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  • Court slams MKs for incitement leading to attacks on African migrants

    Tel Aviv District Court convicts man in failed fire bombing of apartment housing African migrants in south Tel Aviv. Judge lays some blame on politicians for inciting against African migrants. The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced Elad Gadban to 27 months in prison for throwing Molotov cocktails at the home of African migrants home on Sunday. The judge said some of the blame lies with politicians who have been inciting against asylum seekers. Gadban, 26, confessed to throwing three Molotov cocktail at an apartment in Hatikva neighborhood in south Tel Aviv, which housed Nigerian migrant workers, along with an underage accomplice in May…

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  • Municipal authorities raid and shutter asylum seekers' businesses in Tel Aviv

    Dozens of Tel Aviv municipal officers, border policemen and private movers raided several businesses run by African asylum seekers around Tel Aviv's central bus station, confiscating goods and welding the doors shut. Officials also poured bleach into food in a Darfur refugee's restaurant. Is city hall preparing for the upcoming municipal elections? A group of municipal officials led an operation to close African asylum seekers' illegal businesses in the south Tel Aviv neighborhoods of Neve Sha'anan and Shapira at around 7 p.m. Sunday night. The municipal officers were accompanied by Border Police officers, a photographer and several large moving trucks…

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  • Suspect in arson of asylum seeker homes reaches plea deal with no jail time

    Haim Mula, a resident of the Shapira neighborhood in south Tel Aviv who was arrested last April in connection with the nighttime arson attack of several African asylum seeker homes and one kindergarten in his neighborhood, has signed a plea bargain that exempts him from jail time. Mula, 20, was originally accused of committing the attacks himself, admitted only to having prepared the firebombs for the actual arsonist, an offense for which he is expected to receive only a few months of community service and no jail time. It will be up to the court whether to approve this fairly…

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  • How mainstream Israeli politicians sparked the Tel Aviv race riot

    Israeli governments have neglected the poor neighborhoods of Tel Aviv for decades. Today, Knesset members use the asylum seekers to channel the anger of local residents and score easy political points. For a moment, at around 11 p.m., it seemed that things were really getting out of control: Each report from the Hatikva neighborhood in south Tel Aviv was worse than previous ones: A couple of journalists – Haggai Matar from +972 and a reporter from Haaretz – were attacked and rescued by police; a mob of roughly 100 people tried to storm the Central Bus Station, considered a meeting…

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  • Africans attacked in Tel Aviv protest; MKs: 'infiltrators' are cancer

    Coalition MKs incited the crowd against the refugees and asylum seekers during a protest in south Tel Aviv, which was followed by attacks on African immigrants and confrontations with police. A Likud MK called for the prosecution of Israelis giving shelter to Africans. More than 1,000 Israelis protested this evening (Wednesday) against the African refugees and asylum seekers who have settled in South Tel Aviv in recent years. According to eyewitnesses' reports, the crowd grew angry and ultimately violent, following speeches from Knesset members, including members of the government coalition. It was one of the most violent protests Tel Aviv…

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  • Police distort crime data, inciting violence against refugees

    By Sigal Rozen Several Sudanese and Eritrean nationals were recently arrested in two separate cases involving the rape of Israeli women and the murder of an Eritrean woman. The media extensively covered these horrible crimes, followed by a long line of politicians quoting frightening police claims that Africans account for 40 percent of Tel Aviv’s crimes. Those politicians are led by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who dared to say in an interview this week that most "African infiltrators are criminals." The press similarly reported in early May that “asylum seekers are involved in 40 percent of crimes,” relying on police…

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  • Week after attacks, another African residence firebombed

    Just a week after an Israeli threw Molotov cocktails at four apartments that are home to African refugees and an African kindergarten in the Shapira neighborhood of South Tel Aviv, another residence has been attacked with firebombs.  Two Molotov cocktails were hurled at the home of Nigerian immigrants in the HaTikva neighborhood in South Tel Aviv on Saturday night, according to Maariv (Hebrew). The firebombs did not penetrate the structure, which is located near the HaTikva market. No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made in connection with the incident. The 20-year-old Israeli who was arrested in connection…

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  • Israeli arrested on suspicion of arson of asylum seekers' homes

    A 20-year-old Israeli from south Tel Aviv has been arrested last night in connection to the arson attacks on four asylum seekers' houses and one kindergarten. Police says the young man is suspected of having committed the attacks on racist grounds, in an attempt to force non-Israeli residents out of the neighborhood. The suspect will be brought before a court this morning, and police are asking to extend his detention until the investigation is complete. Updates will follow. Update, 15:15: A Tel Aviv judge has extended the remand of the young man arrested in relation to the arson attacks. The man…

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  • 'What if refugees were to fire bomb Israeli houses?'

    A guest post by Leehee Rotschild, who tries to imagine a scenario in which Molotov cocktails are thrown at Israelis, and not asylum seekers, as was the case two nights ago in south Tel Aviv. Let's take a moment to imagine what would happen if Eritrean refugees had thrown Molotov cocktails into Jewish houses and a kindergarten, let's say in Jerusalem, or Haifa. The police would be there as soon as it happened, certainly before the third and fourth attacks, and so would the media, to whom they would immediately call and issue a statement. They would promise not to…

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  • Community shaken after night of arson attacks on African refugees

    Four houses and one kindergarten in south Tel Aviv, all serving the African asylum seeker community, were hit  within the same hour by Molotov cocktails. Testimonies from asylum seekers and Israeli neighbors indicate a coordinated pogrom. "Somebody is trying to get rid of these damn Sudanese," said an Israeli resident of Shapira neighborhood in south Tel Aviv this morning. The term "Sudanese" is commonly used by Israelis to describe all African asylum seekers. The house adjacent to the house of this Israeli was hit at around 1:30 a.m. by three Molotov cocktails: two were thrown through the window, and one…

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  • Remembering a Tel Aviv childhood: when racism was wrong

    By Oded Feller After the anti-immigrant demonstration in South Tel Aviv ended, I decided to hang around. I went to the market, walked down Etzel Street, watched the people on the Hagana Road, turned to Yigal Alon, and kept walking as far as Hilhel Avenue. Evening came and the avenue was calm and silent, its sights and smells familiar and soothing. Nowhere in the world can you feel like this; nowhere but home. I sat on a bench. About an hour ago, MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) roared from the podium: "I am not a guest here, in this neighborhood.…

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  • Vacancy: for Israeli tenants only

    “For Israelis only.” To the best of my knowledge this sign, photographed on a house in the south Tel Aviv neighborhood of Shapira, sets a precedent.  I have heard several anecdotes about landlords refusing to rent to foreigners; and of course lots of Arabs have had similar experiences all over Tel Aviv. The anti-foreigner sentiment was exacerbated recently when 25 prominent rabbis endorsed a ban on renting to foreign workers and refugees in south Tel Aviv. The rabbis have the support of several city council members from south Tel Aviv. But there is something different – something new and frightening…

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