The Times reported the beating of a 21-year-old soldier of Ethiopian descent in a Tel Aviv suburb caught on video then broadcast on TV causing demonstrations directly parallel to those recently sparked here by the Ferguson incident.
The Times explains that there is a prejudice against Ethiopian Jews supposedly historically related to one of the lost tribes of Israel.
They are discriminated against in housing, education and employment and although they are only two percent of the population, they represent a third of youths in detention and have a higher rate of poverty, unemployment, suicide, divorce and domestic violence.
I met my first Ethiopian Jew at IS 70 when I was fourteen. A black Jew was certainly a surprise then and I can remember when Cecil revealed this fact with an anticipatory smile at our jaw dropping disbelief—a black Jew.
Cecil dressed Jewish—that is he was much better dressed than any of us and although I can’t remember his being smarter he did have a habit of making long speeches in class, smilingly delighted by his verbal prowess. The message he wanted to convey was he was not black but a smart Jew.
“Get out of Israel, you’re too nice” was the advice a father gave his son and related to me. He did not boast about his rank in military service, and he was distressed to hear a friend boast of the good deal a friend got by buying Arab land on the left bank—he got out and found he could be nicer in New York than New Yorkers (not too hard).
Andromache Geanacopoulos—later Capsis—was the head of the UN Guide service. She hired a guide who still had the tattoo mark from a Nazi concentration camp. This guide told the story of a German Jewish friend who reminisced about the good old days in Berlin and then forgot herself and said “ah if it wasn’t for the Polish Jews, we would still be there” (Her disbelieving tattooed friend was a Polish Jew).