On April 22, hundreds of Israeli demonstrators in Jerusalem’s Old City chanted “Death to Arabs” and “May your village burn” and called on Jews to take up arms. Israeli media reported demonstrators were “looking for Arabs” who they could violently attack. Video footage uploaded to social media showed Palestinian pedestrians being harassed and attacked, and rocks being thrown at houses and buses, including a number that contained children.
Palestinians who tried to organize a counter protest were met with violence by Israeli forces, who used stun grenades, rubber bullets and skunk water against them, leaving hundreds injured and dozens detained. The police response to the initial demonstration and counter demonstrator showed a clear double standard that was confirmed by the numbers injured and arrested on both ‘sides’.
Lehava, a far-Right Jewish-Israeli organization that seeks to oppose Jewish ‘assimilation’ and which objects to the presence of Christians in Israel, organized the main protest. Itamar Ben-Gvir, one of its founders, is also a member of both the Knesset and Kach, which the U.S State Department regards as a terrorist organization.
Political violence of this kind clearly threatens the physical and psychological wellbeing of its victims, and should be considered alongside the laws, policies and practices that the Israeli state uses to maintain Jewish supremacy in the city, which we discuss in more detail in our Israeli apartheid questions and answers.