Tony Greenstein | 08 October 2015 | Post Views:

Pogroms in Jerusalem

Racist violence has erupted following terrorist
attacks in the past, but this time it seems that the Jewish mob which took to
the streets was accepted by Jerusalemites with understanding, if not downright

By Nir Hasson | Oct.
4, 2015 | 6:16 PM |

Israeli police stop Israeli extreme far-right supporters during a demonstration in downtown Jerusalem, on October 3,
Just like after every
other terror attack in recent years, young Jews vented their anger with racist
violence for several hours, attacking Arab passersby in Jerusalem on Saturday
in contrast to previous incidents, this time it looked like a very big group
and that Jewish residents of Jerusalem accepted their behavior with
understanding, as part of the terror routine.
after the terror attack, in which a Palestinian stabbed to death two Jews,
hundreds of people, mostly youths, gathered at Zion Square, answering a call to
demonstrate and demand revenge. Bentzi Gopstein, head of Lehava, and right-wing
extremists Itamar Ben Gvir and Baruch Marzel were prominent, but they only
seemed to be leading the event. In practice, this crowd had no leader but was
fueled by a feeling of hate and the desire to take revenge.
the demonstrators were Lehava activists, wearing black shirts, young
ultra-Orthodox Jews, well-known local right-wing activists and many foreigners,
speaking English and French, who joined the mob, and at least one Evangelist
preacher, who called on the people of Israel to awaken. In contrast to the
past, it looked like women took a significant part in inflaming passions.
have to kill them all, including the Arab Druze in the army,”
one woman to her girlfriend.
started as a kind of protest of rage, with the familiar calls of “death to
terrorists,” “revenge” and “the people demand
However, it quickly switched to the no-less familiar calls of
death to Arabs,” “an Arab is a bastard, a Jew is a good
and other songs from the fairly limited racist repertoire of the far
right in Jerusalem. Some of the organizers sought to lead the mob through
Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter in the Old City to the site of the terror
attack. The police was not about to let that happen and blocked their way
between Zion Square and Jaffa Road.
there, gangs of youths ran amok looking for Arab victims. But Arab workers in
central Jerusalem are used to such events, and the vast majority of them fled
home before the rioting. Even on the light rail cars, that often serve the Arab
population, there were no Arabs. The Jewish youths blocked the rail in the
square and “interviewed” passengers to determine their identity.
you an Arab? Are you an Arab?”
they called out to a passenger who was
probably wise enough to smile without answering.
him alone. He’s a Jew,”
said one of the attackers, and they moved on to
look for the next victim. The rest of the passengers responded apathetically
and tried to look the other way. There were many drivers who honked in
solidarity and vocally supported them. The cafes and restaurants along Jaffa
Road were full of people watching the march of hatred passing back and forth.
found one victim in Mamila Mall, a kitchen worker at the Roladin café who had
stepped out for a cigarette. They sprayed teargas in his face. A Palestinian
taxi driver was attacked, and when he tried to flee he hit and lightly injured
a pedestrian. Dozens of Jewish youths stormed the central Ben Yehuda Street
looking for Arab workers. On Jaffa Road, policemen were forced to accompany a
vehicle of municipal sanitation workers. At Zion Square, they massed around a
circle of people participating in the “Medabrim Bakikar” dialogue
group and threatened to assault a Palestinian woman.
these random victims did not sate their urge and after midnight there was a
mass run toward Damascus Gate. They were stopped before the gate by police and
pushed back with clubs toward the Musrara neighborhood.
the people of Israel enter the gates and kill Arabs,”
one of the youths
shouted at the police. “Where were you at seven in the evening? Go beat up
a female demonstrator cried, referring to the terror attack earlier
that night. Meanwhile, they ran back and forth, following false rumors of Arab
passersby and undercover agents hiding among them with calls of death to Arabs.
4 A.M., Fadi Alon, a 19-year-old resident of Isawiyya, arrived at the scene.
According to the police, he was armed with a weapon and was planning to make an
attack. He managed to stab one youth and injure him moderately before he fled
and was shot to death by police, who were being egged on by the demonstrators.
family asserts that he was caught up in the place by accident, when he went out
for a jog and was only seeking to defend himself. His death has set off fears
of violence in Isawiyya. There have been over 20 wounded in clashes between
police and youths from the village. His father and uncle have been arrested by

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