Mondoweiss / April 23, 2021
There are horrifying images from Jerusalem last night of a mob of racist Jews chanting that the city belongs to them and Arabs should burn. The young American Jewish group IfNotNow labelled the mob a “pogrom,” in another assertion of moral leadership over community elders who ignore the violence.
‘Hundreds of Jewish supremacists march in Jerusalem’ tonight, chanting ‘death to Arabs’, reports Noa Landau of Haaretz. Some of the supremacists attacked Palestinian homes. Writer Ben Reiff also calls it a pogrom:
“Tonight hundreds of Israeli youths are marching through Arab areas of Jerusalem chanting ‘death to Arabs’ and ‘the people demand Arabs on fire’, and are now attacking the homes of Arabs in the Old City. Call this what it is: a pogrom.”
The mob was asserting a Jewish claim to Jerusalem and was aimed at Palestinians who were emerging from the Old City at sundown in Ramadan.
Here’s The Jerusalem Post report:
“Israeli media reported, hundreds of Jewish youth from the far-right extremist Lehava organization arrived at the [Damascus] gate from Zion Square along Jaffa Street, yelling ‘Death to Arabs’, and ‘Revenge’ They held up signs that read ‘Death to terrorists,’ according to N12….”
“’We’ve come here tonight,’ Ben-Zion Gopstein, head of Lehava, said, ‘to clarify to anyone who thinks otherwise: Jerusalem is ours!’”
All That’s Left Collective posted a photo of the mob at what appears to be the municipal square near the Green Line, not far from Damascus Gate (see link below):
“Jewish fascist protesters aiming to displace Palestinians from their homes and yelling, ‘Death to Arabs’ are allowed to gather but Palestinians enjoying iftar are targeted with stun grenades.”
Noga Tarnapolsky’s video of the mob in West Jerusalem en route to the Damascus Gate (see link below).
More video of the Death to Arab chants (see link below).
Jacob Magid of Times of Israel reports:
“’The people demand that Arabs burn’ being chanted right now by roughly 200 far-right activists marching toward Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem to clash with Palestinians”
Noa Landau picked up a video of an attack on a home: ‘Jewish supremacists are attacking a (Arab) home in Jerusalem. You can hear children crying. This is horrific.’
IfNotNow, the young U.S. Jewish group which is anti-occupation, was swift to issue a very strong statement last night decrying a ‘pogrom’ and linking it to official implementation of the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Palestinians. It also cited the success of the neo-fascist party Religious Zionism in last month’s election, winning six seats and becoming a kingmaker.
Meantime, the lead Israel lobby group AIPAC is crowing about the fact that 331 Congress people signed a letter saying that U.S. military aid to Israel must not be restricted. A blank check to human rights atrocities, with 3/4 of the Congress signing off, including many progressives.
“331 members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, stand united. Full funding of American security assistance to Israel is a vital investment in our national security interests.”
The US Embassy has issued a statement today decrying all acts of violence in Jerusalem and calling for cooler heads to prevail. No mention of the racist mob.
The American Jewish Committee issued a both sides statement. ‘All violent rioters must be apprehended.’ Though it did also say: ‘Jewish extremists who engage in hate-fuelled violence do not represent the Jewish community in Israel or beyond.’
Russell Khater responds: ‘You created this. You enabled this. You block any efforts to rein it in. You pretend it is fringe when it is mainstream and that the political parties supporting pogrom aren’t part of the coalition government for damage control of Israel’s image.’
J Street condemned the Jewish mob, featuring that video of the attack on the Palestinian home.
“This is the terror happening in Jerusalem right now. It must stop.”
J Street also wrote of the mob: ‘This is utterly disgusting and shows that the far-right is only becoming more brazen. Every Israeli leader should speak out against these horrifying anti-Arab marches in Jerusalem.’
‘JewishWorker’ baits the American Jewish Committee about the rise of the Religious Zionism party: ‘Just curious… Where’s your statement condemning the welcoming of Kahanists into the Knesset and Netanyahu’s coalition?’
Noa Landau translates a disturbing video apparently shot by a Palestinian journalist of a young Jewish woman in Jerusalem (see link below):
“The ‘polite’ Jewish supremacist: ‘I don’t tell them (Arabs) may your village burn down (a popular racist chant), I say you will leave the village – and then we will live there.’ “
Yumna Patel offers historical context:
“The Israeli mobs chanting ‘Death to Arabs’ are taking place in the middle of a city where Palestinians have been & continue to be systematically expelled from their homes and replaced by Israeli settlers, who have the full backing & protection of the state.”
Thanks to Scott Roth. ‘I know too many American Jews who will see this and defend it. This chapter of Jewish history is as dark as the Holocaust. Only the sides are different.’
Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-2006