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Support IRACLehava Campaign

03 Nov 2016

Anat  Hoffman 

Ahmed, 23, finished his evening shift at a catering hall kitchen in Jerusalem. He took a taxi to the city center to meet up with some friends.  Getting out of the car, Ahmed was surrounded by a group of four young Jewish men wearing Black t-shirts with the trademark yellow insignia of the right-wing Jewish group, Lehava.

"What time is it?" one of the men asked him.  Ahmed answered.
"Are you Arab" they asked after hearing Ahmed's accent?
"Yes," he answered, "I'm Ara..."
Even before Ahmed could finish his sentence, the four men pounced on him, hitting and kicking him all over his body.  No one in the crowded square came to Ahmed's defense.  He managed to pull himself up and flee to a friend who was working nearby.  
By then, the damage was done. Ahmed was covered in cuts and bruises, and had a black eye. Now he is afraid to go back to work.  He doesn't feel safe in Jerusalem.
Ahmed is not alone.  Young members of Lehava, a Jewish-nationalist hate group, regularly swarm the streets of Jerusalem on Thursday and Saturday nights hunting for Arab men to attack.  With slurs, threats, intimidation and physical violence, these thugs, egged on by Lehava's leader Benzi Gopstein, spread racist hate, fear and violence in Israel's capital.

Last month IRAC began interviewing Lehava's victims and recording video testimonials about the violence that is regularly being perpetrated against Arab Israelis.  The interviews are revealing clear patterns, including places where the attacks are most likely to happen and the methods Lehava's henchmen use to target Arab victims.
Watch these videos--from Arab men, their relatives, friends, co-workers and employers--on my YouTube channel here.  Then share the videos with everyone you know.  Facebook,  Twitter.  Email.  Ahmed's story, and the stories of others like him, need to be heard.  By raising awareness about Lehava's activities, we can help make Jerusalem safer for all of its residents. 

Then join our campaign against Lehava.  With your support, we will continue to collect testimony from Lehava's victims, share our findings with the police, monitor Lehava's social media activity, investigate how and by whom they are funded, lobby against their actions in Knesset, and generate negative press surrounding their activities

 

The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) is the leading civil and human rights organization addressing issues of religion and state in Israel. The public and legal arm of the Reform Movement, IRAC advocates on behalf of a broadly inclusive Israeli democracy based on the principles of social justice and equality.