Why an Arab-Israeli diplomat’s assault is no surprise

Israel's first Bedouin Arab diplomat Ishmael Khaldi said he believes he was ethnically profiled. AP
Israel’s first Bedouin Arab diplomat Ishmael Khaldi said he believes he was ethnically profiled. (photo: AP)
Israel subjugates its Palestinian citizens while being too eager to showcase their successes in order to portray itself as a western-style democracy.

By Jonathan Cook  | The National  | June 22, 2020

An assault by Israeli security officials on a diplomat sounds like an aberration – a peculiar case of mistaken identity…But that impression would be wrong.

An Israeli diplomat filed a complaint last week with police after he was pulled to the ground in Jerusalem by four security guards, who knelt on his neck for five minutes as he cried out: “I can’t breathe.”

There are obvious echoes of the treatment of George Floyd, an African-American killed by police in Minneapolis last month. His death triggered mass protests against police brutality and reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement. The incident in Jerusalem, by contrast, attracted only minor attention – even in Israel.

An assault by Israeli security officials on a diplomat sounds like an aberration – a peculiar case of mistaken identity – quite unlike an established pattern of police violence against poor black communities in the US. But that impression would be wrong.

The man attacked in Jerusalem was no ordinary Israeli diplomat. He was Bedouin, from Israel’s large Palestinian minority. One fifth of the population, this minority does not enjoy all the benefits of Israeli citizenship.

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