Tag: David Sheen
Since September, over three hundred Black Jews have announced their intention to refuse any military order to report for reserve duty, accusing the Israeli government of state-sponsored racism against citizens of Ethiopian origin. The soldiers, who include fighters from all Israel Defense Forces infantry brigades, as well as some of its most specialized commando units, say that as long as the state does not respect their civil rights, they will in turn refrain from fulfilling their civic obligations.
Demanding an end to institutional anti-Black racism by the Israel government, hundreds of Jewish citizens of Ethiopian heritage marched through the streets of downtown Tel Aviv on July 3, renewing demonstrations that had galvanized the community a year earlier. The mostly young Ethiopian-Israeli protesters called for abusive police officers to be jailed and blocked a main street in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense.
The African Hebrew Israelite community has launched a protest movement in recent weeks seeking to learn the truth about the untimely demise of community member Toveet Radcliffe, the first African American to die while serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Rejecting the Israeli army’s ruling that no one other than the 19-year-old Radcliffe was involved in her own death, members of the community have launched a campaign to pressure the IDF to reopen the case.
As activists across the United States struggle to keep the topic of systemic discrimination against Black people on the national agenda, African communities in Israel are also increasingly speaking out against state racism. For the last month, Ethiopian-Israelis – Jewish citizens of African descent – have rallied across the country, demanding an end to racial profiling and police brutality.