Protests, violence, and car burnings have rocked Israel after a Falasha (a Jew of Ethiopian descent) youth was shot and killed by a police officer according to a report:
Four Police officers were wounded and 19 protesters were arrested as hundreds of protestors from the Ethiopian community took to major roads and junctions across the country to protest the killing of Soloman Tekah on Sunday and the release to house arrest on Monday of the police officer who shot him.
Azrieli junction in Tel Aviv was blocked by protestors Tuesday afternoon, while the Yokneam Junction was also blocked by protestors as was the road towards Kiryat Ata in the north.
The police said that its investigation into the circumstances in which Tekah was killed was ongoing which it said was being conducted in a “thorough and comprehensive” manner, although the police statement said that the court had issued a gag-order over details of the inquest.
Earlier on Tuesday, hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of 18-year old Solomon Tekah in Kiryat Haim on Tuesday afternoon where Tekah’s father spoke tearfully of his son and demanded and independent investigation into his death.
With heart-wrenching words, translated from Amharic by a friend of the family, Solomon’s father Varkah Tekah asked his son for forgiveness for not being there to defend him.
“We want to request forgiveness from Solomon. We weren’t there to defend him when the police killed him,” he said tearfully.
“We didn’t come to Israel for our children to be murdered; we will not pay the expensive price of our children dying young. Why are we burying a child?” he demanded.
Tekah was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer on Sunday, and his slaying has sparked protests by the Ethiopian-Israeli community in different parts of the country.
His father demanded an independent investigation in the killing of his son, and said specifically that the body to carry out the investigation should not be the Police Department for Investigating Policemen.
Numerous members of the Ethiopian-Israeli community have condemned the police department for failing to punish other police officers who have slain members of the community in the past, or acted with excessive force towards them.
Protesters gathered in the area following the funeral.
“The police are now building a case and trying to reduce damage, and say that the boys were rioting,” Michal Avera-Samuel, director of the Association for Education and Social Integration of Ethiopian Immigrants, said to The Jerusalem Post’s sister Hebrew newspaper, Maariv.
According to figures, since 1997, 11 young members of the Ethiopian community were killed in clashes with police officers, Maariv reported.
“There are still racist assumptions and prejudices against members of the [Ethiopian] community. There is no reason that in 2019 an Ethiopian boy, who was born in Israel, will feel unsafe to go outside. But this is what is happening today in neighborhoods and communities that have a concentration of Ethiopian immigrants,” Avera-Samuel said, according to Maariv.
The police wanted to make clear to the Ethiopian community that this was an isolated incident and not representative of the relationship between them and the police.
“We will continue to work to increase trust among the Ethiopian community and provide optimal service and security for all citizens of Israel,” the Police Spokesperson’s Unit said, according to Maariv.
“I call upon the leadership of the Ethiopian community to do everything in their power to restrain the extra tensions and feelings, in order to continue to focus on the important process of integrating between the community and the police,” acting police commissioner Moti Cohen said on Monday after a meeting with top officers in the coastal district.
On Sunday night, Tekah was critically wounded after being shot by an off-duty police officer in a Kiryat Haim park. He later died of his wounds.
Police said that its units arrived at the scene and discovered that the incident occurred when the off-duty officer, who was in the playground area with his wife and three children, saw a fight nearby. He approached the group that was involved in the fight and, after making it clear to the group that he was a policeman, they started throwing stones at him.
According to the officer, he felt that he was in a life-threatening situation and fired for reasons that police said are “still being looked into.”
KAN reported on Monday that the national leadership of the police has expressed “skepticism” about the officer’s claim.
Tekah was taken to nearby Rambam Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The policeman was injured in the upper part of his body and also taken to the hospital for medical treatment.
“The Israel Police is sympathetic to the Tekah family for the tragic loss of life,” said Cohen in a statement. “This is an event whose results are difficult, and therefore a thorough investigation is required to take place.”
Similarly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “our cohesion in moments… of trials and tribulations is ultimately the key to our power.” He expressed regret over the loss of Tekah and said that he spoke with the acting commissioner, who “promised that we would make a great effort to get to the truth as soon as possible.” (source, source)
The discussion, which one can see archived here, on 4chan was very aggressive, with many Israelis calling for defining Israel as a type of “white ethnostate” and encouraging violence and murder against them on the basis of race:
I find this discussion on race with Israelis invoking the specter of racism quite interesting, especially in light of the tremendous support of migration from African nations to all nations around the world by many Jewish groups save for Israel, while Israel still insists on maintaining her identity as a quasi-ethnostate.
This is very interesting, especially since we at Shoebat.com have been staunchly against all forms of racism and racialism, be it on the left or the right, and have clearly emphasized that the racism of today can be answered and corrected by the wise counsel of Sacred Scripture.
This is not the first time that Israel has had a problem with racism, as it is a reality that is seldom discussed. Thankfully, there are many Jews of good will who oppose this.