Photo Credit: Flash 90
Hundreds of Israeli-Ethiopians clash with police in a protest in Jerusalem against police brutality and alleged racism.

Hundreds of members of the Israeli Ethiopian community protested in Tel Aviv on Sunday afternoon against police brutality and discrimination. The demonstration was a continuation of similar protests that started last week in Jerusalem.

“Not black, not white, we’re all human,” the demonstrators chanted as they marched from the Azrieli Towers to the government complex in the city.

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The protest shut down the Ayalon Highway in both directions, as well as the Kaplan-Begin junction and other major traffic arteries in the city.

By and large, the demonstration was peaceful – but clashes broke out between police and protesters near Azrieli Towers, prompting police to call for back-up.

The deputy commander of Tel Aviv district police, Brig.-Gen. Yoram Ohayon, told Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot that professional agitators were “inciting members of the community to keep protesting after the police already reached understandings with them.”

Those instigators were seen egging on the protesters, crossing their hands over the heads as if they were in handcuffs. “A violent cop should be jailed,” they shouted.

The U.S. Embassy, located in Tel Aviv, had issued a message warning citizens in Israel to beware of the demonstration.

On Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with representatives of the community, along with representatives of the ministries of interior, absorption, public security and social services.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

39 COMMENTS

  1. If true, police need to think about protocol and government needs to figure out what protocol works. Police need to stick to that or else they are no better than criminals themselves. That being said, are the Ethiopians behaving?

  2. Discrimination of Ethiopian Jews is real. During last years there were many peaceful protests, but nothing changes. The last straw was a brutal beating of a soldier by policemen, who would never treat this way anyone with lighter skin. So if peaceful protests don’t work, violent protest is inevitable.

  3. Israelis are not immune to bigotry. Ethiopian Jews in Israel need to be treated with dignity and respect.
    Vicki L. Kammerer, ALL Jews are guaranteed the right of return to Israel. Only a bigot would write as you did.

  4. Well, this is interesting. I hope some of you aren’t Jewish because I would be very disappointed to hear so. I am not anti-immigration, but also know that Israel puts caps on the amount of immigrates that are allowed into the country, as it should be. How people read into comments is beyond me??? I’m so thankful you are all able to read my mind and between the lines. Not. I will say that often immigrants bite the hand that feeds them and expect special treatment not given to others. To gain respect and dignity is to earn it. I witness that in the USA. I see it in urban areas’ rioting where people are dependent on the government to live.

  5. Facebook and the internet seems to bring out the worst people. I’ve often wondered if people want to have a civil conversation or they are just so angry about life that commenting on facebook is their release. It is sad to read such ignorant comments where others assault someone using their own angry projections.

  6. Consuella. I am 70 years old. I seriously doubt I’ll be immigrating any time soon or seeking employment. But, for your information I have traveled all over the world. You are a little young to know it all. Stick to Obama looking at women’s behinds and you’ll go far in life!!!

  7. More facts on the alleged brutality would help to inform comments on this article and the protests. You can’t blame Americans responding to this article in a cynical and negative way given the accusations of outside agitation and the timing that coincides with the thuggery and mass criminal behavior cloaked in ‘protests’ in this country with the enablement of liberals. There’s simply not enough hard information in this article to make an informed judgement. Ethiopians and Sephardic Jews historically have been disadvantaged in Israeli society, both religious and secular, but things have changed substantially over the past 25 years in that regard, or so I thought.

  8. In truth these riots didn’t go so bad, if you compare to the recent cases in the US. It should also be noted that most of these Ethiopians are not Muslim. They are either Jewish or just people without any real faith.

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