‘Baltimore Is Here’: Ethiopian Israelis protest police brutality in Jerusalem

Israel/Palestine
on 110 Comments

Ethiopian Israelis took to the streets of Jerusalem on the evening of April 30 to protest police brutality and systemic racism. Haaretz reports that approximately 1,000 protesters gathered, principally from the Ethiopian Jewish community.

The citizens condemned racism and police brutality toward the Ethiopian Jewish community, calling for the end of impunity for cops who harass them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=52&v=9ELlpRX3i7s

A video released of a white Israeli police officer attacking a black Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv on April 26 angered many in the Ethiopian Israeli community, which is disproportionately targeted by Israeli police. The video shows officers pushing Demas Fekadeh, an Ethiopian Israeli soldier, to the ground and beating him.

Zionist Union Member of Knesset Shelly Yachimovich remarked in a Facebook post “It wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect that if [Demas Fekadeh], the soldier who was hit, was a light-skin soldier, preferably with an Ashkenazi appearance, he would not have sustained harsh blows without consideration from police.”

Ethiopian Israelis protest police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Haaretz)

Ethiopian Israelis protest police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Haaretz)

This is by no means an isolated incident. In March 2014, an Ethiopian Israeli by the name of Yosef Salamseh was in a public park with his friends when police approached him. They accused him of breaking into a house, a claim he adamantly denied. The cops then attacked him with a Taser gun, kicked him, handcuffed him, shackled his legs, threw him in a police car, and detained him in a nearby police station. His family later found him unconscious and tied-up. A few months later, he died. Police claimed it was a suicide.

In the wake of the incident, Salamseh came to be known by many as “Israel’s Michael Brown,” referring to an 18-year-old black American man who was walking down the street with a friend in Ferguson, Missouri when white police officer Darren Wilson shot him nine times, three times in the head.

An Ethiopian Israeli blocking a police vehicle in a protest against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Lior Mizrahi)

An Ethiopian Israeli blocking a police vehicle in a protest against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Lior Mizrahi)

Numerous journalists reported that the Ethiopian Jewish protesters in Jerusalem were chanting “Baltimore is here!”, connecting their struggle against racist brutality in Israel to the struggle of black Americans against racist brutality in the US.

Civil unrest emerged in Baltimore on April 25, in response to the police killing of Freddie Gray, an innocent, unarmed black man who was arrested for looking at a police officer in the face and then running away. While in police custody, Gray’s voice box was crushed and his spine was 80% severed. Baltimore police later accused him of injuring himself, although video footage was released of cops pummeling Gray. In the video, Gray can be heard asking for his inhaler, as he had trouble breathing, and appears to be incapable of walking, because of the brutal beating he suffered. (Police also harassed and later arrested the man who captured the attack on camera.) A medical expert revealed that it is virtually impossible that Gray injured himself.

Black Israelis have tied their own struggle to that of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US—a civil and human rights movement that emerged in response to the constant police murders of unarmed, innocent black Americans at the hands of white police—not just by drawing connections between Baltimore and Jerusalem, but furthermore by launching an Israeli offshoot of the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” campaign.

Ethiopian Israelis protesting police brutality outside of Netanyahu’s house, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Keren Simons)

Ethiopian Israelis protesting police brutality outside of Netanyahu’s house, in Jerusalem on April 30 (Photo: Keren Simons)

Thousands of Ethiopian Jews reportedly also gathered outside of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s house, in protest of racist police violence.

Israeli police sprayed protesters with “skunk water” to break up the protests. Israeli forces do the same to peaceful Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank. There are also numerous recorded instances of occupation forces spraying skunk water into Palestinian homes.

According to police, some Ethiopian Israeli protesters in the largely peaceful demonstrations were also throwing stones—a protest tactic in which Palestinians living under military occupation in the occupied territories also engage.

The intense racism people of African descent face in Israel is well-documented. Many journalists have written of “Israel’s Disgustingly Racist Behavior Towards Ethiopian Jews.” The self-proclaimed Jewish state has forcibly sterilized Ethiopian Jews,refused to take blood donations from Ethiopian Members of Knesset (referring to it as “the special kind of Jewish-Ethiopian blood” they avoid), and even refused to wed Ethiopian Jews, expressing doubts that they are “truly” Jewish.

An Israeli police officer uses his baton to attack a protester lying on the ground at a demonstration against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30, 2015. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

An Israeli police officer uses his baton to attack a protester lying on the ground at a demonstration against police brutality, in Jerusalem on April 30, 2015. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

2/3rds of Ethiopian Jewish children in Israel live in poverty. Many Ethiopian Jews are forced to live either in ghettos or illegal settlements. These gaping disparities and this structural racism have led to critics calling Israel an Ashkenazi-supremacist state and Zionism a white-supremacist movement, one that is itself anti-Semitic in its oppression of non-Ashkenazi Jews.

Scholar Hanan Chehata describes Israel as the “promised land for Jews… as long as they’re not black.”

Jews of African descent are not the only ones to suffer from the Ashkenazi supremacy of Zionism. Since its earliest days, Mizrahi Jews (those of Middle Eastern descent) have faced systematic discrimination in Israeli society. In the 1950s, Israel forced Mizrahi Jews to live in poverty in tents in shantytown-like transit camps while Ashkenazim were given hotels.

In the decades since, Mizrahim have continued to endure systemic racism. This intense oppression led to the creation of the Israeli Black Panthers, in parallel to the revolutionary socialist Black Panther Party in the US. Former Israeli Black Panthers still protest Israeli racism against Mizrahi Jews today.

About Ben Norton

Ben is a journalist and writer based in New York City. His work has been featured in a variety of publications, and he is presently a politics staff writer at Salon. His website can be found at BenNorton.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.

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110 Responses

  1. Kris
    May 1, 2015, 2:21 pm

    How can this be happening in 2015, in the self-proclaimed “Jewish” state? Most of the Jewish PEPs of a certain age that I know are very proud of their Civil Rights era creds, and are always eager to talk about how they stood with MLK, Jr, etc.

    But they can’t talk about segregation and apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Israel, because “it’s complicated.” This discrimination against black Jews doesn’t seem that “complicated” to me. I invite Jonah and the other hasbarists to clarify this for me.

    Thanks in advance for your help with this.

    • Kris
      May 1, 2015, 2:56 pm

      Ooops! Yonah, jon-s, JeffB, mayhem, Steve Grover, and all the rest–please help me out here!

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2015, 3:40 pm

        It’s pretty simple, Kris. In many ways, it’s a contest of wills.

    • pabelmont
      May 1, 2015, 5:08 pm

      Kris, It is indeed complicated for them, but it is not the situation in Israel “on the ground” that is complicated, but the condition of their souls, consciences, loyalties, communal relationships, etc. They have made themselves (or if born to it have been made) prisoners of Zion and cannot escape back into humanity (or back into being Jewish in a pre-Zionist sense).

      They are tied up in a tangle of knots and knots are complicated. Anyone who has had even slight difficulty speaking out (for instance, afraid of being called antisemitic or “self-hating” or being afraid of death threats, as I used to occasionally receive by telephone) can see how much more complicated it could be for anyone caught inside the belly of the beast.

      Of course, it is their duty to escape their prisons.

    • Marnie
      May 2, 2015, 3:05 am

      It’s always “complicated” when you haven’t gotten your lie straight. I’m sure the Dingaling Brothers Greatest Hasbara On Earth will arrive in their clown car any minute now and explain it all to us!

      • Marnie
        May 2, 2015, 3:24 am

        Remember Toveet Radcliffe, the 19-year-old soldier from the African Hebrew Israelite community in Dimona who was found dead in a) her room on base or b) somewhere on the base where she had been doing guard duty (by herself no less, which is verboten) in February 2015? Per the IDF, this young woman managed to kill herself by shooting herself in the face, twice, with a weapon almost as tall as herself.

        Please explain this, oh Brothers Dingaling.

      • just
        May 2, 2015, 11:09 am

        Well done, Marnie. And yes, I remember that story. For those that don’t know of it:

        link to richardsilverstein.com

    • Stephen Shenfield
      May 2, 2015, 1:33 pm

      Is it really necessary to refer to the Black Panther Party in the US in such positive terms, even after all the revelations about the murderous and corrupt gangsters who ran that outfit? (So far as I know, the Israeli Black Panthers were a genuine protest movement.)

      • echinococcus
        May 3, 2015, 7:33 pm

        Shenfield, I suppose we on Mondoweiss only have one thing in common, and that is to help Palestinians win against their Zionist aggressors.
        So, political questions internal to the US are highly misplaced here (even if they help the Zionists by trying to deviate the discussions.) So please cease and desist . I’d expect the web site owners to intervene, too. As for the “Israeli Black Panthers”, they were a totally irrelevant inside-Herrenvolk movement, a little like the current Ethiopian movement that could not realize its common objectives with the Palestinian resistance, a movement not related to the invasion, spoliation and genocide.

      • Karl Dubhe
        May 4, 2015, 11:04 am

        Do you have any evidence that MLK was a member of the Black Panther Party?

        Or are you just trying to damn him by proxy?

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2015, 1:03 pm

        “Is it really necessary to refer to the Black Panther Party in the US in such positive terms, even after all the revelations about the murderous and corrupt gangsters who ran that outfit?”

        Yup, Stephen, I’m sure a lot of people know what you mean.

  2. lysias
    May 1, 2015, 3:03 pm

    Somehow I think this will not happen in Israel: Six Baltimore officers charged in Gray’s death; five in custody.

  3. a blah chick
    May 1, 2015, 3:03 pm

    And remember that it was the Ethiopian women who were given contraceptives without their knowledge. The Ashkenazi elite have this sense of superiority that they know what is best for everyone: Arabs, Jews, Mizrahi, Ethiopians, and so believe that they can engineer these communities as they see fit. Whether it’s stealing Yemeni babies, Mizrahi property or Palestinian culture they can do what they want. They’re better than the rest of us, they’ve got the Nobel prizes to prove it.

  4. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    May 1, 2015, 4:43 pm

    Events like this make it so very clear that Jews are not a race, nor an ethnicity, nor even a ‘people’ – to use the almost meaningless term preferred by Zionists these days. Jews are members of a religious group who have little or nothing in common with one another other than religion. An Ethiopian Jew has no more in common with a Polish Jew than an Ethiopian Christian has in common with a Polish Christian.

    If Jews really saw each other as belonging to the same ethnicity, racism like this simply could not happen, particularly not in the ”Jewish democracy”.

    • Mooser
      May 5, 2015, 6:09 pm

      “If Jews really saw each other as belonging to the same ethnicity, racism like this simply could not happen, particularly not in the ”Jewish democracy”.”

      Some Jews, you see, are more equal than others.

  5. Cliff
    May 1, 2015, 5:36 pm

    I don’t understand why White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, et al. just convert en masse to Judaism.

    They’ll still be able to act out their supremacist lifestyles and hate on everyone else. Only this time, when people call them on their bullshit belief system – they can cry antisemitism.

  6. mcohen.
    May 1, 2015, 6:31 pm

    lol

    • just
      May 1, 2015, 8:12 pm

      What’s making you laugh?

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2015, 12:28 pm

        “What’s making you laugh?”

        Nerves, I would think. “mchoen” gets all flustered if he thinks he might have to write a clear sentence. He prefers little cryptic hints about “the first week in June”.

  7. rensanceman
    May 1, 2015, 9:33 pm

    Baltimore, as well as several,other major U.S. cities, has sent members of its police force to Israel for training. Why not train with the best in their craft of crowd control and dispersal with valuable experience gained from over fifty years of experience dealing with the unter mensch who infect their land. We are witnessing a targeted group fighting back against the Zionist inspired militarization of our police forces. It would also not be unreasonable to suggest that our foreign policy in the M.E has been formulated by Zionist inspired thinkers whose goals are not compatible with our national interests. Where are the investigative reporters to report on this?

    • Elizabeth Block
      May 3, 2015, 10:33 am

      Canadian cities too. Anyone remember the G-20?

      And there’s the “security” apparatus being built near an American Indian reservation by Elbit. The government says it’s for border security; the Indians say it’s to spy on them. What’s more likely?

  8. Walid
    May 1, 2015, 9:40 pm

    “Scholar Hanan Chehata describes Israel as the “promised land for Jews… as long as they’re not black.” (Ben Norton)

    Solomon was black and so was one of his 1000 wives, the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba, from whch the Ethiopian Jews are the descendants and are probably more Jewish than most European Jews.

    • Marnie
      May 2, 2015, 2:53 am

      So true!

      • Marnie
        May 3, 2015, 1:01 am

        I can’t respond to Mooser anywhere but here. It was my understanding that the semitic definition was strictly a racial one which defined Africans, Arabs and Asians as semitic people. Not caucasians. I don’t know when the definition was changed to mean language but my feeling is that it was changed as to serve as “No Colored Allowed”. A neighbor told me when she came to Israel from Ethiopia that some Israeli Jews spit on her, called her, her husband and childrem cushim and that somehow she couldn’t be Jewish. Supposedly that’s just a white thing?

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2015, 1:40 pm

        “It was my understanding that the semitic definition was strictly a racial”

        Not at all. It is, as I understand it, from a now-known-to-be-pretty-spurious language origin system that sought to intergrate history as it was then known, with the Bible, to some extent I may be wrong You can start here, and find out about it

        It’s not racial, and it’s s-p-u-r-i-o-u-s! I mean you can make up your own mind, about it, but I think the term “Semite” when you add it up means nothing..

        Of course, the use of anti-semitism to mean hatred of Jews has become a standard term. I can’t help that.

        Once you look into it, you may come to the same conclusion. I don’t know.

        See also “Hametic” and “Japhetic” I think it’s pretty much spurious.

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2015, 1:59 pm

        “It was my understanding that the semitic definition was strictly a racial one”

        And what, exactly, is the definition of “race”? When we can define “race” we’ll know who is in each one. So, now, what makes a “race” of men?

      • Philemon
        May 3, 2015, 7:54 pm

        Yep, Mooser’s pretty much got it. The language origin thing was cranks rather than serious scholars.

        After all, most non-crank linguists and philologists were perfectly well aware that people are always learning new languages. The really good ones knew about it first-hand. The “Semitic” term wasn’t racial at the time. It was merely a classification of some language groups with similar root lexical phonemic combinations, like the The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

        link to amazon.com

        Honestly, given that they used the term “Semitic” for all languages with related roots, including modern Arabic and languages older than Old Babylonian, which pre-dated Judaism, it obviously wasn’t originally meant as a specific term for Jews, many of whom did not speak any Semitic language at all.

        But, as Mooser said, on the racial language-origin thing. Completely spurious. Cranks.

      • Marnie
        May 4, 2015, 12:12 am

        Philemon – “Marnie, Elisabeth, you are getting distracted a bit? Anybody can be Jewish, and they can speak ubbity-dubbity”. Oh gee, a couple of silly women with the vapors eh?

        I don’t know about Elisabeth but can tell you for sure I’m not distracted, not even a bit. I was not born to Jewish parents. Neither was my husband. But we chose to embrace Judaism and raise our children that way. As neither of us were born Jewish, conversion sounded logical (to everyone but our families, who took it as a total rejection of them.) As far as “Anybody can be Jewish” – maybe you’ve never tried? We were turned away by 2 rabbis before we found one who spoke to us, took us seriously and began our education. They don’t make it easy. It’s pretty stupid. Naomi didn’t put Ruth through any changes when she wanted to go with her. They’ve created numerous fiery hoops to jump through (which Naomi did not do) and then base it on Naomi telling Ruth to stay with her own people.

        I wish I could speak ubbity-dubbity – I’m still struggling with Hebrew!

      • Marnie
        May 4, 2015, 1:18 am

        Mooser – “And what, exactly, is the definition of “race”? When we can define “race” we’ll know who is in each one. So, now, what makes a “race” of men?”

        I don’t understand what you’re saying. In America, Israel and most of the so-called civilized world, everything is about race, which seems to always refer to color.

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2015, 12:36 pm

        Thanks, Philemon! “Spurious” is, indeed, the mot jewste when it comes to “semites” Don’t forget the “Japhites” and the “Hamites”, too.

        Now, as I understand it “anti-semitism” as term for hatred for Jews was coined by an 18th Century German writer, and that term hasn’t been superseded.

        But I’m pretty sure, unless you are into Biblical literalism and the Bible as actual history
        the entire “Semite” “Japhite” and “Hamite” thing (obviously, the tribe that abandoned kashruth first!) is SPURIOUS!! (And of course, don’t forget the “Graphites”, who invented the pencil)

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2015, 12:49 pm

        “I wish I could speak ubbity-dubbity – I’m still struggling with Hebrew!”

        Waste of time, it’ll never get you anywhere. Here’s the key: Speak Yiddish, Dress British!
        Imagine yourself in faultless evening dress or gown, (vie Chavele tsu der geht!) giving out with the mama lotion!

        Nisht geferlech, eh, what?

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2015, 12:59 pm

        “But we chose to embrace Judaism and raise our children that way.”

        So you made an arbitrary choice, but your kids have to go along with it?
        I see you are absorbing the principles very well.

      • Marnie
        May 5, 2015, 12:16 pm

        Mooser – “So you made an arbitrary choice, but your kids have to go along with it? I see you are absorbing the principles very well.”

        What’s the frequency Kenneth? I guess it’s the benzedrine. I need a manual to get what you’re saying because I’m only confused by it and if you’re making fun of me could you dumb it down so I get it at least?. When is the “Mooser for Dummies” going to print?

      • Mooser
        May 5, 2015, 6:21 pm

        “We were turned away by 2 rabbis before we found one who spoke to us, took us seriously and began our education.”

        Make sure you get a universal Jewish-conversion certificate, which applies to all sects and denominations of Judaism, or it may not be honored everywhere.

      • Philemon
        May 5, 2015, 8:48 pm

        Marnie: “Oh gee, a couple of silly women with the vapors eh? ”

        No, just that it seemed that maybe your accusations of hypocrisy directed at Israelis, however well-deserved, were giving too much weight to the beliefs (Spurious!) underlying those hypocrisies. And also, maybe, you were both, in different ways, getting diverted onto tangents. Like, well, your religious conversion thing. And yeah, if you shop around for the right rabbi, and he doesn’t insist on circumcision, you’re golden.

        But it doesn’t change the fact that Israelis have been bent on ethnic cleansing, disenfranchising the resident population, herding them into open-air prison camps, subjecting them to collective punishment, or simply gratuitous punishment for no reason at all or because they’re sick enough that sort of thing is fun for them. And yeah, they are racist. And hypocrites.

        Now, I’m not sure what your understanding of the religion you’ve converted to allows, but I think most religions are against that sort of thing.

      • Philemon
        May 5, 2015, 9:06 pm

        Mooser, it’s pretty much of a piece with “Romance” languages. Same guys doing the naming. They probably didn’t go out on dates with girls much. A lot of them were monks.

      • Mooser
        May 6, 2015, 12:42 am

        “Mooser, it’s pretty much of a piece with “Romance” languages. Same guys doing the naming. They probably didn’t go out on dates with girls much. A lot of them were monks.”

        That’s probably all true, but I don’t care! I made my mind up a long time ago.

        It’s nice work if you can get it.

        Did I mention that my wife is now at the bottom of a pool, weighted down with lead? She’s taking SCUBA lessons! I guess it’s not enough our house loan is under water!

      • Philemon
        May 7, 2015, 8:30 pm

        Moose, the philologists who came up with the names weren’t Bible-Literalists. In particular, they didn’t believe that the people who spoke Semitic languages were descended from Shem; for that matter, they didn’t believe that the people who spoke Romance Languages were descended from Romulus. They knew that the languages in question were related because they recognized cognate roots. The terms they came up with to classify languages weren’t meant to be literal.

        It was only later when philologists and linguists started coming up with sound-change laws that some cranks got the idea that just because the languages might be in a way related, that people who spoke them must be, too.

    • Elisabeth
      May 2, 2015, 2:58 am

      Come on: That is no more than a legend. Ethiopian Jews are no more descendents of the old Hebrews than European Jews. If that kind of descent were crucial, the only real Jews would be the Palestinians.

      • Marnie
        May 2, 2015, 10:04 am

        Really? Where is your evidence? Ethiopian Jews (tribe of Dan) and Palestinians are semitic people. European Jews – nope.

      • Boo
        May 2, 2015, 10:54 am

        Indigenous Ethiopian Jews’ worship has a much greater kinship to ancient Hebrew worship than what happens in Israeli synagogues. That speaks to the authenticity of their lineage.

        As to “the only real Jews being the Palestinians”, let us say that on the basis of DNA, one could argue that “the only real Semites are the Palestinians”.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2015, 8:08 pm

        “Ethiopian Jews (tribe of Dan) and Palestinians are semitic people.”

        “Semitic”? Like ‘sons of Ham’ or Shem, maybe? If I am not mistaken “Semitic” is part of a spurious system of language-origin classification which was integrated with the Bible.
        Do modern anthropologists or linguists still recognize the term as valid, (except insofar as it plays a part in the historiography of linguistics)?

      • Philemon
        May 3, 2015, 8:13 pm

        Marnie, Elisabeth, you are getting distracted a bit? Anybody can be Jewish, and they can speak ubbity-dubbity . What religion you proclaim doesn’t matter diddlysquat when it comes to kicking people out of their homes, which is just wrong.

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2015, 12:52 pm

        “Ethiopian Jews (tribe of Dan)”

        Didn’t Margaret Mead spend some time with them, and write a book, called “Coming of age among the Dan”?

      • RoHa
        May 4, 2015, 7:00 pm

        So which are the tribes of Bob and Steve?

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2015, 8:01 pm

        “So which are the tribes of Bob and Steve?”

        They got arrested! Book ’em, Danites!

      • Mooser
        May 5, 2015, 6:22 pm

        “Ethiopian Jews (tribe of Dan) and Palestinians are semitic people. European Jews – nope.”

        And if you take the letters in “Dan” and rearrange them, you get “DNA”!

      • lysias
        May 5, 2015, 6:31 pm

        Most of the Ethiopian languages, including the official language, Amharic (as well as its ancestor, Ge’ez), are Semitic languages.

      • Marnie
        May 6, 2015, 12:18 am

        Philemon
        “Like, well, your religious conversion thing. And yeah, if you shop around for the right rabbi, and he doesn’t insist on circumcision, you’re golden.”

        I resent this remark. We were turned away, like I said in the original post, twice. The third time was the charm, but it was hardly a wham bam thank you sir and ma’am, you are hereafter a member of the Jewish people. I wish we hadn’t.

        “Now, I’m not sure what your understanding of the religion you’ve converted to allows, but I think most religions are against that sort of thing.” Are you serious? Do you actually think I am not painfully aware of this?

      • Mooser
        May 6, 2015, 12:50 am

        “Most of the Ethiopian languages, including the official language, Amharic (as well as its ancestor, Ge’ez), are Semitic languages. “

        Yup, Noah’s three sons really got around. Between the three of them, being the only people left after the flood, they taught almost everybody to talk.

      • Mooser
        May 6, 2015, 4:03 am

        “Are you serious? Do you actually think I am not painfully aware of this?”

        Best of luck in the venture. I hope my denomination recognizes your denomination or sect, and I can acknowledge you as a co-religionist. I don’t want us to be in different species.

      • Philemon
        May 7, 2015, 9:57 pm

        Marnie: : “I resent this remark.”

        Why?

      • Elisabeth
        May 13, 2015, 7:20 am

        Boo, the reason why Ethiopian Jews rituals are so much like the old Hebrew ones is because these rituals are described in the Torah, and certain groups of Ethiopans gradually started to follow these instructions.
        There are more examples of peoples around the world identifying themselves with lost Jewish tribes, but this always occurs in regions where Christianity was introduced first. It is a by-product of the spread of Christianity.

        Just think how tempting it is to imagine yourself being part of a chosen people that you constantly read about in your Holy book but do not yourself belong to. And then there is the story of tribes being ‘lost’… Irresistible.

        I thought this explanation on the development of the Ethiopian Jews was not so controversial. I read about it here and there before, and it is a lot more likely that the Queen of Sheba or tribe of Dan story.

      • Elisabeth
        May 13, 2015, 7:47 am

        I found some references (Wikipedia)
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        “By 1994 modern scholars of Ethiopian history and Ethiopian Jews generally supported one of two conflicting hypotheses for the origin of the Beta Israel, as outlined by Kaplan:[85]
        An ancient Jewish origin, together with conservation of some ancient Jewish traditions by the Ethiopian Church. Kaplan identifies Simon D. Messing, David Shlush, Michael Corinaldi, Menachem Waldman, Menachem Elon and David Kessler as supporters of this hypothesis.[85]
        A late ethnogenesis of the Beta Israel between the 14th to 16th centuries, from a sect of Ethiopian Christians who took on Biblical Old Testament practices, and came to identify as Jews. Steven Kaplan supports this hypothesis, and lists with him G. J. Abbink, Kay K. Shelemay, Taddesse Tamrat and James A. Quirin. Quirin differs from his fellow researchers in the weight he assigns to an ancient Jewish element which the Beta Israel have conserved.[85]”

        After this it says:
        ” Recent scholarly research,[86] supported by genetic studies,[87] has contradicted this widely accepted theory that views the group as the descendents of Ethiopian Christian converts.”

        But look up the part on DNA in the Wikipedia article and you will see that the evidence all points to a local origin of the Ethiopian Jews.

  9. JLewisDickerson
    May 1, 2015, 10:20 pm

    RE: “Numerous journalists reported that the Ethiopian Jewish protesters in Jerusalem were chanting ‘Baltimore is here!’, connecting their struggle against racist brutality in Israel to the struggle of black Americans against racist brutality in the US.” ~ Ben Norton

    MY COMMENT: In one sense, Jerusalem and Baltimore are ‘joined at the hip’!

    REGARDING “JOINED AT THE HIP”, SEE: “You Will Be Surprised Who the Outside Agitators Really Are in Baltimore”, By Max Blumenthal / AlterNet / April 28, 2015

    [EXCERPTS] . . . On Monday, the country watched as a band of outside agitators descended on the streets of Baltimore, attacked locals with blunt force, intimidated innocent bystanders, and even threw rocks at native residents. . .
    . . . According to data posted on the city of Baltimore’s OpenBaltimore website in 2012, over 70 percent of Baltimore Police Department officers live outside city limits, with at least 10 percent living over state lines, in places as far away as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. . .
    . . . While the Baltimore Police Department recruits its manpower outside city limits, its leadership is regularly junketed to training tours in Israel, the occupying power whose hyper-militarized settlers act as some of the Middle East’s most aggressive outside agitators. In September 2009, members of the Baltimore PD “toured [Israel] and met with their Israeli counterparts to exchange information relating to best practices and recent advancements in security and counterterrorism,” according to the trip’s sponsor, Project Interchange. A separate Israel tour organized by the neoconservative Jewish Institute for National Security saw members of the Baltimore PD “begin the process of sharing ‘lessons learned’ in Israel with their law enforcement colleagues in the United States.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to alternet.org

    • marc b.
      May 2, 2015, 5:52 pm

      David Simon

      In these drug-saturated neighborhoods, they weren’t policing their post anymore, they weren’t policing real estate that they were protecting from crime. They weren’t nurturing informants, or learning how to properly investigate anything. There’s a real skill set to good police work. But no, they were just dragging the sidewalks, hunting stats, and these inner-city neighborhoods — which were indeed drug-saturated because that’s the only industry left — become just hunting grounds. They weren’t protecting anything. They weren’t serving anyone. They were collecting bodies, treating corner folk and citizens alike as an Israeli patrol would treat the West Bank, or as the Afrikaners would have treated Soweto back in the day. They’re an army of occupation. And once it’s that, then everybody’s the enemy.

      • marc b.
        May 2, 2015, 6:05 pm

        A man claiming to be a Baltimore police officer is facing criticism on social media over posts he made on Facebook about the death of Freddie Gray.

        Avraham “Avi” Tasher claimed to be a Baltimore City police officer on his now-deleted Facebook page, according to the website Photography Is Not a Crime. Screenshots of his comments, taken before he deleted the page, have sparked outrage among some on Twitter.

        The city and the police department have not said whether Tasher is a city police officer, but public records show that there is an officer with that name working for the department.

        Tasher’s Facebook posts included anger at CNN for “causing a race riot” in Baltimore and a claim that Gray “broke his own neck.”

      • just
        May 2, 2015, 7:42 pm

        interesting…..

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 3, 2015, 6:05 pm

        RE: “A man claiming to be a Baltimore police officer is facing criticism on social media over posts he made on Facebook about the death of Freddie Gray.” ~ marc b

        Baltimore Cop Claimed on Facebook Freddie Gray Broke His Own Neck in Police Van Before Deleting FB Page After Social Media Backlash (Updated II) – link to photographyisnotacrime.com

        ● Avi Tasher: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know – link to heavy.com

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 3, 2015, 8:07 pm

        P.S.
        UPDATE: A search through the Maryland Judiciary website, which lists complaining officers and witnesses, revealed there is a Baltimore cop named Avraham Tasher, who has been a cop since at least 2010. He is also listed as chief of the Organized Crime Division. He also made more than $78,000 in 2014. – link to photographyisnotacrime.com

        AVI TASHER ON FB (8-24-14): “I’m an edged weapons instructor, have experience in martial arts . . .” [Sounds like the IDF. An Israeli hired as chief of the Baltimore PD Organized Crime Division?- J.L.D.]

        ■ VIDEO:
        ISRAELI KRAV MAGA ADVANCEMENT
        PROGRAM (IKMAP) Edged Weapons DT

        link to youtube.com

      • echinococcus
        May 3, 2015, 8:09 pm

        Dickerson: Re the Avi Tasher story, I suppose it proves that paid killers with an Israeli name are a normal presence in a US police department.

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 3, 2015, 8:20 pm
      • marc b.
        May 4, 2015, 12:20 pm

        well there you go, JLD. every inner city police department needs a knife fighting expert posing as a medical examiner on its payroll. he’s the swiss army knife of cops.

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 3, 2015, 5:34 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Brothers go on trial in beating of black teen in their neighborhood”, By Associated Press, 4/22/12

      [EXCERPT] BALTIMORE — Two brothers accused of beating a black teenager while patrolling an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood are set to go on trial Monday in a case with similarities to the Trayvon Martin shooting.
      The brothers, who are white and Jewish, have claimed self-defense, saying the teen was holding a nail-studded board. Local civil rights activists hope the Martin case will draw more attention to what they believe was racial profiling by neighborhood watch vigilantes.
      Eliyahu and Avi Werdesheim are accused of beating a 15-year-old boy who was walking through a Baltimore neighborhood in November 2010. The brothers pulled up next to the teen in a vehicle, then got out and “surrounded him,” according to charging documents. The passenger threw the teen to the ground and the driver hit him in the head with a hand-held radio and patted him down.
      The teen remembered the driver yelling, “You wanna (mess) with us, you don’t belong around here, get outta here!” according to court documents, which do not identify which brother was driving. . .

      SOURCE – link to usnews.nbcnews.com

      P.P.S. AND SEE: “Eliyahu Werdesheim convicted in Md. neighborhood watch beating case”, By CBS/AP, 5-04-12
      LINK – link to cbsnews.com

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 3, 2015, 8:22 pm

      P.P.S. ALSO WATCH:
      Catalan Police in Israel: repression courses “Tested In Combat” [VIDEO, 05:41] – link to youtube.com
      CATALAN POLICE TRAINING IN ISRAEL VIDEO February 16, 2014
      “Public security” training in Israel for police from Catalonia – or how to wage war on your own civilian population to protect the investments of bankster criminals!

      SOURCE – link to roblosricos.wordpress.com
      link to youtube.com

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 3, 2015, 8:27 pm

        P.P.P.S. RE: “Tested In Combat” ~ from the above video on Catalan police training in Israel

        MY COMMENT – Here is a very powerful testimonial regarding the impact of Israel’s “tested in combat” marketing on policing here in the U.S.
        An Israeli Soldier’s Story – Eran Efrati [VIDEO, 40:05] – link to youtube.com
        Published on Mar 8, 2014
        The talk by Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talks about his experiences in the IDF and then more broadly discusses Israel, its relationship to the U.S. and the global expansion of militarism.
        link to youtube.com
        COMMENTS FROM PAST VIEWERS:

        Bornajoo October 24, 2014, 3:37 pm
        @JLewisDickerson
        That was indeed a very powerful must-watch testimonial. Thank you for the link. More honest and courageous people from within like Eran urgently required
        The digger you deep it just becomes even more hideous, even more grotesque and even more evil.

        MRW October 27, 2014, 12:43 am
        Everyone should see that “An Israeli Soldier’s Story – Eran Efrati [VIDEO, 40:05].”
        If you can’t stand to watch the whole thing, the last 10 minutes will do it.

  10. Atlantaiconoclast
    May 1, 2015, 11:07 pm

    This is akin to Jewish Americans who are very tolerant of illegal immigration, but would never dream of expecting Israel to have a liberal and non racist immigration policy.

  11. just
    May 1, 2015, 11:43 pm

    Israel and its supporters keep/ kept telling the world that because in 2013, the Ethiopian Jewish Yityish Titi Aynaw was crowned Miss Israel, that their ‘democracy’ was free of racism.

    In 2014, she had this to say:

    “WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first Black woman to win the crown of Miss Israel says she believes the country has real problems with its treatment of refugees and immigrants from Africa, but that the situation is improving.

    “I’m not ashamed to say that there is racism in Israel; it’s a problem, but it’s a problem that Israel is working on and it’s something that Israel is trying to fix and it’s actually improving,” Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, 22, told BuzzFeed in an interview at the lobby of Washington, D.C.’s Palomar Hotel.

    “I don’t feel the racism, me, exactly,” Aynaw said. “But my family feels it sometimes.”…”

    link to atlantablackstar.com

    Wonder if Yityish Titi Aynaw was present at the protests…

    Thanks Ben.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      May 2, 2015, 5:27 am

      Same old same old. Yes, Israel has ‘problems’ but because it’s such a ‘vibrant democracy’ where everyone is so politically aware and engaged in lively debate, they’re ‘trying to work it out’.

      Could Ms. Aynaw give us any concrete examples of how the situation is ‘improving’ for Ethiopian Jews? And no, choosing one Ethiopian to display herself in a ‘beauty’ contest does not count as an improvement.

  12. Bornajoo
    May 2, 2015, 5:22 am

    I can only speak for my family in israel and others that I know there but the vast majority of them are unfortunately racist against black people (who they refer to as ‘kooshim’)

    On many occasions on their visits to London they say things like’ there are a lot of kooshim around here, it doesn’t worry you? ‘

    Anyone who knows Israeli society well and is honest will testify to this terrible racism

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      May 2, 2015, 5:28 am

      The entire society is built on racism against the indigenous people of Palestine.

      It would be amazing if Israelis were not also racist against other ‘foreigners’.

      • Bornajoo
        May 2, 2015, 6:02 am

        “It would be amazing if Israelis were not also racist against other ‘foreigners’.”

        Good point MDM. Especially the dark skinned foreigners.

        And as you say this completely dispels the myth that the Jews are one race/ethnicity. The only common factor is religious practice but that still doesn’t really count if you happen to be black

      • mcohen.
        May 2, 2015, 7:33 am

        mdm

        your racist comments about israelis is no different,in fact most posting here are racist against israelis….not only that many israelis are indigenous to israel and the middle east and your constant racist racism is racially repugnant…

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        May 2, 2015, 9:33 am

        How can anyone be ‘racist’ towards Israelis? They are not a race. Indeed, according to Israel’s own government, they’re not even a nationality.

        And of course you are right in saying that many Israelis are indigeneous to the region. These are the 2O% of so who are Palestinian, as well as a small minority of Jewish Israelis whose presence in the region long predated the colonisation by Eastern European Jews.

      • marc b.
        May 2, 2015, 11:34 am

        Israelis are a race? Well, this should interesting.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2015, 2:06 pm

        “and your constant racist racism is racially repugnant…”

        Ordinary racism wouldn’t be so bad but “racist racism”? That’s terrible.

        Oh BTW “mcohen” what race is it we are talking about?

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 3, 2015, 8:53 pm

        RE: “BTW ‘mcohen’ what race is it we are talking about?” – Mooser

        MY COMMENT: According to Rabbi Schneerson’s Chabad-Lubavitch teachings Jews are a completely different species from that of non-Jews!*

        * SEE: “Why is the US Honoring a Racist Rabbi?”, by Alison Weir, counterpunch.org, 4/07/14

        [EXCERPTS] If things proceed normally, President Barak Obama will soon proclaim April 11, 2014 “Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.” Despite the innocuous name, this day honors the memory of a religious leader whose lesser-known teachings help fuel some of the most violent attacks against Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers and soldiers.
        The leader being honored on this day is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, charismatic head of a mystical/fundamentalist version of Judaism [namely, Chabad-Lubavitch]. . .
        . . . Congress first passed a Resolution honoring Schneerson in 1975. . .
        . . . Schneerson and his movement are an extremely mixed bag.
        Schneerson has been praised widely for a public persona and organization that emphasized “deep compassion and insight,” worked to bring many secular Jews “back” into the fold, created numerous schools around the world, and had offered, in the words of the Jewish Virtual Library, “social-service programs and humanitarian aid to all people, regardless of religious affiliation or background.”
        However, there is also a less attractive underside often at odds with such public perceptions. And some of the more extreme parts of Schneerson’s teachings – such as that Jews are a completely different species than non-Jews, and that non-Jews exist only to serve Jews – have been largely hidden, it appears, even from many who consider themselves his followers.
        As we will see, such views profoundly impact the lives of Palestinians living – and dying – under Israeli occupation and military invasions. . .
        . . . Another such rabbi is Manis Friedman, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi inspired by Schneerson who served as the simultaneous translator for a series of Schneerson’s talks. (Friedman is currently dean of a Jewish Studies institute in Minnesota.)
        A 2009 article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports, “Like the best Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis, Manis Friedman has won the hearts of many unaffiliated Jews with his charismatic talks about love and God; it was Friedman who helped lead Bob Dylan into a relationship with Chabad.
        “But Friedman, who today travels the country as a Chabad speaker, showed a less warm and cuddly side when he was asked how he thinks Jews should treat their Arab neighbors.”

        In ‘Moment; magazine’s article, “Ask the Rabbis // How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?” Friedman answered: “I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. “The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).” . . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to counterpunch.org

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 3, 2015, 9:07 pm
      • Mooser
        May 5, 2015, 11:20 am

        “According to Rabbi Schneerson’s Chabad-Lubavitch teachings Jews are a completely different species from that of non-Jews!*

        I don’t see why that makes any difference. Heck, I get along with women (most of the time) I can get along with anybody.

  13. just
    May 2, 2015, 8:48 am

    On cue, here’s the Dersh:

    “Alan Dershowitz really went after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby today for charging the six cops involved in the death of Freddie Gray, saying it was entirely based on politics and “crowd control.”

    Dershowitz lamented that “this is a very sad day for justice” and told Steve Malzberg that Mosby acted out of a “desire to prevent riots.” It will be “virtually impossible,” he predicted, for the six officers involved to get a fair trial.

    And as for murder charges, Dershowitz said there’s “no plausible, hypothetical, conceivable case for murder” and “this is a show trial.” He predicted that Mosby might get removed as prosecutor and Baltimore citizens may get upset if and/or when they “move to a place with a different demographic.”

    He concluded that it’s “unlikely they’ll get any convictions in this case” and if they do they’ll likely “be reversed on appeal.”…

    Video if you can stomach it @ link to mediaite.com

    Dershowitz knows a thing or two about “show trials”…

    • turveyd
      May 2, 2015, 9:52 am

      reply to just: Nope, can’t somach it….

    • Boo
      May 2, 2015, 10:50 am

      Dershowitz has become nothing more than a media whore.

    • a blah chick
      May 3, 2015, 7:51 am

      The Dersh is a very sad day for justice.

    • Mooser
      May 6, 2015, 12:54 am

      “It will be “virtually impossible,” he predicted, for the six officers involved to get a fair trial.”

      You tell ’em Dersh! Haven’t we seen a veritable Niagara of police officers indicted, tried and convicted of shooting people!

  14. Boo
    May 2, 2015, 10:50 am

    Now if Israel only had its own Marilyn Mosby…

  15. Landie_C
    May 2, 2015, 12:45 pm

    In view of Israel’s draconian screenings at Ben Gurion Airport, I wonder what might happen to foreign tourists who, when asked why they visiting Israel, respond:

    I’m here to talk with Ethiopian Israelis and survey their experiences with racism…

    or

    I’m here to take part in a peaceful, authorized demonstration against racism (assuming any such demonstrations will get police permits, now or in the future)

    Thoughts?

    • Marnie
      May 3, 2015, 12:08 pm

      Bring something good to read because you will most likely be detained for the a very special Welcome to Israel. Strip search – most likely. Cell phone – you’ll be asked for your contacts, who are they, etc., e-mail contacts, maybe demand to search your email. You may then be turned around and sent back to your destination and considered an enemy of the people of Israel, a threat to their very existence or actually all Jews because if you saw N’Yahoo give his speeches in France and in the vomitorium (congress), you know that all Jews are of one mind and if you hurt one, you hurt all.

  16. jayn0t
    May 2, 2015, 9:03 pm

    Surely division among Jewish Israelis is a good thing. It undermines the solidarity which enables the oppression of the Palestinians. I’ve always been puzzled why anyone who claims to be opposed to Zionism complains about the oppression of one group of Israeli Jews by another.

    • Landie_C
      May 3, 2015, 9:11 am

      “I’ve always been puzzled why anyone who claims to be opposed to Zionism complains about the oppression of one group of Israeli Jews by another”

      Some of us don’t just simply subscribe to the words of Abraham Heschel; we also deeply feel them. He defined a Jew as ” a person whose integrity decays when unmoved by the knowledge of wrong done to other people.” Machiavellianism asks some of us to annihilate too much of who we are and what we believe in.

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2015, 2:06 pm

        “He defined a Jew as ” a person whose integrity decays when unmoved by the knowledge of wrong done to other people.”

        Oh gosh, how awful the Jews in Israel must feel about the Palestinians. Gosh, it must just sear their souls, considering what Israel has done and is doing is worse than anything it does to less-equal-than-others Jews.

      • Landie_C
        May 3, 2015, 9:16 pm

        Who said most of them fit the definition? I’m speaking for myself and others like me, mainly non-Israeli progressives.

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2015, 4:40 pm

        “Who said most of them fit the definition? I’m speaking for myself and others like me, mainly non-Israeli progressives.”

        Well, Landis, maybe that’s allright for you, but I am a big believer in TU! Tribal Unity! What goes for one, goes for all! Always gets me upset when we start judging and condemning each other.
        I always protest when I see the TU being violated!

    • oldgeezer
      May 3, 2015, 12:05 pm

      @jayn0t

      So you’re suggesting the end justifies the means? That’s the same mindset which led zionism to this point. And frankly the end doesn’t justify the means. Wrong is wrong.

      • jayn0t
        May 4, 2015, 12:20 am

        Thanks for your replies. I’m simply talking about logic. Sentimental gushing about “integrity” doesn’t move me. If the primary problem in Palestine is Jewish racial supremacy over the ethnically-cleansed inhabitants of that land, then intra-Jewish conflict is not a problem at all. In fact, it’s a good thing. Complaining about “racism” among Israeli Jews like “racism” in America makes it sound like Israel is like any other Western society, one which can be gradually reformed out of its “racism”.

    • Mooser
      May 5, 2015, 6:32 pm

      “I’ve always been puzzled why anyone who claims to be opposed to Zionism complains about the oppression of one group of Israeli Jews by another.”

      You aren’t grasping it. Being “opposed to Zionism” also means being against the suffering and discrimination they impose on Jews, too.

  17. unverified__5ilf90kd
    May 3, 2015, 2:59 am

    David Simon (of Wire fame) in the Guardian today makes this analogy with the Baltimore police (and US police in general) and the IDF. Very significant and great PR against the right wing Israel. Please use this everyone.

    “They were collecting bodies, treating corner folk and citizens alike as an Israeli patrol would treat Gaza, or as the Afrikaners would have treated Soweto back in the day. They’re an army of occupation. And once it’s that, then everybody’s the enemy.”

  18. unverified__5ilf90kd
    May 3, 2015, 6:10 am

    David Brooks has a piece today in the NYT on the Baltimore problem – he quotes this interview with David Simon that really puts the lid on it. Look no further. It also does job on Martin O’Malley who can be blamed for the sorry Baltimore police ethos.

    link to themarshallproject.org

  19. amigo
    May 3, 2015, 7:26 am

    The plan has /is and will be to tempt Black Jews or those wanna bees to come to Israel and fight for the cause.Defeating the Palestinians is job one and these Black Jews make excellent fodder.Of course , as soon as the Palestinians have been defeated and expelled phase two kicks in.That phase will be dedicated to getting rid of “The black Problem”.

    Israel is for White Jews and only white Jews.And they think no one notices.

  20. Kay24
    May 3, 2015, 7:47 am

    These apartheid policies must end. Time Israel was held accountable for the many crimes it has been guilty of. It is one of the most racist nations today. There is a attitude of supremacy in how they deal with non white/goyim/non Jews. It is digesting that the media in the US keep the ugliness away from the American people. It took an irate bigot to mention that in Israel “blacks are treated like dog”, to get some attention to what is going on, yet the zionist media of America did not question it. Being a nation of bigots is one thing, but oppressing your neighbors and refusing to lift the occupation,is intolerable. What will it take for the US and other enablers to realize that they are supporting a nation that pretends to be a democracy, but the truth is entirely different?

  21. just
    May 3, 2015, 1:49 pm

    “Police fire tear gas as Tel Aviv protest by Ethiopian Israelis turns violent
    Thousands of protesters rally against police violence and racism; protesters try to break into Tel Aviv City Hall in Rabin Square.

    Clashes erupted in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday as thousands of people gathered to protest police brutality toward Israeli Jews of Ethiopian descent.

    Police are firing tear gas as some reports claim protesters are trying to break into the Tel Aviv City Hall, located at the square.

    The protest began near the Kaplan Interchange, where protester blocked major arteries and junctions, including the Ayalon South freeway and Hashalom Interchange, as well as surrounding streets. Protesters also marched along Derech Begin towards the train station but were blocked by police.

    Later on, the protest moved to Rabin Square as police gradually opened the blocked roads.

    Two protesters were arrested; one has already been released.

    The police decided not to deploy policemen of Ethiopian descent along with hundreds of forces guarding the protest. According to the police, the move was taken in the hope of preventing such forces from facing a conflict of interests. They also said that police officers of Ethiopian descent were targeted during last week’s protest in Jerusalem. They stressed that additional forces were on call in case backups were needed.

    ‘We’re not Baltimore’

    Speaking ahead of the demonstration, organizers rejected comparisons with recent events in Baltimore but said the protests will continue until their messages sink in and the government takes action to foster equality. “The fact that we’re black doesn’t mean that we’re Baltimore,” one of the organizers, Inbal Bogale, told Haaretz. “In Jerusalem we didn’t ‘do a Baltimore’ as people are saying, that’s not what it was about,” she said, referring to protests in the capital on Thursday night that turned violent. …

    …“We don’t want favors, we want to be like everyone else.” A few hours before the demonstration, and after they had received the appropriate permits, they make sure to explain that the protests will not end until the goal is achieved. “We’re peace-loving. We’re part of this nation, Jews who want justice, to take to the streets and cry out for change. We have enough enemies outside the country and don’t need enemies from within, but the handful who are against us must be held responsible. We’re calling on everyone to behave with restraint and without violence, because that’s not the way. Violence will not necessarily achieve better results. We’re disappointed by the results of the demonstration on Wednesday, apparently it still hasn’t penetrated and therefore we’ll continue to demonstrate.”

    Despite the call to avoid violence, Meni Yasu, another organizer, says he’s afraid of violence, especially because the police don’t exercise restraint either. “We’re trying to achieve important goals, and the demonstration could spin out of control. The young people, the new generation that is leading the protest, has a bellyful about all these years and wants to let off steam, the police are not known for restraint and things could get out of control.””

    Much more @ link to haaretz.com

    (an aside: Israelis who are Palestinians, and all those that are disenfranchised by the state, are wise to watch this play out from the sidelines. They are also part of that place, after all…)

  22. just
    May 3, 2015, 3:21 pm

    Some amazing photos at the link via Max B.:

    “…”Apparently the streets of Israel must burn like they do in Baltimore, in order for someone to finally wake up. The apartheid regime is back, this time in 21st-century Israel,” said Gadi Yevarkan, the head of the Campaign for Equality for Ethiopian Jews, to Israel’s Ynet.

    “To see a soldier in uniform beaten by policemen in uniform is confirmation of official policy that allows police to beat blacks without having to be accountable to state laws,” Yevarkan added.

    The demonstrations, which turned violent and raged for hours, saw protesters block several of the capital’s main arteries, including the entrance to the city and the movement of the light rail near the National Headquarters of the Israel Police, the focal point of the protest.

    Three police officers were injured after protesters threw rocks and bottles at them and an estimated 13 demonstrators were wounded. Another two were arrested.

    The protesters, who promised that this was “only the beginning” held up banners reading: “Stop police brutality, stop racism” and “Today it’s him, tomorrow it’s you!”

    As the rally began, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement saying that on Monday he would meet Damas Pakada, the soldier who was beaten, as well as other representatives of the Ethiopian community….”

    link to i24news.tv

    Yo Netanyahu: too little, too late. again. And yes, it is APARTHEID and Occupation and a self- made disaster.

    • just
      May 3, 2015, 4:52 pm

      Again, via Max:

      “EXCLUSIVE Ethiopian-Israelis flip over police car at Rabin square in Tel-Aviv. Police using stun grenades”

      link to twitter.com

      They couldn’t do that in the OPT, you know. Though I am saddened that the racism in Israel exists, I am glad that it is being seen all around the world.

      update:

      “41 injured in Ethiopian Israeli protest against police brutality in Tel Aviv
      Police take harsh action against protesters hurling rocks and bottles; 41 people injured; earlier, thousands blocked roads in rally against police violence and racism.”

      link to haaretz.com

  23. ckg
    May 3, 2015, 6:00 pm

    Dershowitz, who called the 1991 Crown Heights riots a pogrom, would probably label this a self-pogrom.

    • Mooser
      May 3, 2015, 6:23 pm

      “a pogrom, would probably label this a self-pogrom.”

      Yes, but you know what Dersh is like. He’s extremely philo-semantic.

  24. ckg
    May 3, 2015, 7:38 pm
  25. edwardm
    May 4, 2015, 12:22 pm

    I saw a film on Ethiopian Jews a few years ago. One man (now living in Canada) commented that he was “too Jewish for Ethipia and too black for Israel”.

  26. just
    May 6, 2015, 8:44 am

    Interesting column @ Haaretz:

    “Israel’s police force is becoming alarmingly militarized – and it’s no surprise why

    Ethiopian Israelis learned this week how Palestinians in the occupied territories feel when they face brutal crowd-control methods.

    …But while there are indeed similarities between the protests in Tel Aviv and those in Baltimore, the scene was also not-so-vaguely reminiscent of another battlefield, one more familiar to Israeli citizens: the West Bank.

    The impressive arsenal used by Israel’s police forces on Sunday and at last week’s Ethiopian Israeli demonstration in Jerusalem – stun grenades, tear gas, water cannons and a “skunk”, a vehicle that sprays a rancid-smelling liquid at protesters – are all staples of Israel’s military regime in the occupied territories. They have rarely been used within the borders of Israel, and when they were, it was almost always in the context of the Israel-Arab conflict.

    On Sunday, however, near the square that has hosted some of the biggest demonstrations in Israel’s history, there they all were: the skunk, the stun grenades, the water cannons, the tear gas. This time they weren’t directed at Palestinians in Qalandiyah in the occupied West Bank. This time, they were used against Jews – in the middle of Tel Aviv.

    The brutal response reflected the hugely disadvantageous situation of Ethiopian Israelis and the incredible adversities they face, especially when it comes to law enforcement. Already dealing with constant racism and a disproportionate incarceration rate, Israelis of Ethiopian descent were reminded once again on Sunday that Israeli justice is not impartial: In recent years, Tel Aviv has seen dozens of demonstrations and protests initiated by almost every ethnic and political group in Israel, from middle-class predominantly Ashkenazi Jews protesting the cost of living to African asylum seekers. And while some have met a rather forceful police response, none were treated to the same kind of violence that we saw on Sunday.

    But the pandemonium was also part of a wider, growing phenomenon: the militarization of Israel’s (already pretty militarized) law enforcement, and the increasing infiltration of methods used to disperse riots in the occupied territories into the other side, the “wrong” side of the Green Line. …

    …The same machine that has been used to keep Palestinians at bay was now being used to prevent Israelis from protesting the prices of housing and cottage cheese.

    In many ways, this was to be expected. Israel has been occupying another people for 38 years now, monitoring their communications, policing their every move. It has grown accustomed to war every year or two. One cannot live like that without eventually taking the war back home. And so, weapons that were previously only used against apparent enemies of the state are now being used to control its own citizens.

    The militarization of police, of course, is not uniquely Israeli. In fact, the militarization of law enforcement – police forces using military equipment like armored vehicles and assault rifles to aggressively clamp down on civil protests – is a global phenomenon.

    What makes the Israeli example unique is that until now, most Israeli Jews thought they were safe. That the rules of the occupation, the daily reality of Palestinians, didn’t apply to them.

    But occupation can’t be neatly contained. Violence inevitably seeps in.

    The brutal crackdown of the Ethiopian protest this week reflects not only the hardships faced by one of Israel’s most impoverished ethnic groups. It also presents a dangerous escalation, a stark reminder of the limits of democracy when it is forced to coexist alongside a security state. The occupation of the Palestinians, in a way, is becoming the occupation of Israelis: The same tactics used to control Palestinians are increasingly used to silence them.

    Many Israelis have been deeply shocked by this week’s events. By the level of force used against protesters. By the sight of stun grenades exploding mere meters away from where Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. As it turns out, there’s a fine line between occupying and being occupied. And that line has never looked so thin.”

    there’s much more @ link to haaretz.com

    • a blah chick
      May 6, 2015, 9:04 am

      There was another column there that talked about their higher numbers in military prisons as well.

      I sympathize with their situation since they face a lot of the problems people of color face in this country. However, at the risk of offering unsolicited advice, they are not going to get much justice from the Zionist system. This is a system that is suppose to discriminate. It says that one group of people will get all the goodies based only on the fact that they belong to the right tribe. Israel has decreed that the “right” tribe is white, Jewish and of European extraction. You cannot campaign for your rights in a discriminatory system if all you want is to be included IN that system. Many of them were using the blacklivesmatter hashtag on Twitter but a few people pointed out that the Ethiopian community has been very silent about the crimes being perpetrated against the African refugees. Do black lives matter only if their Jewish?

      • just
        May 6, 2015, 9:17 am

        Thanks for your great post, abc.

        “This is a system that is suppose to discriminate. It says that one group of people will get all the goodies based only on the fact that they belong to the right tribe. Israel has decreed that the “right” tribe is white, Jewish and of European extraction.”

        That’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it?

        “Do black lives matter only if their Jewish?”

        A great question. My guess is that they matter a teensy bit more than the incarcerated African refugees in Holot, and a lot more than any Palestinian.

  27. a blah chick
    May 10, 2015, 4:51 pm

    Here’s another charming story out of the Ethiopian community in Israel. On David Sheen’s Twitter feed he links to a Facebook story about Jewish Ethiopian rape victims being made to carry their rapists babies in order for them to be adopted out. Google translates the author’s name as Roni Aloni Sdovnik and he says, in answer to a comment, that he is representing several of the victims.

    The Google translation is cumbersome but the story told is this: three Ethiopian girls became pregnant as a result of rapes, but instead to sending them to medical facilities to get abortions they were instead sent to hostels where their pregnancies were brought to term and the babies put up for adoption. The girls were between the ages of 11 and 15 and two of the rapes were the result of incest. Because of their ages and the circumstances of their pregnancies they should have had no trouble getting abortions. The author suggests that the welfare ministry is dealing with cases like these in order to provide available babies for adoption. I can’t say whether that is true or not, but considering how the Israeli government sanctioned the kidnapping of Yemeni children I do not find it far fetched in the least.

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