Racist Mob, Incited by Israeli Leaders, Attacks African Refugees in Tel Aviv
An Israeli mob in Tel Aviv burns garbage and sings, "The people want the Africans to be burned."
Eritrean refugees react moments after their shop was attacked by an angry mob.
"A mother with her baby cries minutes after she was attacked by a mob, with the baby thrown to the ground, following a protest against African refugees and asylum seekers in Tel Aviv's Hatikva neighborhood." - caption by Activestills
According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there are presently some 60,000 African asylum seekers in Israel. Most entered the country by foot through its southern border. While they are termed “infiltrators” by the government, some 85 percent are from Eritrea and Sudan, to which Israel has agreed until now not to return them in light of the situations in those countries. They fall under a form of group protection from deportation, but their individual refugee claims are not processed. A few recent crimes against Israelis that were linked to the African community have recently received considerable attention in the local media. They led to a wave of protest and declarations by politicians against the refugees and asylum seekers. MK Ofir Akunis, a member of Likud and a Netanyahu proxy, is set to promote a Knesset bill which will criminalize Israelis who employ, drive or give shelter to refugees.In addition to a deeply-rooted racism that exists within segments of Israeli society and the continued dehumanizing of minorities, last night's race riot also occurred because of corrupt economic policies and the rising gap between the rich and poor in Israel - a situation which has left many teetering on an economic precipice. Without minimizing the racist motivations behind what occurred last night, a root cause is partially the same root social justice activists targeted last summer when they crippled Tel Aviv, chanting, "The people demand social justice." Last night, poverty-stricken Israelis focused their rage (and prejudice) on a community of dark-skinned scapegoats. And several Israeli leaders were only too happy to help an angry mob push them off the cliff. Follow the author – David Harris-Gershon – on Twitter @David_EHG
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