These Protests Show Israel's Huge Racism Problem It Needs To Fix

Violent protests in Tel Aviv expose discrimination against Ethiopian Jews in Israel.

Viral video spurs race riots in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem

The image above is not from Baltimore – it’s from Tel Aviv, Israel.

Hundreds of Israelis, mainly Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin, protested against police brutality on Sunday after a video surfaced last week, purportedly showing two cops beating an Ethiopian-Israeli soldier.

Although the demonstrations were peaceful, initially, the situation turned relatively violent as night fell. Around 46 officers, according to latest reports, have been injured in scuffles with protesters.

"There is no white. There is no black. There are just people," the demonstrators chanted as they marched onto the Ayalon highway, a major metropolitan freeway.

Social media images from Tel Aviv show cars with broken windows and flipped over police vehicles:

Recommended: Israelis Chant "Ni****S Go Home!" While Waving ISIS-Style Flags

This was the second protest against police violence in Israel in less than a week. Just on Thursday, clashes near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence left at least 13 people injured.

Tel Aviv 'Race Riots

Israel's Ethiopian Jews clash with police

A lot of people are comparing the unrest in Tel Aviv with the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore in the United States.

Subjugation of Palestinians living in the occupied territories at the hands of the Israeli government and military is a well-documented fact. However, the grievances of the Israeli Ethiopian Jewish population have long been neglected in the mainstream media.

A similar situation emerged in 2012, after it was reported that some Israeli landlords refused to rent out their properties to Ethiopian Jews. A more severe controversy erupted in the following year when Ethiopian women claimed they were being injected with a controversial contraceptive without their knowledge or consent – an alleged practice which was acknowledged by a health ministry official, according to a report by Haaretz.

In what was referred to as an unprecedented airlift operation by the Israeli military through 1984-91, around 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were covertly airlifted to Israel to escape famine. But the community, which now numbers around 135,500 out of Israel's population of over 8 million, claims it has since faced widespread racism and poverty in the country.

Read More: Despite 1.5 Million Arabs, New Government To Define Israel As ‘National State Of Jewish People’

View Comments

Recommended For You