An assault on a Palestinian teenager has shone a spotlight on a cauldron of prejudice that runs through the Israeli establishment, explains .
Jewish teens in Jerusalem's Zion Square beat a Palestinian youth, 17-year-old Jamal Julani, nearly to death as hundreds stood by and watched on August 16. Three of Julani's friends were also brutalized. The incident has been widely discussed in Israel as an "attempted lynching."
"The victim lost his consciousness and was thought to be dead until a Magen David Adom [emergency paramedic] crew arrived and resuscitated him," said Israeli Sgt. Shmuel Shenhav. "He was anesthetized and on a respirator in the hospital for days. This was an extremely severe crime. Only a miracle saved him from death."
One eyewitness, a volunteer for a local NGO that works with Israeli youth, recounted the scene on Facebook:
I heard screams of "A Jew is a good soul, and Arab is a son of a bitch," shouted loudly, and dozens (!!) of youths ran and gathered and started to really beat to death three Arab youths who were walking quietly in the Ben Yehuda street.
When one of the Palestinian youths fell to the floor, the youths continued to hit him in the head, he lost consciousness, his eyes rolled, his head at an angle started to twitch, and then those who were kicking him fled and the rest gathered in a circle around, with some still shouting with hate in their eyes...
When two of our volunteers went into the circle, they tried to perform CPR. The mass of youths standing around started to say resentfully that we are resuscitating an Arab, and when they passed near us and saw that the rest of the volunteers were shocked, they asked why we were so in shock, he is an Arab.
The assault could be called a lynching in more ways than one. The mob-incited "execution by beating" was accompanied by the same pretext as the beatings and murders of Blacks carried out by Klan-led mobs in the U.S. South. By most accounts, what prompted dozens of Israeli teenagers to run through the streets looking for Palestinians to beat was an accusation by one woman that "an Arab" had harassed her.
In the Jim Crow days of the American South, Black men were accused of being rapists and sexual aggressors from whom white women needed protection. Today in Israel, rabbis warn of Arabs who are after the "daughters of Israel," and a popular civics book can argue:
The association of Jewish girls with Arabs is liable to lead to relationships and even marriage. This assimilation of Jewish girls with members of the Arab minority will harm the preservation of the Jewish majority in the State of Israel...When Jewish girls associate with Arabs, it may put them at risk for nationalist reasons, and their right to life and security is liable to be undermined.
Source and full piece: Hadas Thier, Socialist Worker, 4 September 2012