‘I prefer Sudanese refugees to proud Jews. I feel safer with them’

Yossi Gurvitz writes: I went to a demonstration led by MK Michael Ben-Ari two days ago (Tuesday), and was joined by my girlfriend, Galina. Ben-Ari, a Kahanist, was inciting the crowd against the African refugees in a distinctly anti-Semitic manner, peppering his talk with incessant references to excrement and urine. At some point, Galina couldn’t take it any longer, and shouted something back.

Within minutes we were surrounded by an angry mob of about 20 people, composed mostly of women, who hurled curses at her. Someone pulled out a tear gas canister and waved it at her face.

Racist and sexual slurs filled the air repeatedly. Time and time again, people expressed the wish she would be raped by Sudanese, and asked her if she was bedding them. A boy, between 10 and 11 years old, screamed at her point blank that what she needs is a “nigger’s cock.” David Sheen videotaped much of it.

For my part, I was busy trying to pull her out of there, and pushing away the hands in her way – there were plenty of them. There was also spitting. At a certain stage, when Ben-Ari and his travelling circus went on their way, a cop wended his way to Galina, and whispered to her that the police were pulling away, and she should, too.

We tried to get out of the market. The mob was screaming with glee that she was being arrested. More spitting and curses. A woman aimed a kick at Galina’s head from behind her, I blocked the kick with a snarl. She was smiling. On the way to the train station we were attacked, physically, by a hoodlum, and as I was trying to get in between him and Galina after he hit me in the back, I decided that if he attacks me again, I’d take the metal part of the camera and smash it into his jaw, and take my chances with the police later.

Luckily he pulled away, and we continued on fast towards the train station, with people swearing at Galina every few meters. A gang of teenagers waited for us near the train station. Plenty of sexual affront. One of them tried to knock David’s camera away. We fled to the security of the station.

So that’s what a proud Jewish mob looks like. Galina thought she could reason with them, and made a decent effort, but you can’t debate with 20 people screaming at you incessantly. When the demonstration began, there was a nutjub who, whenever she saw a refugee, would scream, “Here they are, here they are, why do you let them go?”

This was my first angry mob since the elections of 1988, and then I was young, stupid and unafraid. It is frightening, very much so. Argument is pointless with minds seeping with racism. With one exception, no one came to our aid. We were in the Hatikva Market, a public place, and no one came to our aid. I would like to think they wanted to but couldn’t overcome their fear.

Later, I thought we were lucky none of us stumbled. This may have served as a signal for an assault, and I’m not sure we would have been able to get up on our own. Let’s put it this way: after Tuesday, I prefer Sudanese refugees to proud Jews. I feel safer with them.

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