I apologize in advance for the below question but I think it should be asked no matter the discomfort. But I will first tell you its backdrop.
We don’t find in Israel that police kill Jews except — rarely — Ethiopian Jews. And they are not known for being more violent than other Jews. But, Judaism is antiracist. And, I cannot imagine, as someone who grew up in the Netherlands, that one would kill a brown person more quickly than a pink person. Not because there is no racism in the Low Countries — there is. (Think of blackface in Dutch Santa Claus celebrations.)
Now, my difficult question is: What are the statistics on ethnicity and roots of security officers who hurt or threatened violence against Ethiopians?
And while we’re at it, please include the IDF. I find it equally unbelievable that an army commander would speak racist against an Ethiopian.
This is not to incriminate police, army personnel or civilians of the to be found extractions — most are obviously not going to perpetrate racist violence. But still, knowing the cultural background of violent policemen and soldiers against Ethiopian Israelis could show more precisely the origin of the underlying problem. Which could teach what must be done.
Let’s change the focus from the victim’s ethnicity to that of the shooter. This is not a roundabout hint about something I know already — I don’t. The media I follow didn’t tell me even once an assailant’s background. How many have French, Polish, Moroccan, US, UK, Russian, Dutch roots?
Yes, that approach is unpleasant. But facing and uprooting racism always makes us white people nervous (and defensive) anyway. And, racism kills.
I rather have all Caucasian Jews feel uneasy for a few moments than have one more Ethiopian shot by the police. It’s really our turn to be nervous. That would be a small sacrifice to pay for a great cause.
Getting furious means that we feel unheard and unseen. I’d prefer that our president would go and acknowledge and join the demonstrators.
Last but not least, no official comments are being made on the facts of the case until the end of the investigation. But meanwhile all news reports rehearse over and over again the policeman’s version of the event. This reinforces a one-sided questionable viewpoint and violates at least reporting both sides. It so cements the version of one partial involved account which frankly sounds like publishing propaganda.