Israelis lament ‘racism issue’ as Jerusalem march turned ugly

Israeli police estimated that more than 70,000 people took to the streets of the city. ignition city for the flag march on Jerusalem Day, which became a magnet for the extreme right Jewish extremists. CNN reporters on site witnessed some of the marchers throwing insults, punches and objects at Palestinians, journalists and police.
At one point, groups chanted “Death to the Arabs” and “Arabs are sons of bitches.” One of the demonstrators chanted: “Shirin is dead, Palestine is dead.” Shirin Abu Aklean Al Jazeera reporter who was killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the West Bank earlier this month.

It was a chaotic Sunday in the narrow streets of the Old City as clashes erupted between demonstrators and Palestinians and between Israeli police and Palestinians. The CNN team on site witnessed several violent clashes as demonstrators attacked Palestinians and journalists, including CNN employees, with pepper spray and sticks and bottles thrown at reporters gathered to cover the march. Police were seen grabbing an elderly Palestinian who stood between reporters and demonstrators to wave the Palestinian flag.

Several Israeli politicians condemned the actions of the participants, while commentators noted that the march has been taken over by right-wing extremists and Jewish settlers and is largely avoided by secular Israelis and ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennet condemned in a statement what he called “a minority who came to set the area on fire” while the Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said extremist groups La Familia and Lehava, whose flags were hoisted during the procession, “do not deserve to fly the Israeli flag.”
Minister of Security Omer Bar-Lev defended the approval of the march route through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, tweeting: “If we succumb to terrorist threats and do not wave Israeli flags in our capital, we will not know a day of silence, and we will continue to fold in the future.” But he also denounced what he said was “ugly racist behavior that should not be tolerated.”
'They shot directly at journalists': New evidence suggests Shirin Abu Akle was killed in a targeted attack by Israeli forces

Israel considers both the eastern and western parts of Jerusalem to be its “undivided capital”. Most of the international community considers the eastern sector to be occupied. East Jerusalem is home to a significant number of Palestinians who want this part of the city to become the capital of a future state.

Issawi Frei, Minister for Regional Cooperation and second Muslim minister in the Israeli government, said on facebook that he boycotted Sunday’s government meetings “in light of what is going on in Jerusalem and the whole decision-making process regarding today, when I tried in vain to change the course of the Flag March and worked to calm the situation.”
Michal Rozin, member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, tweeted video a young Jew waving an Israeli flag as a weapon towards a group of young Palestinians.

“If anyone else hasn’t figured out why the flag parade has turned into a display of bullying and violence, this Nablus gate video might sharpen it,” she wrote, referring to one of the gates of the Old City. “My flag is not a weapon.”

Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of the English newspaper The Jerusalem Post. wrote in a column that “there is a sad conclusion that we cannot ignore: Israel has a racism problem and rears its ugly head on Jerusalem Day.”

Yediot Ahronot columnist Naum Barnea wrote that the day was seized by settlers and religious Zionists, who turned it into a day “not of love for Jerusalem, but of hatred for the Arabs.”

Digest

Palestinians say Israeli soldiers shot and killed 14-year-old boy

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Zayd Saeed Ghuneim was shot dead by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Bethlehem late Friday night. The ministry said he was taken to hospital with bullet wounds to his neck and back, but doctors were unable to save him. The Israeli military told CNN that several soldiers in the al-Khader neighborhood of Bethlehem were conducting “routine security activities” in the area, with “suspects throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers, putting their lives in danger.” According to the military, in pursuit of the attackers, the soldiers opened fire, wounding one of the suspects.

  • Background: Zayd’s relatives said he had just had lunch and was on his way to his grandparents’ house when he was shot. His brother Yazan told CNN that his Zaid was hiding in the garage when Israeli soldiers cornered him. An eyewitness showed CNN a video she took immediately after the incident. The footage shows blood smeared on the floor of the garage and on the car. She said she saw Zayd run into the garage and heard him plead for his life.
  • Why is it important: This is the second killing of a minor by Israeli forces in less than a week after a series of raids in the West Bank. While covering one of these raids, Palestinian American journalist Shirin Abu Akle was also shot dead in what the Palestinian Attorney General described as a targeted attack by Israeli soldiers.

Court sentences former Egyptian presidential candidate to 15 years in prison

On Sunday, an Egyptian court sentenced former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotou and several prominent members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to lengthy prison terms on charges including plotting to overthrow the state. Abul Photoh was sentenced to 15 years in prison with the possibility of appeal, the court said in the decision.

  • Background: Abul Photoh resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood in 2011 after disagreements over the role of religion in politics and founded the more centrist Strong Egypt party, launching an independent bid for the presidency in 2012. He was later accused by the Home Office of meeting with Muslim Brotherhood leaders to incite unrest. which he denied. He was arrested in February 2018 after giving an interview critical of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a month before Sisi was re-elected.
  • Why is it important: Human rights organizations say thousands of politicians, activists and journalists have been detained in Egypt after unfair trials or without legal grounds. Abul Photouh, in his 70s, suffers from several illnesses, according to his family members.

Erdogan says he will not allow countries that support terrorism to join NATO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said talks with Finland and Sweden about their NATO membership are not going at the “expected level” and Ankara cannot say yes to countries “supporting terrorism,” state broadcaster TRT Haber reported on Sunday.

  • Background: Turkey has challenged the Swedish and Finnish claims on the grounds that the countries are harboring people associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group (PKK) and others it considers terrorists, and because they stopped arms exports to Ankara in 2019. Sweden and Finland said they condemned terrorism and welcomed the opportunity to coordinate with Ankara.
  • Why is it important: Erdogan’s latest comments indicate that his opposition to Sweden and Finland joining the Western defense alliance continues. Turkey objects to a deal that would allow for historic expansion following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

What’s in trend

Saudi Arabia: #Boycotting_Cafes

Saudi Arabia has declared 2022 the “Year of Saudi Coffee”, but some Saudi Twitter users are now calling for a boycott of coffee shops. Something went wrong?

The social aspect of drinking coffee is highly valued in Saudi Arabia, and propriety dictates how coffee should be drunk and with which hand to pour it. Coffee is a sensitive topic in the country and any threat to the culture surrounding it is taken seriously.

Saudis on social media say they’ve had issues with the drink’s exaggerated prices as culture shifts from traditional Arabic coffee to Western-style cafes where a cup costs up to 30 riyals ($8). Many users said the expensive cups were “mostly ice” and tasted like instant coffee.

The appearance of such stores led to the emergence of such drinks as “Spanish latte” (as the cafe “con leche” is known), macchiato and others. Twitter users noted that cheaper coffee options exist, but people are looking for drinks “from the top”.

The average price of coffee beans in Saudi Arabia also jumped from 28.6 rials per kilogram in 2011 to 38.9 rials in 2020, according to Statista.

The government, seeking to capitalize on the global coffee craze, plans to localize production. This month, the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund launched the $320 million Saudi Coffee Company, seeking to play a role in “development of sustainable coffee production in the southern region of Jazan, home to the world-famous Arabica coffee.”

Mohammed Abdelbari

Photo of the day

Hyunsuk Koo, 38, the Korean owner of Happy Bark Day, the first dog cafe in the Gulf emirate in Dubai that serves dog-only food, coffee and cake, serves one of her customers on May 30.