US Embassy protestors attacked by Israeli police
Israeli Knesset member among citizens in Israel attacked by Israeli police as they protested against the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem. Dozens of Israeli Arabs and protestors were injured, while in Gaza more than 52 civilians were killed by Israeli sniper fire
By Ray Hanania
Israeli police began beating and arresting dozens of Israeli citizens Monday who were protesting against the decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from it’s Tel Aviv location to a consulate building located in Occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli police confirmed only that 10 protestors were removed by heavily armed Israeli police who were wearing riot gear and three have been officially charged with crimes. Several hundred Arabs and Jewish citizens of Israel were involved in the protests.
Ahmad Tibi, the Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset who was at the protests, said he was physically attacked by Israeli police as were many other Israeli citizens. The Israeli police riot began when protestors started to wave the green, red, white and black Palestinian flag.
“We Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrated against the relocation of the American Embassy,” Tibi told me Monday afternoon.
Officials from the United States including Ambassador David Friedman were huddled inside a US and Israeli flag-draped area outside of the U.S. Consulate building which will become the new formal U.S. Embassy.
Tibi said that the embassy relocation is an “adaptation of the occupation narrative” by American President Donald J. Trump. Tibi, an Israeli citizen who was first elected to the Israeli Knesset in 1999, is one of Israel’s growing Arab minority. Arabs make up 20 percent of the population. Tibi serves as a deputy Knesset speaker since serving as an advisor during the peace process between former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the late President Yasser Arafat.
The Israeli police attacks against the Israeli citizen protestors coincided with even more brutal and violent attacks by Israeli military against civilian protestors along the Gaza border with Israel. More than 52 Palestinian civilians were killed along the border, shot by Israeli soldiers using high-powered sniper automatic rifles and scopes.
Tibi said he was disgusted with the police actions against the protestors he said were peacefully demonstrating in a non-violent manner against the embassy relocation.
“We protested against the massacre in Gaza where 52 unarmed demonstrators were killed by Israeli snipers,’ Tibi told me.
Gaza residents began protesting on Friday March 30 in commemoration of :Land Day,” which marks the date when Israeli army and police killed six unarmed Israeli Arab citizens who were protesting against Israel’s policies of confiscating lands from non-Jews for use by the state for Jewish citizens.
The protests in Gaza have been held every Friday since and on Monday to coincide with the U.S. embassy relocation ceremony. More than 100 Palestinian civilians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli snipers, ordered to shoot to kill by Netanyahu. No Israelis have been injured by the Gaza protests.
“Israel police attacked us brutally because we raised the Palestinian flag,” Tibi told me. “Is this Democracy? I was attacked by the Police.”
The protests were held only a few hundred feet from where the ceremony was taking place.
“They [Israeli police] were aggressive. They are not willing to allow us to say in a democratic way our position: No to this [embassy] move, and no to the massacre in Gaza,” Tibi told reporters following the police attacks.
Israeli police often attack Israeli citizens who wave the Palestinian flag during protests asserting that the flags were “banned.”
The attacks by the Israeli police reminded many of the brutal attacks by American police against minorities during the civil rights movement. Americans protesting against discrimination were often brutally attacked and jailed and charged with causing the violence when in fact the violence was caused by the police themselves.
(Permission granted to republish and reprint this news article in full.)
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, Middle East Monitor in London, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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