"It's part of the tactics of the police, unfortunately. Instead of understanding the pain of the Israeli public, not only of the Ethiopian community, the police use us and blame us as 'illegitimate,' and say we are unruly and violent. This is not the goal. There will be no [official] demonstration today."
Above: Police attacking Ethiopian Jewish IDF officer Damas Pakada in an unprovoked attack two weeks ago in Holon
Ethiopian Jews Say Israel Police Using Violent Fringe Of Protesters To Cover Up Their Own Racism And Brutality
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The organizers of the recent anti-police-racism-and-brutality demonstration by Ethiopian Jews held a press conference today to reassert their demands, Arutz Sheva reported.
Among those demands, protest organizers say they want the police officers who beat Ethiopian IDF soldier Damas Pakada (also spelled Fakada) in an unprovoked attack in Holon two weeks ago to be criminally prosecuted.
While the government and police have condemned the attack on Pakada, they have so far refused to prosecute the police officers who carried it out – even though they were caught on security camera footage beating him.
Protest organizers cited claims by police claims of a mass protest supposedly scheduled for tonight in Tel Aviv. Police sources reportedly told Walla! News that a large and violent protest by Ethiopian Jews was planned, and that police were planning riot dispersal measures to combat it.
"This is a provocation and an attempt to play with deep wounds, the pain and anger we saw last week. We stress that we do not take responsibility for what will happen at this rally. We demand [police and the courts] to cancel it,” Inbar Bogale, one of the Ethiopian Jews organizing the protests, told the media.
Another protest organizer, Gadi Yivarkan, blamed police.
"It's part of the tactics of the police, unfortunately. Instead of understanding the pain of the Israeli public, not only of the Ethiopian community, the police use us and blame us as 'illegitimate,' and say we are unruly and violent. This is not the goal. There will be no demonstration today," Yivarkan said.
Police have apparently not tried to stop the protest, even though they have the legal power to do so and even though Ethiopian protest organizers have disavowed it and asked for it to be stopped.
Meanwhile, a counter-protest in support of police is being planned by the families of police officers for next week in Tel Aviv.
Police brutality and racism against Ethiopian Jews is a well-documented phenomenon. But before the Holon incident which was caught on security camera video and posted on the Internet, where it went viral, there was little public support outside the Ethiopian Jewish community for dealing with it. But the video showed Israelis that their worst fears about police racism and brutality were true.