A Palestinian waiter was brutally assaulted by Jewish customers at a Tel Aviv fast food restaurant within the past week. The video shows the waiter retrieving a mayonnaise packet from the table and almost immediately someone from the table rises and confronts him. He looks like he is screaming at the waiter and then pushes and hits him. When the waiter defends himself, the entire table of hooligans rises as one and commences the assault. At first they merely use fists but eventually they crash chairs and tables down on his head.
Not a single bystander intervenes in any way to stop the mayhem. The police have conveniently been unable to identify or locate the assailants. This typifies the “professionalism” of the Israeli police force.
He was taken to the hospital with multiple broken bones and fractures. In the bed next to him was an Israeli Jew, Ohad Aviv, who’d just sustained terrible injuries in a hit and run accident. Ohad wrote on his Facebook page that after hearing the pitiful cries of the waiter, he felt like he was being run over once again.
Due to a misunderstood Facebook caption, I mistakenly identified a picture of Ohad as the injured waiter. No less than four commenters here felt it their duty to inform me of my error. When I told Ohad that commenters were attempting to use this error to minimize the severity of what happened to the waiter (or simply to smear me), he responded:
…Those people…don’t have a clue how bad they make us appear. They don’t have an idea how bad a name they give to Israelis and to Jewish people. I can’t understand why they choose to act so blind to our history. They are just a small extreme minority. Most Israelis are disgusted by such behaviour. We have demonstrations against it. I am honored to help out in this and I try my best.
I’m pleased to say that the waiter’s Israeli employer said that it would cover all of his medical costs and finance any legal proceedings against the attackers. Bless him for doing the right thing. Now if only we can get the Israeli police off their asses.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.