what international media purposely ignores…
On April 27, 2012, five Molotov Cocktails were thrown in Shapira Neighborhood, a poor area in Tel Aviv’s south. One of them hit a kindergarten, where children were sleeping (see picture); the others hit private homes. In one case, the terrorists opened the window of a house—where people were sleeping—and threw an ignited bottle inside. God’s unsleeping angels made sure nobody was hurt. The event was barely mentioned in the Hebrew media and was completely ignored by the international one. The main report on the event was done by the Israeli website Maavak (“struggle” in Hebrew; www.maavak.org.il). I almost forgot to mention that the victims were black people; the attackers were Jews.
The terror attack followed agitation by a racist Jewish group led by Michael Ben Ari, a Knesset member on behalf of the National Union party. This party is a union of four ultra-nationalist political parties, namely Moledet, Hatikva, Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, and Tkuma. In the current Knesset it has four members, out of the 120. Michael Ben Ari is leader of the Eretz Yisrael Shelanu (“The Land of Israel is Ours” in Hebrew) faction. They are right of Netanyahu’s coalition, and do not form part of the current extremist coalition; simply, they are even more extreme. Michael Ben Ari is the first outspoken disciple of Rabbi Meir Kahane to be elected to the Knesset. Rabbi Meir Kahane was an American-Israeli ultra-nationalist rabbi that founded both the Jewish Defense League (JDL) in the USA, and the Kach (literally “So;” roughly “This is the Way”) political party in Israel. In 1984, Kach gained one seat in parliamentary elections, and Kahane became a member of the Knesset. In 1988, the Israeli government banned Kach as “racist” and “undemocratic” under the terms of an ad hoc law; Kahane was subsequently assassinated in New York, in 1990. In 1994, following the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein, a Kahane follower, Kach was outlawed completely. Following the massacre, the US State Department listed it as a terrorist organization. Recently, Michael Ben Ari was denied a visa to the USA (see USA Denies Visa to Jewish Knesset Member).
Shapira Neighborhood | South Tel Aviv
The attack was aimed at Sudanese and Eritrean refugees. In Israel there are several thousands (estimations vary between 4,000 and 8,000) refugees who arrived from Sudan and are seeking refuge from the ongoing military conflicts in their home country. Small numbers of Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees can also be found. All of them arrived by land, after a perilous trip across the Sinai and Negev deserts; reports on the horrors faced by them along the way should be enough to grant recognition as refugees to the survivors upon arrival. In order to accomplish the feat, they use the help of local Bedouins, the only masters of the dessert (see Explosion in Sinai). Israel has formally recognized as refugees only a few hundreds of them; the rest work as illegal workers, hiding in the vast population of foreign workers building up the Zionist dream. They replaced the Palestinians, who are not welcome anymore in Tel Aviv. In this precarious and rather violent conditions, Sudanese workers face deportation back to war and death. Yet, racism in Israel runs deeper.
On the Jewish Heart
Contrary to what one may think, the Jewish state doesn’t show neither compassion nor mercy. In Jewish Compassion I reported the case of Evelyn Belseng, 38, who came to Israel from the Philippines in 2002 to work as a caregiver at Kibbutz Kfar Menachem. After her employer died in 2006, she went to work in Ashdod. In December 2007, she met Michael David, a religious Israeli Jew from Gedera. “We met through a childhood friend of Miki’s,” she said in an interview. “I worked at the time in Ashdod and it was important for me to keep my job, so we met mostly on Saturdays and he would sometimes come visit me. My employers met him and were very supportive of us.” In early May 2009, after living together for two years, Michael went to the Interior Ministry in Rehovot and made residence arrangements for her since her Israeli visa was due to expire later that month. An official recommended that he begin the process of having her recognized as a common-law spouse. But the process of obtaining the necessary documents, mostly from the Philippines, was time-consuming and expensive. It is almost impossible for someone defined as Jew by Israel’s Internal Affairs Ministry to marry somebody defined by that fine and egalitarian institution as a “goy,” a non-Jew. “Meanwhile our son Gilad was born, and Miki assumed that when we registered him, everything would be fine,” she said. After the child was born, David asked the family court in Rishon LeTzion to recognize Belseng as his partner, because he couldn’t legally marry her in Israel; she is a hated goy. Later that year, he became sick with cancer, which drained their energy. They therefore concentrated on trying to settle Gilad’s status. In June 2010, the Family Court recognized David as Gilad’s biological father and ordered the child registered in the population registry, meaning he became an Israeli citizen. Ten days later, David died. Due to David’s death, Belseng’s residency process was halted and in August 2010 she was issued a deportation order, which wasn’t enforced. Israel is about to deport a toddler citizen. Probably they will say he is a potential terrorist.
Are you Falash Mura or Beta Israel?
Wolleka Synagogue, Ethiopia
It is not easy to be a foreign worker or a refugee in Israel, beause nobody helps them. Few even report attacks on them. Israel had developed over the years a public image that doesn’t allow the publication of these cases. Yet, reality is different. No better way of reinforcing the new image portrayed here than with the cases of Beta Israel and the Falash Mura, two groups of Ethiopian citizens seeking Israeli citizenship under Law of Return. The Law of Return gives automatic and immediate citizenship to every Jew arriving in Israel. A Jew is defined in that law as a person born Jewish (with a Jewish mother or maternal grandmother), with a Jewish ancestry (with a Jewish father or grandfather) or a convert to Orthodox Judaism (Reform and Conservative converts are recognized only if the rites were performed outside the State of Israel, other groups are rejected). The basis for this racist law is what is known as “Jus Sanguinis” in Latin, namely “Blood Law.” In ancient times, it was used to attribute citizenship on the basis of family relations. However, the Law of Return denies citizenship to Jews who have converted to other religions out of their free will. Did their blood change during the conversion process? (see Is Israel Sovereign? for more on this)
Beta Israel Community Area
Somehow, Israel’s public image consistently fails to convey the reality of the Zionist state. While asked to link northeast Africa and Israel, most people will immediately mention Beta Israel, a group of Jewish Ethiopian citizens that immigrated to Israel through the Mossad-run Operation Moses (1984), Operation Sheba (1985) and Operation Solomon (1991). According to tradition the name “Beta Israel” originated in the 4th century when the community refused to convert to Christianity during the rule of Abreha and Atsbeha, the monarchs of the Aksumite Empire who embraced Christianity. In 1973, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, then the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, ruled that the Beta Israel were Jews and should be brought to Israel. That was the foundation for their arrival at Israel according to the Law of Return. Other notable poskim (“deciders” in Jewish Halakha Law), from non-Zionist Ashkenazi circles, placed a Halakhic “safek” (“doubt;” Halakha is the Jewish parallel of the Muslim Sharia) over the Jewishness of the Beta Israel. Such dissenting voices include the notorious rabbis Elazar Shach and Yosef Shalom Eliashiv. Later on, a 1999 study by Lucotte and Smets studied the DNA of 38 unrelated Beta Israel males living in Israel and 104 Ethiopians living in regions located north of Addis Ababa and concluded that “the distinctiveness of the Y-chromosome haplotype distribution of the Beta-Israel from conventional Jewish populations and their relatively greater similarity in haplotype profile to non-Jewish Ethiopians are consistent with the view that the Beta Israel people descended from ancient inhabitants of Ethiopia and not the Levant.” Other studies reached similar conclusions. Despite these, the Halakha ruling issued by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef still holds.
In contrast to the discrepancies regarding their Jewishness, there is no doubt on the link between Beta Israel and the Falash Mura. Both groups acknowledge that Falash Mura were people from Beta Israel who accepted Christianity in various waves of conversion since the 15th century. In comparison to the roughly 130,000 Beta Israel living now in Israel, the number of the Falash Mura is small; apparently less than 10,000 still live in Ethiopia. They are not recognized as Jews by the State of Israel, and thus are not allowed to reach the state under the clauses of the Law of Return applied to their brothers from beta Israel. In February 2003, the Israeli government decided to accept religious conversions of Falash Mura people organized by Israeli rabbis, and that converted Falash Mura can then migrate to Israel as Jewish. Yet, Israeli government continued to limit, from 2003 to 2006, their entry to about 300 Falash Mura immigrants per month. In November 2010 the Israeli cabinet approved a plan to allow 8,000 Falash Mura immigrate to Israel; since then nothing has been done. Due to their Christianity, Falash Mura reaching Israel independently would be treated as illegitimate foreign workers and deported if caught. Meanwhile, their Beta Israel brothers live mainly in “development towns” and are widely discriminated by the Israeli society. As a former IDF officer, I remember IDF pamphlets explaining how to treat Ethiopian soldiers, which included rather racist remarks. Eventually, this discrimination is accepted by the international community. What would be the reaction if Germany was to legislate a law allowing the immigration of Christian Turks to Germany, but denying the immigration of Muslim Turks to its territory? Why is Israel allowed to perpetrate a parallel crime?
It is very difficult to read this. You can’t be only half-racist. You can’t just endorse positive-discrimination towards certain groups. If you do so, violence would appear as it recently did in Tel Aviv. Racism is racism, and Jewish racism is not different from Nazi racism. The State of Israel cannot enjoy immunity for such crimes; sanctioning them is calling for a A New Holocaust.