Following up on Noam’s report on what’s developing into a night of unprecedented violence against African asylum seekers in Tel Aviv, here is a testimony uploaded onto Facebook after yesterday’s protest, by one of the many community activists who walked home a group of African children to make sure they weren’t attacked.
I accompanied a group of asylum-seeking children to their homes tonight, as we always do on the days of protests with potential racist developments. As usual, we got barraged with swearwords, but policemen advised us about safer routes. The kids sang along the way: “I’m a nigger, I’m a nigger, nigger, and I clean Israeli homes” (“What, you don’t know it, Rami? Look it up on Youtube.) Two 12-year-old girls asked me if I know that pretty soon the Sudanese will suffer the same fate as Jews did in Germany. One asked the other to tell her about that man, Korczak, who saved children. They asked if he was Jewish and if he would have saved all the children. One girl asked me: “What’s the opposite of free?” I had trouble finding the word: imprisoned? shackled? She said: “Ok, whatever is is, say shackled, we were born shackled and we’ll die shackled.” The girls asked me why the Israelis want to deport them. I asked them: If the streets in your country would suddenly fill up with white people that speak in a language you don’t understand, what wold you feel? One girl said: “I’d become a teacher and teach them my language!” Toward the end two 12-year-old girls asked me: “Say, Rami, if you were in our place, what would you have done?”