+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Thousands protest against racist, homophobic attacks; place blame on gov't

Across Israel, thousands of protesters flood the streets, laying the blame on the government for the arson attack that killed a Palestinian infant and the stabbing attack on marchers during Jerusalem’s Pride march.

Photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org

Thousands attend a rally organized by Peace Now protesting the arson attack that took the life of an 18-month-old Palestinian baby, Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, August 1, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Thousands attend a rally organized by Peace Now protesting the arson attack that took the life of an 18-month-old Palestinian baby, Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, August 1, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Thousands of people gathered in cities across the country on Saturday night to protest against the racist and homophobic attacks of the past few days. The demonstrations come in response to Thursday’s mass stabbing attack at the Jerusalem Pride Parade, as well as the arson attack in the West Bank village Duma, where 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha was burned to death.

In Tel Aviv over 3,000 people attended a rally organized by Peace Now, calling for “an iron fist against Jewish terrorism.” Among the speakers were opposition leader Isaac Herzog, who earlier on Saturday called on the government to expand its use of administrative detention against Jews involved in terrorism.

Nasser Dawabshe, the uncle of the slain infant, also spoke, saying that Netanyahu’s condolences were not enough, and that it is the prime minister’s duty to ensure the security of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. “We demand that this be the end of our people’s suffering,” he told the crowed. “Before Ali came Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and we do not know who is next in line. We want these arson attacks to end.”

Nasser Dawabshe, uncle of 18-month-old Ali Dawabshe, who was burned alive during an arson attack this week,  speaks during the Peace Now rally, August 1, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Nasser Dawabshe, uncle of 18-month-old Ali Dawabshe, who was burned alive during an arson attack this week, speaks during the Peace Now rally, August 1, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Not far from Rabin Square, thousands gathered at Gan Meir Park to protest the stabbing attacks that took place during the Jerusalem Pride march on Thursday. The speakers list included former President Shimon Peres, members of both the coalition and the opposition, as well as representatives of LGBT groups.

When Likud MK Yuval Steinitz went up to the podium to speak, dozens of LGBT activists held up their hands in gloves dyed the color red, calling out “homophobia begins with the government.”

LGBT activists protest Yuval Steinitz as he speaks during a rally protesting the attacks on the Jerusalem Pride Parade, August 1, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

LGBT activists protest MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) as he speaks during a rally in the wake of the attacks on the Jerusalem Pride Parade, August 1, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

In Jerusalem, over 1,000 people gathered in Zion Square under heavy security to protest against both the attacks of the past week. President Reuven Rivlin, who has received numerous death threats for speaking out against the arson attack in Duma, was the keynote speaker, saying that “We cannot continue treating these as tragic coincidences, we cannot put out the fire with weak condemnations.”

“Contempt for the rule of law, for the love of mankind, these create the conditions that lay the foundation for what we call ‘bad apples.’ We need to ask what kind of public atmosphere exists that allows for these bad apples to grow and flourish here.”

Newsletter banner

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Bernardo Domain

      Mehrnaz Shahabi: Your questions seriously? Thousands of Israelis have gathered spontaneously and autonomously to repudiate this horrendous cirmen. An uncle of the victim spoke at the rally and said what he thought. In a similar case (where a Palestinian terrorist murdered an Israeli) in Gaza celebrated and distributed sweets. Moron.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Philos

      The fact that the protests were held separately says it all. Nothing will happen. The mainstream Israeli LGBT community isn’t about to trade away the gains it has made by giving up on “homonationalism” just the same as the mainstream LGBT groups in the USA don’t protest America’s illegal wars but the fact that gay people can’t be openly gay and kill brown, mostly Muslim, people like the straights.

      Nothing will happen because of this simple fact. Palestinians will continue to be murdered, primarily by the IDF and Police, and most people in Israel will continue not caring. Indeed, “out groups” like the mainstream LGBT community need there to be a minority more despised than them in the canon of Jewish nationalism (aka, Zionism)

      Reply to Comment