Netanyahu calls for eradication of racism against Ethiopian Israelis

Following three large demonstrations over the past three days, Netanyahu meets with Ethiopian community leaders and Ethiopian IDF soldier who was beaten by Israeli policemen

Netanyahu and Pakada (GPO)

Netanyahu and Pakada (GPO)

Prime Minister Netanyahu called on the citizens of the State of Israel to “eradicate” racism following several reported instances of discrimination against Ethiopian Israelis, specifically instances of abuse from Israeli police forces.

The Prime Minister met with IDF soldier Damas Pakada who was attacked by an Israeli policemen in late April, the policeman reprehended and suspended following video footage of the attack.

Demonstrations by Ethiopian Israelis were held on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, the demonstrations on Sunday evolving to violence and need for large amounts of police force control and several injured demonstrators and policemen.

The demonstrations on Thursday left 12 civilians injured and 3 policemen injured with Sunday’s demonstrations in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square with countless injuries and peaceful demonstration gone violent, leading to police forces using force to calm the demonstration.

Netanyahu met for three hours on Monday with Ethiopian community leaders addressing the demonstrations and incidents of discrimination and violence.

He stated that the State of Israel “must be united against the phenomenon of racism, denounce and eradicate it” adding that he was “outraged by the images I saw. We can’t accept this and the police is handling this. We’ll have to change things” in reference to the attack on Pakada.

Pakada, an IDF soldier in the Israeli Air Force stated on Ethiopian soldiers, “We love our jobs, we love serving the country, we want to give as much as we can give, and this is the goal… For many years we dreamed of coming to the land of Israel, the entire Ethiopian community. We’re trying to become integrated in the Israeli society as much as we can. The Ethiopian community came to Israel through Sudan and lost a lot of dear people on the way. It’s time we simply unite. We don’t want to fight. I hope you act against discrimination and racism.”