Usually full on Saturday nights, Tzachi Meats in Bat Yam remained shuttered
after Shabbat, and if the angry crowd outside had its way, it would stay that
way for good.
Hours after it was reported that Bat Yam local Sgt. Tomer
Hazan, 20, was murdered after being lured to the West Bank by a Palestinian man
whom he worked with at the restaurant, more than hundred people gathered outside
the restaurant calling for a permanent boycott of the neighborhood
“Police knew that he employed shabahim [Palestinians in
Israel illegally]. Why didn’t they check? Why didn’t they do something?
All of our children were in danger here,” said Elinor, a mother of four boys who
used to eat at the restaurant on a regular basis.
“It’s irresponsible for
him to hire shabahim at a place right here in the middle of the city. He
abandoned all of us just to save a few extra shekels,” said Ravit, another
mother of four standing outside the restaurant on Saturday night.
all hurting along with the family, but along with the pain there is anger. He
[the murderer] could have also just set a bomb and blown up the building, killed
all of us inside,” Ravit said, adding that she would never eat at the restaurant
Like others, she said she had thought the Arab men working in the
restaurant were from Jaffa, or from somewhere else nearby within the Green
As she spoke, small groups of young men sporadically chanted “Death
to Arabs” and “Bat Yam is Jewish,” but the calls never seemed to catch on in the
wider crowd. At one point, a group of young men began banging on the metal
shutters of the restaurant, but no rocks were thrown and police made no
A young woman held up a sign addressing the owner, reading
“Tzahi Entebbe: The blood is on your hands!” as a few boys chanted, “Tzahi we
don’t want you anymore.”
Somewhere in the crowd, a young haredi man began
blowing a shofar, interrupting a group of angry young men speaking to a TV
The scene resembled moments in the second intifada, when Jewish-
Arab tensions boiled over in the mixed Bat Yam-Jaffa area, though as of press
time, the crowd had remained nonviolent.
“We’re all to blame for letting
them [Palestinians] in here. Today it was Tomer, but tomorrow it could be any
other child here who is murdered,” said one young Bat Yam man in a tank top who
asked not to be named, before slipping back into the throng.