As violence against illegal and legal African migrants to Israel has escalated this past week in and around Tel Aviv, so has the rhetoric coming out of recently elevated figures in Netanyahu’s new coalition power structure:
Following Wednesday’s violent protest against African migrants in Tel Aviv, Likud MK Danny Dannon called to remove African asylum seekers from population centers in Israel.
Speaking to Haaretz, Dannon said that the immediate solution for calming the situation and for putting a stop to the violence requires the evacuation of the African migrants from south Tel Aviv.
“The infiltrators must be distanced immediately,” he said. “We must expedite the construction of temporary detention facilities and remove Africans from population centers.”
He doesn’t seem to mean “some” Africans. He means all of them.
Signs that the country almost 100% of America’s national legislators claim to love even more than our own is becoming increasingly racist at an alarming rate are growing. The meme that the ultra-Orthodox of Jerusalem and the illegal settlements are the problematic ones in respect to racism and eliminationist rhetoric, and that places like Tel Aviv are much more like the USA, is being revealed in these demonstrations to be nothing more than bullshit. In the run-up to this week’s rampage in south Tel Aviv, there was this encounter:
The violence began escalating in April, with a series of fire bombings of dwellings and shops of African migrants and refugees. As it has gotten more out of hand, some politicians seem to be participating in feeding the violence. Here is Interior Minister Eli Yishai, speaking at conference in April:
And here is more from extremist MK members:
Earlier, Knesset members spoke at the event. Some blamed government inaction for the “infiltration problem,” while others heaped accusations on human rights organizations helping the refugees. Knesset Member Miri Regev called the refugees “a cancer in our body.” Regev, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, said that “leftists” are preventing the state from deporting the refugees back to Africa. Knesset Member Danny Danon (Likud), who also spoke at the event, wrote in a Facebook status tonight that “Israel is at war. An enemy state of infiltrators was established in Israel, and its capital is south Tel Aviv.”
According to one of the eyewitnesses, the most inflammatory speaker was MK Michael Ben-Ari, a former member of Meir Kahane’s racist Kach party, who was a resident of south Tel Aviv himself before moving to a settlement. “The police commissioner wants to give the African jobs,” said Ben-Ari, referring to a statement by Chief of Police Yochanan Danino, who recently urged the government to allow the refugees to work in Israel, in order to prevent the crime rate from rising. “This will bring another 50,000 people here,” said Ben Ari.
The growing evidence of racist violence by Israelis may be what finally brings American liberals who have somehow managed to keep their faith in that country warm, away from support for the Zionist cause. Back in mid-2009, when author and videographer Max Blumenthal produced the controversial video, Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem, many were shocked at the open racism, particularly toward Obama:
In the 35 months since Blumenthal posted the video, the examples of virulent racism in Israeli society have multiplied. Yet can anyone name an American politician who has spoken up about this, even an African American one?
In that sense, the hard-right Zionists and their blind supporters here in the USA seem to never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. More than the rantings pushing for a war against Iran, more than the struggle for Palestinian rights, more than the billions upon billions we give away to Israel every year, the almost daily mushrooming of racial hatred by Israelis may be what finally disgusts us out of our stupor.
[emphases in quotes added by author]