Monday, May 04, 2015

Israeli Racism Ignites

There are 135,000 Ethiopian Jews (the Falasha Hebrews) living in Israel.

Police in Israel have fired tear gas and stun grenades in clashes with ethnic Ethiopians protesting about what they say is police brutality and racism. Israeli police on horseback charged demonstrators. Thousands of Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin had taken part in a rally in Tel Aviv. They shouted “not black, not white, we're all human beings.” Police didn’t deploy officers of Ethiopian descent, fearing a conflict of interests.

The protests came after a video emerged last week of an Israeli soldier of Ethiopian descent being beaten by police in Tel Aviv. Israeli community leaders' are making comparisons of the incident to police violence against blacks in the United States. Ethiopian Jews living in Israel have said in the past that they are subject to discrimination, and similar protests in 2012 followed reports that some Israeli landlords were refusing to rent out their properties to Ethiopian Jews. Ethiopian Jews' income is considerably lower than the general population, and they are much more likely to face limited educational opportunities and to end up in prison. In 2013, Israel also admitted to forcibly administering birth control injections to Ethiopian Jewish women without their consent or knowledge.

One demonstrator told Israel's Channel 10 television channel: "Our parents were humiliated for years. We are not prepared to wait any longer to be recognised as equal citizens. It may take a few months, but it will happen."

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