'Cultural racism' blames minorities for their inequality by suggesting that their low social position is due to a lack of effort or failure to adjust to a Western way of life. But active and institutional racism is the real culprit. By Rachel Shenhav-Goldberg It has been 35 years since Ethiopians immigrated to Israel, after leaving their strong, close-knit diaspora communities where they kept Jewish tradition alive all those years. And yet, almost four decades later, this community is still fighting for equality in a country where many have failed to look beyond their skin color and traditional clothing. The lion’s…Read More... | 5 Comments
As the most oppressed group in Israeli society, Palestinian citizens of Israel have an obligation to stand with the Ethiopian Israelis protesting against racism and police brutality. The “Black Intifada” erupted just as I was in the middle of a trip to Morocco with my mother. Yet even there, in that quiet kingdom, thousands of kilometers from home, it was impossible to shut out the public conversation happening inside Israeli society. [tmwinpost] In the Moroccan city of Essaouira, in the Jewish quarter known as the mellah, migrants from African countries such as Senegal and Congo wandered the streets trying to self us handcrafted goods made…Read More... | 6 Comments
Solomon Tekah was shot and killed by an Israeli police officer because he was black. As a Palestinian I know exactly what that feels like. By Ashraf Ghandour For over a week I have watched Ethiopian Israelis conduct a loud and righteous struggle against the systematic racism that has held them down for 35 years. As a Palestinian, as a person of color, I could not help but feel empathy for their pain, along with a strange sense of bewilderment when I saw Israelis of all stripes failing to connect the just struggle of Ethiopians to those of other groups oppressed…Read More...
The judge who oversaw New York City's stop and frisk case for nearly a decade responds to the shooting of an unarmed black man in northern Israel. By Shira Scheindlin I have been reading, with a troubling sense of déjà vu, about the police shooting of Solomon Tekah, an unarmed Ethiopian-Israeli man, in Haifa last week. As the judge who oversaw the “stop and frisk” case in New York City for nearly a decade, I am all too familiar with police racial profiling and the harm it causes to the police force, the victims of police violence, and the community at large. [tmwinpost] Those…Read More... | 2 Comments
They're angry at the media, have lost faith in the establishment, and know that just like other Ethiopian Israelis before them, they too may pay a price for the color of their skin. The demonstrators who protested in Tel Aviv yesterday were not 'anarchists' — they were frightened young women and men who want to show they haven't lost their power. By Yael Marom and Oren Ziv Following the police killing of 19-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli Solomon Tekah over the weekend, the Ethiopian community decided that they could sit still no longer, taking to the streets in protests that are already in their third day. Tuesday evening’s…Read More... | 11 Comments
Over the past five years, police have shot dead 14 Israeli citizens. The department tasked with investigating the killings has closed all but two of the cases. Almost all the suspects were people of color. The police killing of 24-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli Yehuda Biadga last month sparked outrage among the Ethiopian community in Israel. Many believe that were it not for the color of his skin, he would still be alive today. Biadga, who suffered from PTSD as a result of his army service, was shot while wandering around his neighborhood in the city of Bat Yam while holding a knife.…Read More...
The shooting of Yehuda Biadga reignited tensions between Israel’s Ethiopian community and police, who have long been accused of using a heavy hand against the country’s minorities. ‘Police brutality is a result of racism against black people in this country,’ Ziva Mekonen-Degu says. For the third time in as many years, thousands of Ethiopian citizens of Israel demonstrated against police violence this week. On Jan. 18, officers gunned down Yehuda Biadga, a 24-year old Israeli of Ethiopian background, who was wandering the streets of his neighborhood in the city of Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv. According to family…Read More... | 4 Comments
Israel's prime minister wants Iranian protesters to know they have his full support in their struggle against their government. The same can't be said about millions of people under his own government's rule. Benjamin Netanyahu likes to present himself as a fervent supporter of democracy and pro-democracy protests. In fact he is a very selective advocate of democratic struggles, throwing his weight behind protests that align with his agenda even as he rejects those who protest ideas or institutions that undermine it. [tmwinpost] This week, for example, he expressed his admiration for anti-regime protestors in Iran who have been demonstrating…Read More... | 1 Comment
Three activists, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, an Ethiopian Israeli, and a veteran Mizrahi organizer discuss the applicability of Ta-Nehesi Coates's 'Between the World and Me' to their struggles in Israel. The killing of black men by police in the United States has, over much of the past half-decade, thrust the issue of American racism back into the media spotlight. High-profile shootings of young, unarmed African-American men, such as Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, were a sign that even the election of a black man to the highest office in the land could not eliminate what many view as an epidemic. [tmwinpost] Those…Read More... | 1 Comment
Two years have passed since Ethiopian-Israelis took the streets to protest police brutality and widespread inequality. Now they are bringing their struggle to the Knesset, which recently marked a 'Day for Equality for Ethiopian Immigrants.' Members of Knesset, government officials, and social activists joined together to discuss discrimination in housing, budget allocation, higher education, and more. But will be enough to bring about the necessary change?Read More... | 1 Comment
Hundreds gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday to call for the release of Avera Mengistu, who has been missing in Gaza for 1,000 days. In nearby Petah Tikva, hundreds demonstrated against police brutality and threats to freedom of expression. Photos: Oren Ziv / Activestills (Tel Aviv), Orly Noy (Petah Tikva) Hundreds of people marched down Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard on Saturday evening in solidarity with Avera Mengistu, an Ethiopian-Israeli who entered Gaza in September 2014 and has been missing ever since. He is presumed to be in Hamas captivity. Marking 1,000 days since his disappearance, protesters wore t-shirts bearing his…Read More... | 2 Comments
Out of over 180 complaints filed over taser use by police between 2014-2016, only 12 cases were actually investigated. Not a single officer was indicted. By Sapir Sluzker-Amran Yosef Salamsa was supposed to celebrate his 25th birthday last month. His tragic death, which took place several months after Israeli police tasseled him without any justification, did not lead to justice. The complaint filed with the Israel Police Investigation Unit was closed, as were dozens of other complaints over taser use, according to statistics [Hebrew] handed over by the Justice Ministry to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). [tmwinpost] In…Read More... | 75 Comments
For years the Israeli Left has excluded the vast majority of the country from its ranks. Here are eight steps on how to broaden the tent. By Noam Shuster-Eliassi Over the past several years, various writers and NGOs have finally come to the conclusion that the Israeli peace camp is on its death bed, and that along the way it has forgotten, well, everyone. Today many concede that over the years there formed an "alliance of the elites" between Israeli activists from Tel Aviv who leisurely met with activists from Ramallah. The members of this alliance headed delegations and took…Read More... | 18 Comments
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