Three days ago, a young Ethiopian Israeli man named Solomon Teka was shot and killed by a police officer in the town of Kiriyat Hayim near Haifa. He was 18 years old.
Tel Aviv has seen days of protests against police brutality and racism led by Ethiopian Israeli activists like Avi Yalou. A social entrepreneur and activist from Kiryat Malachi, Avi wrote in the Forward: “Here’s what I don’t want: I don’t want an apology. An apology won’t bring back Solomon… What we want now is to prevent the next murder, the next senseless killing. For that to happen, we need justice.”
Efrat Yardei, a board member of NIF grantee the Association of Ethiopian Jews, wrote in Haaretz that “young Ethiopian Israelis are going out to demonstrate across the country with one simple, human demand: our blood is equally red!”
“How many more young Ethiopian Israelis need to die from police violence for the Israeli public to wake up? To understand that Teka’s skin color is the reason why it was so easy for a police officer to shoot him?”
Today we’re announcing a $20,000 emergency grant to the Association of Ethiopian Jews to support legal assistance, community empowerment and inclusion for Ethiopian-Israelis.
Sadly, this isn’t an isolated incident. The Ethiopian community in Israel has been telling us for years that they are unfairly targeted by police.
In 2015, an Ethiopian soldier in the IDF was the victim of an unprovoked, racist attack by a policeman. And just a few months ago, Israeli police shot and killed Yehuda Biadga, an Israeli of Ethiopian descent who was suffering from mental illness.
Racism and police brutality are not only issues for Ethiopian Israelis. They are issues for all Israelis and all of Israel’s supporters worldwide.
Israelis of all backgrounds are speaking out right now. We are standing with them, with the Ethiopian Israeli community, and with all people who believe in justice and equality.
Belonging to the NIF community means having a stake in strategic, timely investments in Israeli society when issues like this crop up.
Together we will build an Israeli society in which all people are treated equally.
Thank you for your partnership.