A far-left organization funded by the New Israel Fund has been actively aiding the recent wave of protests – many of them violent – which erupted across the country following the shooting death of Solomon Tekah, an Ethiopian teenager, in Haifa.
While some of the protests across the country have been peaceful, others turned violent, including attacks on police officers, ambulances, and private cars.
The joint Arab-Jewish ‘Standing Together’ organization, which is funded by the NIF, has taken an active role in the protests, which began Monday, resumed Tuesday following Tekah’s funeral, and which are expected to continue Wednesday.
“When police officers shooting people, civilians, and kill them, we go out to the streets,” Standing Together said. “When officers with a trigger finger start shooting people – that is everyone’s problem, so we’re all going out to the streets: blacks and whites, Jews and Arabs. Let’s demand that the police protect civilians, or at least to begin with, that they stop killing them.”
In many instances, participants in the more violent demonstrations are clearly not members of the Ethiopian community, with a number of Arab and non-Ethiopian Jewish rioters spotted taking part in the riots.
“About half of the demonstrators I saw were Arabs or non-Ethiopian [Jews],” said one witness, Yosef Tavin, who filmed one road-blocking demonstration in central Israel.
“There is, of course, a large group of Ethiopians holding signs and flags, but there is a group that’s just as large of Arabs, and you can basically see that the Arabs are the ones running the demonstration and deciding where, who, when to attack, who will get stones and who won’t.”
“During the demonstration, I filmed a lot of rioting and violence. But then all of the sudden I noticed that there is someone, an Ashkenazi woman, who is bossing around the demonstrators, and they’re all listening to her.”
During the last wave of protests Tuesday night, 83 people were treated for injuries, with a number of private vehicles, police cars, and ambulances damaged by rioters.
Police and emergency responders have deployed extra units in anticipation of the resumption of the protests Wednesday.