Right-wing MKs incited to racist violence

MKs Miri Regev, Danny Danon, Yariv Levin (Likud) and Michael Ben-Ari (National Unity) attended a racist demonstration against African migrants and refuges held in south Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood, last Wednesday. MK Regev, formerly the Israeli army spokeswoman, is a member of the Israeli parliament from the governmental and right-wing Likud Party, told protesters during the demonstration that African refugees in the country were “a cancer in the Nation’s body”. After Regev speech crowds of demonstrators attacked African residents, smashed store-fronts belonging to the migrant community and looted other commercial properties. Trash cans were set alight and a crowd attacked an African driving through the area, breaking his car’s windows. No serious injuries were reported.

A demonstration following Wednesday night’s race riots was held by leftists activists, among them several Hadash and Communist Party of Israel members. Several hundred of concerned Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and marched on Thursday to symbols of the political system that produced the incitement: the Knesset in Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Likud party in Tel Aviv. On Friday morning was held another demonstration near the Prime Minister house in Jerusalem

Protest against racism: “We all as one” , Tel-Aviv, May 24, 2012 (Photo: Activestills)

Leftist and human rights group accused the MKs of fanning the flames at the protest which ended with the assault of one foreign worker.  Meanwhile, Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer has asked the Attorney General to launch an investigation against MKs Regev, Danon and Ben-Ari for incitement to violence.  He quoted the legal definition of racism and said that “The MKs’ racist calls and incitement to violence were quickly translated into action on the ground.” Hundreds endorsed his appeal.