 1, 2013, 6:33 pm

        The cartoons and cartoonish depictions of Palestinians as dark and swarthy by the US media are not truly originals. Compare those with WWI era images in which Eastern European Jews are drawn as dark and swarthy. Our media has amped up its war against Palestinians to a war against Muslims. Its racial imagery inspired the attack against Sikh worshipers at a temple in Milwaukee by a killer who thought he was doing what his media expected of him, to attack Muslims.

    • Inanna
      June 30, 2013, 8:18 pm

      I don’t think so. Since race is a social contruct.

      You’re really playing fast and loose with categories of race, religion, tribe and combining that in an incoherent way with geography and evolution.

      • Woody Tanaka
        July 1, 2013, 9:33 am

        “I don’t think so. Since race is a social contruct.”

        Not really, because we use it as a shorthand for ancestry and descent, which undoubtedly does exist, and has a clear biological basis. (The notion that race doesn’t “exist” stems from the fact that the genetic variation between races is small than that within races. However, the extrapolation you demonstrated failed to consider the fact that, though smaller, the inter-racial variation is more homogenous than the intra-racial variation. [For example, if you posit three people and all you know about them is that one has epicanthic folds in their eyes and hair shafts which are round in cross-section; one has dark skin and tight curly hair and the third has green eyes, reddish hair and is lactose tolerant, pretty much everyone you ask — regardless of their social milieu — would put these three people in three racial categories and would be consistent as to those categories.])

        But even if it is only a social construct, so what? It still exists and it still has horrible consequences for those who suffer as a result of racial discrimination.

      • Inanna
        July 1, 2013, 8:30 pm

        First of all, you have the huge problem of defining what ‘race’ is. There are huge problems in trying to define ‘race’ in a concrete way – that is, on purely physical criteria as you try to do.

        The ‘so what’ is important because if race is a social construct, then drawing inferences from minor physical variations in characteristics like eye or skin color allows us to reject racist views based on those characteristics.

      • Woody Tanaka
        July 2, 2013, 8:38 am

        “First of all, you have the huge problem of defining what ‘race’ is.”

        Only if you assume that there must be clearly defined races. There is no biological basis for that assumption. But the fact that there are indefinite boundaries does mean that all humans have heterogeneous ancestry. They don’t.

        “The ‘so what’ is important because if race is a social construct, then drawing inferences from minor physical variations in characteristics like eye or skin color allows us to reject racist views based on those characteristics.”

        Well, we don’t need it to allow ourselves to reject racism, nor does it necessarily follow that because something is a social construct that that fact should dictate the moral evaluation of the results of that construct. The term “criminal” and “victim” are social constructs, too, yet acknowledging that fact dictates nothing as to the moral worth we assign to each. But more to the point, racism should be rejected on its lack of merit.

        The fact that there is a biological basis for the traditional racial classifications (namely the relative lack of genetic intermixing among the populations of humans in the various geographical regions in pre-historical and early historical times, leading to populations with certain genetics being widely shared in that population) need not dictate anything about how we look at that fact morally. Even if there were a population of humans that was a separate species, that could not interbreed with Homo sapiens, that would not mean squat as to how they should be treated.

    • seafoid
      July 1, 2013, 1:05 am

      The location of the ancestral homeland at a global crossin g point between Asia and Africa. A rich enclave surrounded by third world. They don’t really understand much about their eternal homeland. There were no black people back in old Poland… There were just those furry hats…

    • elephantine
      July 3, 2013, 4:47 am

      We didn’t ‘evolve from chimpanzees’ btw.

      We share a common ancestor with chimpanzees, we did not evolve from them.

      Just sayin’.

  6. ritzl
    June 30, 2013, 12:51 pm

    Thanks for passing her letter on. Does Ms. McDonnell feel comfortable living in Israel?

  7. Les
    June 30, 2013, 1:11 pm

    Keep in mind that that when American Jews first emmigrated to Israel they referred to the Jews native to Palestine as “Schwartze Jews.”

    • Inanna
      June 30, 2013, 8:19 pm

      Thus confirming the view that ‘race’ is a social construct.

      • Citizen
        July 1, 2013, 6:33 am

        @ Inanna

        Is race solely, only, always a social construct? DNA means nothing? See, e.g., link to wired.com

        Also, different physical look of human beings is purely a social construct?

      • Inanna
        July 1, 2013, 8:38 pm

        The variations between how people look are extremely minor genetic variations. We all have eyes and the difference between eye color means what? Absolutely nothing except what people ascribe to it. Same with skin, hair etc. It only has the meaning that we ascribe to it.

      • Woody Tanaka
        July 2, 2013, 8:45 am

        “The variations between how people look are extremely minor genetic variations.”

        But they are consistent and concentrated genetic variations, which is an indicator of the fact that race is simply a shorthand for genetic ancestry.

        “We all have eyes and the difference between eye color means what?”

        Who says it has to “mean” anything? It can simply be a marker for genetic ancestry.

        “It only has the meaning that we ascribe to it.”

        Nonsense. These things exists as fact. That is true whether we ascribe “meaning” to them or not.

        The fact that someone would ascribe a bad “meaning” to the fact that humans have varied genetic ancestry is lamentable and should be decried at all opportunities, but it doesn’t follow that we must ignore the fact that our genetic ancestry isn’t homogeneous.

      • YoungMassJew
        July 1, 2013, 9:00 am

        I agree that “race is a social construct,” however, people are fixated on ethnic identifies. You and I know what those are.

      • Inanna
        July 1, 2013, 8:33 pm

        If you look at Omi and Winant’s theory on racial formation, that’s exactly what it is. There are two main ways that racial identity is structured – one through our individual interactions with others and the through social structures and ideologies in your society. That encompasses what you are saying.

    • German Lefty
      July 1, 2013, 9:45 am

      when American Jews first emmigrated to Israel they referred to the Jews native to Palestine as “Schwartze Jews.”
      Strange. Both Aryans and Semites belong to the Caucasian race.
      link to en.wikipedia.org
      That’s how I learnt it at school.
      Since when are Semites black (= schwarz)?

      • piotr
        July 1, 2013, 3:49 pm

        What does it mean “Caucasian race”?

        Check this: link to youtube.com

        A European Muslim non-Aryan girl comes to an Asian Aryan Christian country and sings in the local folk song. You can see that the European is quite pale and has a smallish straight nose while the Asians are quite tanned and their noses are putting the Semites to shame. And they are all Caucasians (i.e. from Caucasia region).

  8. piotr
    June 30, 2013, 2:52 pm

    Perhaps in the future these vigilantes will shed their racism and they will go after all dating couples, as dating is not approved by Halacha. Last week the Supreme Court ordered the city of Tel Aviv to do something substancial to close supermarkets on Saturdays. (Actually there is a legitimate legal issue, Tel Aviv has a city ordinance against opening stores on Saturday, but enforces it by giving fix-sized fines that larger stores can easily afford, so the owners of small stores complained,)

    • German Lefty
      July 1, 2013, 9:54 am

      Last week the Supreme Court ordered the city of Tel Aviv to do something substancial to close supermarkets on Saturdays.
      In Germany, supermarkets are closed on Sundays. I can’t find anything wrong with that. Shop assistants should have the chance to spend the weekend with the family.

      • piotr
        July 1, 2013, 3:19 pm

        Indeed it is funny sometimes. Islamists in Turkey imposed restrictions on the sale of alcohol which are still pretty far from what I am used to in Pennsylvania. When I visit New Jersey it is almost shocking how lax it is over there (in Germany too! bars open till 4 am and liquor available 24/7, this is not how it is done in the Keystone State).

        However, while Israeli Supreme Court had valid secular reasons, there are other examples. Ministry of Transportation wanted the city of Tel-Aviv to prevent bicycle rentals extending over Yom Kipur. An application to open a 24/7 convenience store in Tel-Aviv requires a justification that the neighborhood has a sufficient number of non-Jewish inhabitants.

      • German Lefty
        July 1, 2013, 5:48 pm

        When I visit New Jersey it is almost shocking how lax it is over there (in Germany too!).
        What kills people faster: alcohol or guns?

        bars open till 4 am
        This seemed strange to me. Therefore, I just looked it up. There’s no closing time for restaurants or bars in many German federal states. In other federal states, there’s no serving of alcoholic beverages from 5 to 6 am. That’s the so-called “cleaning hour”.

        However, while Israeli Supreme Court had valid secular reasons, there are other examples.
        Of course, religious reasons are very problematic.

        An application to open a 24/7 convenience store in Tel-Aviv requires a justification that the neighborhood has a sufficient number of non-Jewish inhabitants.
        Because Jews never run out of anything? What would be considered a sufficient number of non-Jews? More than 50%?

      • Woody Tanaka
        July 1, 2013, 7:00 pm

        “In Germany, supermarkets are closed on Sundays. I can’t find anything wrong with that.”

        I can. After working a tough, busy week, Sundays are a great time to catch up on household chores, such as shopping.

      • libra
        July 1, 2013, 7:30 pm

        WT: I can. After working a tough, busy week, Sundays are a great time to catch up on household chores, such as shopping.

        Woody, I’m not sure what you’re implying here? Are you suggesting the Germans are a bunch of lazy shirkers who idle away their weekdays down the mall? Or conversely that the Germans are so hyper-efficient and organized that they can pack both a solid week’s work and a solid week’s shopping into a mere six days, leaving you gasping breathlessly in envy in comparison with your own inadequate scheduling skills?

        At the least the German churches are open on a Sunday. I’m sure you can’t find anything wrong with that.

      • Woody Tanaka
        July 3, 2013, 12:26 pm

        I’m not implying anything other than the notion that Sunday Blue Laws are ridiculous because they impose upon people lifestyle choices which they may not wish to make, in favor of religious piety which they may not possess.

  9. seafoid
    June 30, 2013, 4:53 pm

    How can Israel be an open society aware of its own refugee history when it’s running an apartheid system off a very fragile population base and run by the 4th largest army in the world ?

  10. NickJOCW
    June 30, 2013, 8:23 pm

    Israel is an endogamous ME nation like many of its Islamic neighbours. The problem arises when someone from a Western culture expects it to be like home. There are plenty of things one may do in Toronto that would be ill advised in Riyadh, why should Tel Aviv be different?

  11. tokyobk
    June 30, 2013, 8:42 pm

    btw “kushi” can be used to express a range of meanings from literally Ethiopian to derisive “black guy.” I think “nigger” is an extreme translation, though I have no doubt of the intent of the person which was rude and discriminatory.

  12. a blah chick
    June 30, 2013, 10:29 pm

    “Guess if the US Congress’s Black Caucus even is aware of this….”

    They know about it but it’s hard to turn down all that sweet AIPAC moolah.

    I love how the purity patrols are all about “protecting” Jewish women’s maidenheads. Meanwhile your average Jewish male can continue to boink anything in sight, including black women.

  13. amigo
    July 1, 2013, 7:47 am

    link to haaretz.com

    Nothing new here except Israel gets worse.This train is heading full speed into the station minus it,s brakes or should I say driver.

    • john_manyjars
      July 4, 2013, 6:46 am

      Like the US becoming Soviet-ized with the imposition of the ‘Patriot’ Act, Israel is turning into the antithesis of its founders (well, some of them)…a Nazi-like, Apartheid – practicing theocracy.

  14. ErsatzYisrael
    July 1, 2013, 10:34 am

    What a bizarre, meaningless quote: ‘Jewish girls do not go out with Blacks!’

    I’m confused. Who are “Blacks!” who also happen to be “Jewish girls” supposed to “go out with” then?

    Whites? Hispanics? Muslims? What?

    Is it that “Black…Jewish Girls” should abstain totally? Convert to Christianity then join a Convent, perhaps? I don’t get the sentiment being expressed?

    And I would be most grateful if somebody could also explain to me whether the person being quoted above is an anti-semite, simply racist or if they’re just plain simple?

    Self-haters need not reply.

    Thanks.

    • Woody Tanaka
      July 1, 2013, 7:01 pm

      “I’m confused. Who are “Blacks!” who also happen to be “Jewish girls” supposed to “go out with” then?”

      Well, someone who would say that Jewish girls should not go out with Blacks no doubt don’t believe that Black Jews are actually Jewish, no doubt.

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