Sunday, July 20, 2014

Death to the Arabs--in the streets of Haifa

From Eyal in 1948 Palestine: "Three videos following a demonstration against the war, in Haifa, yesterday.

At time 01:00 you begin hearing the chants "Death to the Arabs". This is at a counter-demonstration, blocking the road to the site of a demonstration of the DFPE (Communist Party) against the war.

Right after the beginning of this segment, you hear the right-wingers shouting "we will fuck you, we will fuck you" - meaning the mostly-Arab demonstrators who are arriving by bus. Then, after a while, it is "Death to the Arabs" again. Later they sing the national anthem. Then it's "We are believers, sons of believers, and we have no-one to lean on, but on our Heavenly Father." Note the guy with the 'Kahana lives' (Kach) T-shirt. A poster says "hypocrites, go to Syria". That point is unfortunately somewhat valid regarding part of the Communist Party leadership, and the party's abstinence from participating in any event regarding the Syrian catastrophe. Of course, such slogans are shouted also at people who _have_ done some protesting regarding the situation in Syria. Another poster, visible later, says "Fifth column".

The protester with the loudspeaker, sitting on the shoulders of one of his friends, addresses MK Hanin Zoabi. The crowd chants "Zoabi is a whore, Zoabi is a whore, Zoabi [sucks cock? not clear -ER] throughout the neighborhood" [that rhymes in Hebrew] Unfortunately for them, they've got the wrong political movement - the liberal NDA, to which Zoabi belongs, demonstrated the day before, along with other movements/groups, in a mostly-Arab neighborhood. But who cares, right?
An Arab is an Arab, after all.

In the third video, another chant of the crowd is heard: "Palestine is on fire, Palestine is on fire" enthusiastically. Fighting later erupts.

As you can see in the videos, the police split the counter-protesters into 2 groups, of about 400 and 200, or so. The demonstrators against the war were under 300 in total.

This happened in my home town of Haifa, supposedly an epitome of Jewish-Arab coexistence. Mayor Yonah Yahav stated a few days ago that he asked the police to prevent the arrival of Palestinian demonstrators from the Galilee and the Muthalath area (Umm El-Fahm etc.), so as "to protect the peace and good atmosphere in the city... I am a great believer in the freedom of speech and the right to protest. But at this time, while our soldiers are putting their lives at risks facing the nests of Terrorism and saboteurs in Gaza, one mustn't rouse spirits or import the violence, the discord and the agitation to our streets."
(this is quoted from a Facebook status of his).

The videos are embedded in this blog post, detailing the experience of one of the anti-war demonstrators:

"They opened the ambulance and asked: Jews or Arabs?"


PS - The DFPE is a coalition party in the city council, in Yonah Yahav's coalition.
PPS I take back the estimates of numbers, there were lots more on the "death to the Arabs" side, and I'm not sure about the anti-war demo."