In Jerusalem Friday, a mob of Israelis chanting ‘Death to Arabs’ attacked three young Palestinians, nearly killing one and severely wounding the other two.The attack took place in Zion Square, where three as-yet unidentified Palestinian youth were walking when the mob began beating them, chanting ethnic slurs including “A Jew is a soul and an Arab is a son of a b–”
One eyewitness reported on her Facebook page, “today I saw a lynch with my own eyes, in Zion Square, the center of the city of Jerusalem ….. and shouts of ‘A Jew is a soul and Arab is a son of a –,’ were 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.”
According to the International Business Times, a paramedic with the Magen David Adom ambulance service named Amir Edri told reporters, ‘When we arrived at the scene we saw a 20-year-old man lying on the floor. He was unconscious and paramedics began performing CPR.’ They could not raise a pulse, and while they were trying to revive the youth, were themselves attacked by the crowd, who accused them of attempting to “revive an Arab”.
The incident comes on the heels of a firebombing of a Palestinian taxi in Bethlehem by Israeli settlers Thursday, and a stoning attack on a Palestinian bus by Israeli settlers earlier this week.
Israeli politicians from various right-wing parties, including members of the Netanyahu administration, have issued sweeping anti-Arab statements in recent months, which some analysts have termed incitement. Israeli Knesset member Ben Ari recently held a media event in which he ripped a Bible apart and called it ‘trash’, at the same time that he is leading a legislative battle to imprison and deport African refugees in Israel.
At the same time, the Israeli government declined to press charges against Israeli Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira who published a book in 2009 calling for the killing of gentiles, particularly Arabs. In the book, which quotes Talmudic law and attempts to define itself as an authority on Jewish law, Rabbi Shapira wrote, “One must consider killing even babies, because of the future danger that will be caused if they are allowed to grow up to be as wicked as their parents.’
The Israeli government initially began an investigation of the Rabbi, then abruptly closed the investigation without explanation earlier this year.
A similar ‘lynch mob’ type incident took place in March in Jerusalem’s Malha Mall. Despite the submission of cell-phone video footage to the Israeli police to help identify the assailants, no investigation was done and no arrests were ever made. Instead, according to journalist Ali Abunimah, “Israel’s hasbara [propaganda] machinery jumped into action, denying there was a pervasive problem with racism. The Jewish Agency’s online hasbara chief Avi Mayer even mounted a publicity stunt where he went to Malha Mall to distribute candy.”
Israeli officials did not give any statement about Friday’s attack, and no arrests have been made.