The United States does not have a monopoly on the lynch law murder of black people. Israel, both America’s client state and master, is awash in racist state-sponsored violence. Palestinians are usually the intended targets, but Africans are inevitably caught in this terrorism too. The mob murder of Mulu Habtom Zerhom reveals everything that the world needs to know about Israeli apartheid and the settler mentality which it exemplifies.
Zerhom was an Eritrean asylum seeker living in Israel, confined to one of the camps used to hold Africans. He was at a bus station where a Bedouin man shot an Israeli soldier. Zerhom was trying to flee but was himself shot by the police. Video footage shows him lying bleeding and incapacitated as a mob of Israelis kicked him, threw chairs and benches at his head and shouted “son of a whore,” “break his head” and more to the point, “Kill him!”
News reports say that Zerhom was mistaken for a terrorist but the truth is simpler. Like his American counterparts, the policeman lies about Zerhom attacking him. Another video shows Zerhom on all fours, trying to get away from the chaos. The killer cop knows the routine about shooting black people. Just claim to feel endangered and all is right with the world. He may have thought that Zerhom killed the soldier or he may have instinctively reacted the way so many white people do when they see a black face.
Israel is the world’s worst apartheid state. The Palestinian population is physically separated from the Jewish settler community, they are subjected to arbitrary arrest, abuse and outright murder. When they attempt to resist their oppression, they are met with a brutal response. Actually they don’t have to resist, they only have to exist and they can be burned to death in their homes or shot by police who plant evidence on their dead bodies.
The Palestinian people are victims of Israeli violence on a daily basis. They risk police brutality, theft of their land, the destruction of their homes and of course murder. While the IDF and Israeli police perfect the art of brutalizing occupied people, their American counterparts arrive like pilgrims, learning how better to subjugate their own population.
Israel would not exist at all without America’s direct intervention in 1948. Its continued existence is the result of American acquiescence and genuflection to what is technically a client state. But in a strange role reversal, politicians from presidents down to local city council members regularly travel to Israel in hopes of receiving political patronage from Zionists in this country.
This hold on the political system is so complete, so entrenched, that no one dares to fight against it. Members of Congress who buck this system immediately pay a price and face well-funded opponents. Americans who want to advocate against the continued financial and military support of this monstrous system are left with nowhere to turn. Israel’s untouchability is bought and paid for by its American supporters. Zarhom was killed on camera but not one politician in New York or Washington has spoken a word of protest.
Prime minister Netanyahu blandly warned against citizens taking the law into their own hands, but no one has been arrested for a crime committed on camera. It shouldn’t be too hard to find people clearly photographed, especially when two of them gave interviews to the media. One identified himself as Dudu and claimed to feel remorse. “If I would have known he wasn’t a terrorist, believe me, I would have protected him like I protect myself. I didn’t sleep well at night. I feel disgusted.” Another man named Meir Saka admitted to being an accessory to the crime. “I was guarding over him with a chair to make sure he wouldn’t move . . . and then I heard gunshots and I realized he wasn’t even a terrorist. There was this atmosphere; everyone who came in, it didn’t matter who was there, boom, kicked him.” In other words, “My bad.”
The black misleaders say nothing about Israel. Israel may bomb Gaza into oblivion, kill children playing football on a beach, or use them as human shields. The obvious violations of human rights never merited condemnation. There is no reason to believe these same lackeys will speak up for Zerhom either.
In 2014, much media coverage was given to basketball team owner Donald Sterling when his racist remarks were revealed to the public. Hardly anyone remembers what he said about Israel. “You go to Israel, the blacks are treated just like dogs.” Sterling hit the nail squarely on the head with that statement. Israel is an American occupier state in miniature with an indigenous population and immigrants who are treated like criminals. The two countries have more in common than the Zionist boosters want to admit.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.