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Palestinian beaten by Jews in Jerusalem: Attacks against us happen here every day

In the past few weeks, there has been a rise in attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem. A few weeks ago, a Palestinian was beaten, almost to death, on suspicion that he spoke with a Jewish girl. A few days, later another Palestinian was beaten up for giving a ride to a Jewish female.

Another attack took place last Friday, in a gas station, against a Palestinian worker. All of these attacks have one thing in common: groups of racist Jewish groups feeling safe enough to attack Palestinians without fear of being brought to justice. The Israel Police is yet to deal with this epidemic in the city, or work to protect Palestinians as it works to protect Jerusalem’s Jewish population.

Nassim Abu Ramuz, who was attacked by Israeli Jews in Jerusalem on Friday, September 7, 2012

To understand these attacks more, I spoke with Nassim Abu Ramuz, 21, from East Jerusalem and learned from him about his confrontation with three Jewish men at his work. Below is the interview.

Where do you work?

I work in a gas station in Katamon. I have been working there for three years.

Were you ever attacked or assaulted before while working there?

No, Things were okay until this event.

So, tell me what happened on that night you were attacked.

I was doing the night shift, there is not much work so I work on my laptop. A car pulled in with three men and a woman. The woman asked for the bathroom key and I gave it to her. Then one of the guys called me to fill gas with NIS 20. I asked him to turn the car around because the gas tank was on the other side. He said that he was tired and high, so I pulled the gas pipe toward the other side of the car.

Did you notice anything wrong with them?

They had beer with them, they might have had too much to drink.

What happened next?

They were cussing at each other in the car. One of the guys came out from the car. He said that he needed help because the car was overheating. I helped him and gave him water to add to the radiator.

It seems you got a long okay, how did the violence start?

The other guy in the car threw a bottle of beer in the water bucket that customers use to clean car windows. I asked him why he did that and told him not to do such things. He started yelling at me saying “You are disgusting Arab, you don’t tell me what to do, you live in our city, we do what we want here, we can kill you if we want.” I could see anger and violence on his face.

What did you do then?

I walked away towards my office, I pressed the emergency button which starts the alarm and calls security. The same guy heard the alarm and came towards me. He said, so, you are calling the police! You think something will happen to us? I am not afraid and I am going to kill you. You are disgusting Arab, and started cussing at my mother and sister using an word Arab between every other word. Suddenly he walked towards me and started punching me, and the other two guys ran out of the car and held me while the other guy hit me. Then they threw me on the ground and they kept kicking me and hitting me.

What made them stop?

Fortunately, a few minutes later, group of workers at the Dominos Pizza nearby passed by the gas station after finishing their shift. They saw what was happening and came and pulled these guys away from me. They saved my life.

Did you call the police?

Yes, The police came, I told them what happened. We have cameras at the station so they could find out the car number and all the details they needed. Then they left. They told me that they will find them and bring them to justice. I on the other hand went to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem.

The police were contacted by Ynetnews on Saturday night and they said the “were aware of the case and that it will be investigated once a complaint is filed.” So, they are not looking for the perpetrators because you didn’t file a complaint yet. But you say they came and took your testimony on site.

Yes they came the same night. I couldn’t go to the police station because I was in the hospital but when I left the hospital I went to the police station and filed a complaint. I don’t understand why they didn’t investigate before I went to the police station in person.

What was the reason these guys attack you? Was it alcohol or is it another reason?

One of them was shouting, “You disgusting Arab, I am going to kill you.” It was clear that they attacked me for being an Arab. They didn’t see me as a human being, they didn’t care about hitting me. Maybe alcohol made had an effect but I don’t think they would have attacked me if I were Jewish.

Are you afraid to go back?

I told my boss at the gas station that I am not going to work night shift again. I don’t want to put my life in danger. I was lucky that the Dominos Pizza guys heard me and saved my life otherwise I would have been dead. It is not worth it to work the night shift and be killed.

What do you want to happen to the perpetrators?

I want them to be held responsible for what they did to me. They should be arrested and taking to court and sentenced.

Do you believe the police will be arrest them and charge them?

I can’t tell. From what I hear and know it is hard to believe something will happen to the guys who attacked me. I am worried that the police paid me lip service. They have all the evidence they need to get them and charge them. It is up to them to really make it happen or not. The perpetrators called the Dominos Pizza shop and asked them to organize a sulha [reconciliation] between me and them. I refused and passed the phone number to the police. These guys are not hiding so there is no excuse for the police not to arrest them.

Why is your faith in the Israeli police is so shaken?

Every day, there are incidents of Jews attacking Palestinians in West Jerusalem. They don’t all get to the media but it has become the norm. The same day I was attacked there were two other incidents of Jewish boys attacking Palestinians. No one seems to care.

Do you believe there is a chance that coexistence can happen in Jerusalem between Jews and Arabs?

From the news and reality on the ground. I don’t have much faith in peace or reconciliation anytime soon. things are getting worse. As I said, attacks against Palestinians happen every day in Jerusalem. People say peace needs to happen between people, but I am not sure it is possible. Maybe if our politicians make a decision for peace, it can happen.


At this point, Fathi Abu Ramuz,  Nassim’s father, joined the conversation to contribute a few points. Fathi was more expressive and perhaps more angry than his son. He stressed:

When an Arab attacks a Jew in Jerusalem or anywhere, the Israel Police declares an emergency and the Palestinian is caught within minutes or hours. However, when a Palestinian is assaulted, the police do nothing even when they have all the evidence in their hands.

I believe the police wants the violence against Arabs. The country lack of response to attacks against Arabs is a proof that it is encouraging these attacks. The youth that are going around attacking Arabs are carrying the policy of the Israeli state. Their hatred is coming from their government.  So I say to the police, please make a decision to stop violence. Enough is Enough.

They might ask you why you choose to work in an Israeli place?

I live in Jerusalem, I have to work in Jerusalem. You came to Jerusalem after me.  If you don’t want us to work here give us our state and we will not work in your shops. But if you hire our children then you have to guarantee their safety. You cannot hire our children to be attacked and killed and then ask us to do nothing about it. You are generating violence by allowing these attacks. You are feeding into racism.

Are you hopeful that the guys who attacked your son will be brought to justice?

I hope so, but I am not delusional. The police works from racist ideology themselves. If they wanted to catch the perpetrators they could have already. These guys are free because the police doesn’t care. So, I am pessimistic. but I hope they prove me wrong and deliver on their promise of bringing us justice.

More on recent attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem:
> The holy war against Arab-Jewish relations and the Jerusalem lynch
> Attacks on Palestinians highlight history of lax enforcement on Jewish extremists

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    1. Philos

      Jerusalem should be renamed New Montgomery

      Reply to Comment
    2. Do the police really need someone, in their presence, seen to be battered, being taken to a hospital, to press charges to proceed with an investigation? There is a presumption of distrust and mollification; the Arab will keep his place, may not be telling the truth.

      As Philos, above, notes, the State racism here is obvious. Incidents in the pre Civil Rights South were common. To ask for change was to attack the system of authority. It took a partially external Federal government to change that. Israel does not have this.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Piotr Berman

      It is weird indeed (homicide victims also have to file complaints?) and that also happen in the case of a riot in a shopping mall in Jerusalem when soccer fans molested Palestinian women and attacked Palestinian men.

      Given also racist incidents involving Jerusalem police, this is a rather grim picture.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Bluegrass Picker of Afula

      Arabic/Turkish/English were the colonializers’ languages there in Jerusalem. The Jebusites were Hebrew-speakers; that is why King David never expelled them. There are many countries which have “Arab Republic of” in their name; and those who want to live in an officially-Arabic country, can go to those places. Asking me to believe that they are indigenous to Jerusalem is like asking me to imagine that francophones are indigenous to Quebec, or Spanish-speakers to Mexico.

      That said: if anyone really wants to track down the perpetrators…. private detectives are not expensive. Then they could be sued for civil damages. The lack of effort to do so, leaves a taste in my mouth that just putting some Jewish hoodlums in jail wouldn’t really help the true agenda of some of my fellow commenters….

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        BPOA, you’re such a disgusting person that I wanna puke.
        This article is about a boy who was beaten by obviously racist scumbags, and all you have to contribute is another ancient bullshit about who do you think belongs to this city or not?
        Nice defense for racist attacks. But what to expect from a racist….

        Reply to Comment
      • Picker, you are ready to wipe out people for the good of a race. You speak of others’ “true agenda” as though we were in McCarthyite America. You ignore the pain of others unless validated by race, and employ ancient stories of the Bible as warrant for present destructive harm.

        The rule of law, in Israel–Israel–will eventually set these views aside.

        Reply to Comment
      • A concerned citizen

        Aziz, great job on talking to this kid and getting this important story out there.

        BPOA, you are an amazing scholar. If only Eliezer Ben Yehuda would have known about all those Hebrew speaking people of the holy land! But alas, he was only hearing arabic from the locals.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Piotr Berman

      The logic of BPOA is puzzling. “Jebusites were Hebrew speakers, that is why King David never expelled them.” Thus it was OK for Roman to expel the Jews, as they were speaking Aramaic at that time. And there were numerous Aramaic countries, like Syria and Mesopotamia. Of late, some contagious brain disease seems to affect our trolls.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Bluegrass Picker of Afula

      i have no illusions or delusions about the suffering of the Palestinian masses. Already back in 1923, Jabotinsky (“The Iron Wall”) was describing their resistance to repatriation-to-the-Hebrew-ethnic-homeland by ethnic Hebrews as “normal and expected”. I don’t really care about y’alls pissing and moaning, for exactly the same reason that our original poster doesn’t care if I can (all it would take is, enough money and patience) find some Nacotchtank families to tell him to get the hell out of DC and go back where he came from. And of course, he ===is=== (or is it second?) a first-generation immigrant to USA (we can only guess what Helen Thomas would say!). PS: I have no desire in “wiping out” Arabic-speakers in Jerusalem. I’ll be happy to help them mail their absentee-voter ballots for the Republic of Palestine elections… to their capitol in Amman. We are only three or four bullets-in-the-head-of-Hashemites away from having a “Republic of Palestine”. The Palestinian holders of Hebrew-Republic green-cards are the ones I will pay a commission to, in order to mis-label our moshav/kibbutz agricultural produce as “Product of the Republic of Palestine” at their final destination in the Gulf supermarkets!!

      Reply to Comment
    7. Philos

      Why do I get the feeling that all the pro-apartheid South African Jews and anti-civil rights American Jews are the only ones who make aliyah these days?
      Ethnic Hebrew? That’s a new one. Which part of the “Ethnic Hebrews” to the tall and fair-skinned Russians and Polish come from in comparison to their co-ethnic brethren who are shorter and darker skinned from Iraq and Morocco? Where do the Ethiopians and Yemenites fall into this Ethnic Hebrew category?
      There is no such thing as Hebrew ethnicity and if the mosaic of Jewishness in Israel shows anything it is that the Jewish Nation is nothing but a civic-nation (i.e., disparate cultural and ethnic groups united around some form of written constitution) rather than an ethnic nation. Of course, this is the truth that dare not speak its name in this insane country. An insanity that refuses to acknowledge certain historical facts that cast a great shadow of doubt on the Zionist narrative; Judaism was a proselytizing religion, there were converts all over the Mediterranean Basin and throughout Mesopotamia and into Central Asia, and a Jewish presence existed in this land until the Eight Century (which completely blows the old Bar Kochva exile narrative out of the water). Furthermore, thanks to the wonderful work of paleo-geneticists we’ve discovered that for as long as we can tell the majority of humanity was buried within 10 kilometers of their place of birth. In fact, given the historical record, what we know about how far people tended to travel, and the DNA of Palestinians and Jews both “nations” narratives are ludicrous. The Palestinians and Zionists will never admit it but the probability is that the vast majority of Palestinians are the descendants of the Caanites, Israelites, Idomeans and Judeans.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Piotr Berman

      How DNA can determine when it is OK to beat up someone? This discussion of languages and DNA is pointless. The supremacists can use true or false distinctions, but their conclusions are ludicrous in any case.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Picker has lost all intellectual integrity. Scroll up to the photo on the post to recall what he or they dismiss cavalierly.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Bluegrass Picker of Afula

      >> Ethnic Hebrew? That’s a new one.

      Gosh, you sound just like the people who laughed at Ben-Yehudah in 1891.

      >>> Which part of the “Ethnic Hebrews” to the tall and fair-skinned Russians and Polish come from in comparison to their co-ethnic brethren who are shorter and darker skinned

      Our ethnicity here in the Hebrew country –is– language based. It’s not MY problem if references to ethnicity make YOU immediately think about race & skincolor…..

      Y’alls brave talk reminds me of the brave talk that the Aztec Emperor was spouting on November 7, 1519. I have no doubt that you’ll end up in the same historical dustheap

      Reply to Comment
    11. Bluegrass Picker of Afula

      >> if only Eliezer Ben Yehuda would have known about all those Hebrew speaking people of the holy land! But alas, he was only hearing arabic from the locals

      No, when he arrived at Jaffa port, the first words he heard from the longshoreman were Hebrew. Jerusalemites had been speaking it in the markets for hundreds of years, when he arrived with his suggestion (which he implemented with his own kid) that it become a mother-tongue again.

      > Picker has lost all intellectual integrity

      Fuck intellectual integrity. An intellectual is a person that thinks (a la Mondoweiss) that there is a “war of ideas in the Middle East”.

      Whereas Hebrew nationalism is about knowing that the slow-motion war is about changing facts on the ground.

      I’m not gonna be like the integrity-laden Kenyan intellectuals. If need be…. I’m gonna be like the Mau-Mau. PS: I am not in favor of the kind non-configured freelance criminal violence that hit Mr Abu Ramuz; it doesn’t help our cause. It’s hard to actually know. With 20-20 hindsight, we know that the hanging of two British soldiers by the Stern Gang in (was it 1947 or 1948) was the actual event which (unknown to anyone else accept his wife, at that time) that the British would not be able to stop the Hebrews from making British-colonial rule impossible. Not pretty…. but true. I say: trackdown the criminals and inprison them… after making them spend several years of indentured servitude to indemnify Mr Abu Ramuz. Because only the Hebrew Shilton, through its duly constituted Police and Military, is allowed to use violence.

      I won’t waste even a single bullet or fist-strike on hurting anyone who isn’t obstructing the work. But if they ARE obstructing us….. they’ll be pushed out of the way, by whatever means necessary.

      We don’t hate colonialist-Arabic-speakers anymore than a rancher “hates” the livestock. We make the necessary decisions as if this was a chess game. We have our defined goal….and we’re gonna get there. Please note that Mr Abu Sarah only can be in Jerusalem: if and when we give permission. And that’s where its going and going and going.

      It took a 112 years to get where we Hebrews now are. If doing the the work in a slip-the-medicine-down-as easy-as-possible way takes another 224 years…. we can wait for that.

      Our Arabic-colonialist opponents are doomed to go where the Al Andalus colonizers went… so what’s the rush?

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        About time to take your pills, man

        Reply to Comment