'I wanted to stop black terror,' said man who stabbed Eritrean baby in suspected hate crime

Indictment issued in Tel Aviv court states that Mordechai Michael Tzerki, 59, told police he set out to stab a dark-skinned baby “because I hate them, they’re black and cause problems.”

By BEN HARTMAN/YONAH JEREMY BOB
January 16, 2014 11:06
2 minute read.
Gavel

Gavel from Reuters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Chip East)

 
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A desire to kill “black terrorists” drove a middle-aged Afula man to

stab an Eritrean baby

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earlier this month, according to an indictment issued on Thursday.

The indictment, filed by the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office against Mordechai Michael Tzerki, 59, describes how the accused admitted his motivation to police.

“At some point, it’s unclear when, the indicted made the decision to stab a darkskinned baby,” police said.

The indictment reads that Tzerki, who faces an attempted murder charge, told police who arrested him that he stabbed the baby “because I hate them, they’re black and they make a real mess.”

He also told them “I attacked black terrorists, she’s a black baby,” and that he was trying to stop “black terror,” according to the indictment.

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When he was asked what he was trying to accomplish, the indictment says he told police he “wanted to kill her, I didn’t try to kill her, I was certain that I did it. The daughter of a whore died? The baby is dead? I’m sure she’ll die.”

He added that he committed the crime as “a sword of vengeance for the whites against the terror against white people.”

The 1.5-year-old Eritrean was badly wounded in the attack, with the scissors piercing deep into her skull and causing internal bleeding.

When Tzerki saw the mother walking with her brother and the baby, he came up from behind them unnoticed and stabbed the baby in the head with the scissors, with intent to murder her, alleged the indictment.

A gag order remains on the identity of the baby and any information that could lead to identifying her.

The attempted murder was reported less than two days before

tens of thousands of African migrants marched in Tel Aviv

and rallied at Rabin square demanding the government change its policies toward asylum-seekers.

Though the rally was planned well ahead of the incident, at the protests pictures of the baby were held aloft and the incident was mentioned by a number of speakers.

Members of the African migrant community have also circulated photos of the infant in her hospital bed on social media since the attack, which has become something of a cause in the community and is widely believed to have partially helped increase the size of the protests that followed.

At the time police said that the defendant was drunk and mentally deranged, and did not say that they believed it was racially-motivated. At Tzerki’s remand hearing on January 5, he appeared visibly agitated and was given 10 days remand, in order to allow the state to examine his mental state.

He was also ejected from the courtroom after shoving his attorney, who said his client was not drunk at the time of the event.

A Tel Aviv police spokesman said at the time of the incident that Tzerki was “completely insane and so drunk he could barely stand.”

The stabbing of the baby took place on Yesod Hama’ala Street in south Tel Aviv, in an area that is today home to mainly African migrants and foreign workers.

South Tel Aviv has been, for the past few years, the

site of tension

between African migrants and Israelis native to the neighborhoods, with the tension often spilling over into violence – typically following reports of serious crimes committed by migrants.

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