Police forces in Jerusalem were bracing Monday for an expected demonstration by Israeli Ethiopians, following a massive anti-racism rally that turned violent in Tel Aviv the day before. The latest rally was due to take place at 11 a.m. outside the Prime Minister's Office in the capital's Givat Ram neighborhood.
Police said security forces would permit the protest within the limits of the law and order, stressing that police would intervene using dispersal means if demonstrations spilled over to cause harm to the general public. Jerusalem police called on community leader and participants to exercise restraint and adhere to the demands of law enforcement officials. A similar demonstration was held Thursday in Jerusalem following the apparently unprovoked beating of an IDF soldier of Ethiopian descent by two police officers. Meanwhile, President Reuven Rivlin said the protests reveal the sense of "discrimination, racism, and of being unansweredheld" by Israel's Ethiopian community, which stand as a "raw wound at that heart of Israeli society" that must be confronted. In a meeting with ultra-Orthodox community leaders, Rivlin pointed to protests for bringing to light " the pain, distress, and anger that arose from the community of Israelis of Ethiopian origin - the majority of whom were born and grew up here in Israel".
Intense clashes between riot police and protesters in Tel Aviv
"We must look directly at this open wound. We have erred. We did not look, and we did not listen enough" he charged. Rivlin added that the legitimacy of the issue should not be stymied by "a handful of violent trouble makers." "We are not strangers to one another, we are brothers, and we must not deteriorate into a place we will all regret," he underlined. "Protest is an essential tool for democracy, but violence is neither the path nor the solution.
Rivlin comments about the Ethiopian-Israeli protest