Israeli Police Tell Palestinians to Shut Their Shops as they Protect Settler Violence and Racism
Every year Jerusalem day is the pretext
for an orgy of hate and violence from settler mobs, aided and abetted by the Israeli
Police and Border Guards. This year a
legal attempt was made to secure an injunction by the Supreme Court rejected
that, despite the video evidence from last year. The Deputy Chief Justice confronted with the
evidence simply expressed pious wishes that the Police would exercise zero
tolerance towards those who chanted ‘Death to the Arabs’ and similar
I’ve included a number of reports and
videos from a variety of sources to show the flavour of the day.
There was a contingent from Lehava, dedicated
to preventing pure Jewish women being ensnared by wily, predator Arab men. An image that is derived directly from the
Nuremburg Laws 1935. There have, of
course, been no condemnations by ‘mainstream’ Israeli politicians such as
As that great Orthodox scholar and
Professor at the Hebrew University, Yeshayahu Leibowitz said, religious-nationalism
is the direct opposite of religion. He
first coined the term ‘Judeo Nazis’ to describe the little pogromists that are
evident in the videos. Israel and Zionism
have taken the Bible and fashioned it into a nationalist creed and used the bits they agree with (never the
Prophets!) to legitimise their racist and fascist sentiments.
Whereas previously, under Labour Zionism and
Begin, there was an attempt to keep the racism hidden from view, today it is on
display for all to see. In some ways we should
be grateful for the fact that there is no pretence anymore but Palestinians are
paying a high price for this.
Submitted by Ali Abunimah
on Mon, 05/18/2015 – 11:48
Lehava’ s gang, “Jerusalem day”, 17.5.2015
Note: To see
Thousands of young Israelis, many of them children, rampaged through the Old
City of occupied Jerusalem on Sunday chanting “Death to the Arabs” and other
racist and anti-Muslim slogans.
Some attacked bystanders and journalists and banged on the shutters of
Palestinian stores that had been ordered to close at midday.
The mob march was the climax of “Jerusalem Day,” an Israeli national holiday
to celebrate the occupation of the eastern part of the city in 1967. Zionist
militias ethnically cleansed and
captured the western sector of Jerusalem in 1948.
Under international law, Israel’s purported annexation of Jerusalem
following the 1967 conquest is null and void and
is not recognized by any country in the world.
Sunday’s violent scenes began as occupation forces allowed large numbers of
religious and nationalist Israeli Jews to flow into into the area of the
Damascus Gate in the late afternoon.
This is an entrance to the walled Old City that was long a bustling market
for Palestinians from surrounding villages until Israel made access to the city
virtually impossible for millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
Israelis, many chanting racist slogans, rally at the Damascus Gate before marching into Jerusalem’s Old City, 17 May.(Charlotte Silver)
Groups of young men and boys banded together in circles, chanting and
The atmosphere quickly shifted to that of an angry mob, which first turned
on two women who held the Palestinian flag and then, with increasing frequency,
toward random Palestinian bystanders and journalists, according to The
Electronic Intifada’s Charlotte Silver, who reported from the scene.
Haaretz published a
video of a mob attacking a Jordanian television crew and The
Times of Israel captured video of young Israelis harassing
a female journalist and preventing her from speaking to her
Many sang Bible verses set to popular music, often embellished or altered to
justify Israeli rule over Palestinians. Among the numerous racist slogans was
“A Jew is a soul, an Arab is a son of a whore.”
The frenzied, sustained and widespread nature of the racist vitriol is
documented in a large amount of footage obtained by The Electronic Intifada,
only a small part of which is included in this post. This video, shot by the
Jerusalem resident known as Zalameh, provides
a good sense of the mixture of Jewish extremism and outright racism on display:
Israeli mob chants anti-Palestinian slogans in occupied Jerusalem
The video also shows two women holding a Palestinian flag being verbally
But Israeli Border Police on horseback, armed with sound bombs and guns,
kept most Palestinians out of the Damascus Gate area. Police monitored the
crowd, attempting to intervene when a pack of marchers would attack someone,
“May they all die”
In this video, several youths who spoke to Silver make virulently racist
comments. One says that they had come to celebrate the “liberation of Jerusalem
from the Palestinians,” others chiming in with “may their memory be erased.”
“Jerusalem Day” at Damascus Gate (occupied East Jerusalem), 17
“May they all die today, all together,” another interjects. A child asserts
repeatedly that Jerusalem was “liberated” from “the donkeys.”
Similar expressions could be heard throughout the day from the chanting
Israel expert Dena Shunra notes that the curse calling for someone’s name or
memory to be erased was typically used for enemies as despised as Adolf Hitler;
its use by Jewish youths against Palestinians is an indicator of extreme levels
While deeply disturbing, children cannot be held responsible for spouting
such views. But the large number of children participating in the hate march
underscores the systematic indoctrination and anti-Palestinian incitement to
which Israeli youth are exposed.
Jewish women as Jewish “goods”
The marchers then entered the Old City, charging down the narrow streets
which are usually full of Palestinian business owners and shoppers.
Members of the anti-miscengenation group Lehava, some again appearing to be very
young, also took part in the march, shouting “Arab beware – my sister is not
abandoned goods” (see video at the top of this post).
They also chanted, “Girls of Israel, for the Nation of Israel [Jews].”
These are warnings to Palestinian men to stay away from Jewish women who are
described, in effect, as property exclusively available to Jewish men.
The same marchers can also be heard singing “Kahane still lives” to the tune
of a popular religious-nationalist song, “Our Father Still Lives” – which
refers to Abraham.
Meir Kahane, the
assassinated Brooklyn rabbi who founded the the Jewish Defense League, is thus
elevated almost to the level of a biblical patriarch.
Kahane also founded Kach – an
organization so racist and extreme that even in Israel it was outlawed and
classified as a terrorist group.
He is most remembered for his demand that the entire Palestinian population
be expelled from lands occupied by Israel.
Voices can also be heard chanting that the Muslim prophet Muhammad was a
“homo” and a “son of a whore,” among other slogans calculated to provoke and
The expressions of virulent, even genocidal, hatred for Palestinians are
reminiscent of the “Death to the Arabs”
marches in the city which culminated in the abduction and burning alive of
Palestinian teen Muhammad Abu Khudair
Demolish Jerusalem’s mosques
A leaflet distributed at a “Jerusalem Day” march calls on the Israeli government to “bring down” the al-Aqsa mosque so it can be replaced with a Jewish temple.(Charlotte Silver)
Jewish extremist organizations handed out leaflets demanding that the
Israeli government demolish Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque and
the Dome of the Rock to make way for a Jewish Third Temple in their place.
The leaflet in the picture, collected at the Sunday march, states:
In honor of Jerusalem Day, we all demand of the Israeli government: to bring
down the mosques on the Temple Mount so that we can build the Temple and renew
the offering of sacrifices.
It is signed by an organization called “Returning to the [Temple] Mount.”
The atmosphere of intense hatred and religious-nationalist chauvinism was no
doubt encouraged by a declaration from
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “Jerusalem was always the
capital of the Jewish people alone – and not of any other nation.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the Jerusalem Day celebration at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, on May 17, 2015. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
claimed Jerusalem has always been the capital “of the Jewish people alone,
not of any other people” at a Jerusalem Day ceremony on Ammunition
Hill, in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem on May 17.
“Jerusalem won’t become once again a wounded and
bisected city,” he continued. “We will forever keep Jerusalem united under Israeli
Netanyahu pledged to “continue to build and
nurture [Jerusalem], to expand her neighborhoods.”
The prime minister has long insisted that Israel
must control East Jerusalem. In the same celebration in 2010, he maintained that “We cannot divide or freeze a city
as vibrant and creative as Jerusalem – we will continue to build and be built
by it” and averred “We are the generation which was lucky enough to see our
holy sites liberated and returned to our hands, and it is upon us to transfer
this right to our children.”
Jerusalem Day, celebrated every year on the 28th day
of Iyar, the second month in the Jewish calendar, commemorates what
Israel calls the “reunification” of Jerusalem.
Journalist Charlotte Silver, reporting from the
2015 commemoration for The Electronic Intifada, interviewed Israelis who proclaimed “May they all [the
Palestinians] die today, all together.” A young Israeli applauded Israel for
liberating Jerusalem from “the donkeys.” Another expressed hope that
the memory of the Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed from Jerusalem will
Israeli leftists protest a Jerusalem Day march on 17 May 2015. (Photo: AFP/Gali Tibbon)
Several hundred Israeli leftists protested the march, chanting slogans such as “Jerusalem will not be
silent, outlaw racism.” The activists, largely from the left-wing
organization Jerusalem Won’t Tolerate Racism, dubbed the demonstration a
“march of hate,” and held signs reading “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”
(red sign in Hebrew above) and “We are against incitement. We are against
racism” (purple sign in Arabic above).
Decades of Illegal Occupation
Israel militarily occupied East Jerusalem in 1967. For
decades, the United Nations has insisted that this occupation is illegal.
“Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem and the surrounding West Bank
hinterland contravenes international law. It is not recognized by the
international community which considers East Jerusalem an integral part of the
occupied Palestinian territory,” the UN maintains, citing Security Council resolutions 252, 267, 471,
476, and 478.
“Since 1967, Israeli measures have altered the status of
East Jerusalem and affected the residency status of Palestinians, their access
to basic services, and their ability to plan and develop their communities,”
the UN continues.
“Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem is
illegal and occurs at the expense of land and resources for Palestinian
construction and development, placing residents at risk of forced eviction,
displacement and dispossession,” the UN also notes. “As the occupying power,
Israel is responsible for administering the occupied territory for the benefit
of the protected Palestinian population.”
Palestinian photojournalist Nidal Ashtiyeh was shot in the face by Israeli occupation forces on 17 May 2015. (Photo: Ahmad Talat Hassan)
a terrible time we had to pass through check points that they erected everywhere along the Old City, they asked us to move away from the Damascus gate point. They didn’t do it gently, they pushed us and broke our camera,” RT Arabic reporter Dalia Nammari later told RT International.An RT Arabic TV crew was attacked by Israeli police while covering the Jerusalem Day march in the Old City. Although the journalists had all documents permitting them to cover the event, the police prevented them from going live.
The reporter added that other journalists covering the event were treated the same “brutal” way by the Israeli police.
Dalia Nammari and the cameraman Muhammad Aishu were filming the march of settlers, which they had been accredited to, when the police interfered with their work and took away the camera. The crew continued to report from the scene using a smart phone and going on air live via Skype, when the police attacked them again.
Screenshot from RT video
“They took away my earpiece … they are demanding from everyone – even journalists, to evacuate the area. Even Palestinians who live in the city can’t be present here because of the settlers’ march,” Nammari said.
The Israeli settlers took to the streets of Jerusalem to mark the day when Israel occupied the eastern side of Jerusalem in 1967, Nammari reported. Many were carrying posters reading “Jerusalem for Israelis.”
The controversial Israeli march through Jerusalem and its Muslim quarters is an annual event, marking the anniversary of Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem. Police estimated that more than 30,000 Israelis took part in this year’s rally, Reuters reported. They marched through the areas of the city, the overall population of which includes more than 30 percent of Palestinians.
The march resulted in confrontations, with mounted Israeli police clashing with dozens of rock-throwing Palestinians, who were protesting the Jewish nationalists march, Reuters reported. Two officers were injured and six Palestinians were arrested, police sources said.
The RT Arabic crew managed to film some of the clashes before being assaulted themselves by Israeli police.
Brutal attacks by Israeli law enforcement are “rare to be filmed, but not rare to happen,” Sarit Michaelli of the Israeli info center for human rights has previously told RT.
On Saturday, a Palestinian journalist suffered at the hands of the Israeli army, being shot in the eye with a rubber bullet. The photojournalist was taking pictures during a march to commemorate Nakba, or Catastrophe Day, when Palestinians were displaced in the creation of Israel.
“This is a usual behavior for the Israeli army against journalists and against peaceful non-violent Palestinian demonstrators,” Mustafa Barghouti, General Secretary of the Palestine National Initiative told RT.
“During the last attack on Gaza less than a year ago the Israeli army killed 18 journalists including an Italian journalist in their attack on the Palestinian people. So this violation of the freedom of expression and violation of the right of journalists to cover what happens is a frequent behavior of the Israeli army which respects nobody,” Barghouti told RT, adding that this time the clashes happened during celebrations of annexation of East Jerusalem, which is “considered illegal by every international law.”
Last year, Israeli forces raided a building in Ramallah where the offices of several media outlets, including RT’s Arabic channel, were located. The troops broke down the doors of the offices, destroyed some of the equipment and confiscated records.