The ugly monster of racism reared its ugly head in Israel once again as two Ethiopian Jews were the victims of a vicious hate crime assault at a bus station in the city of Petah Tikva last week. One of the victims is a 74-year-old elderly man who remains hospitalized after suffering a fractured skull and other serious injuries resulting from being beaten by two Jewish men of unknown ethnicity who are in their 30s and accosted the victims at gunpoint. The second victim, also an Ethiopian Jew, who is in his 30s, is reported to have suffered “light injuries”.
The two attackers were arrested and admitted to their roles in the crime. A rifle used in the assaults was found in one of the attacker’s home. The names of the victims and their racist attackers have not been released. As punishment for this vicious hate crime and crime against the elderly, the admitted racist terrorist were only jailed for six days while their elderly victim remains hospitalized clinging to life.
An Israeli politician who is a member of Knesset, Pnina Tamano-Shata who is an Ethiopian Jew herself and part of the largely secular centrist Yesh Atid Party labeled the attack as a hate crime.
“I am ashamed and shocked by this hate crime. There is no need to try and prettify the ugly truth. The violent attack was only carried out on the basis of the victims’ skin color. There is no room for such crude racist events in Israel. I expect and demand that those responsible for the heinous attack be punished with the utmost severity, so that justice will be seen and feared. There is a feeling that there is laxity in the judicial system, which is supposed to be the first to send a clear message against citizens who are attacked solely because they are who they are,” said Tamano-Shata.
Earlier this month, two Ethiopian Jews in the same city were refused a marriage ceremony and forced to go to Tel Aviv to get married when a Sephardic (Spanish Middle Eastern) Rabbi questioned if the two were Jewish.
Black people, both Jewish and non-Jewish have long suffered racist attacks by non-Black Jews in Israel. Last year, the Israeli government admitted to sterilizing female African refugees fleeing violence in their home countries and due to drastic drops in its Ethiopian population, some have questions about the Israeli government practicing eugenics against the Ethiopian Jewish communities.
Israeli journalist and human rights activist David Sheen, himself an Ashkenazi Jew reportedly married to an African Hebrew Israelite from America, maintains a website documenting racist attacks against non-white people in Israel for several years. Sheen told Black Talk Radio News in 2013 that living in Israel is like living in the United States in the Jim Crow during the 1950s.
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