Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sharply condemned the mob attack last week against 17- year-old Jamal Julani in downtown Jerusalem and two other Arab teens. The Ras al-Amud resident was beaten unconscious by approximately a dozen Jewish teenagers late Thursday night in downtown Jerusalem.
Netanyahu sharply denounced the attack, adding that the country is repulsed by such acts – as witnessed by the way the country’s leaders and society have come out strongly against it. “The State of Israel is a democratic state, an enlightened state, a state where when we come across acts such as these, the entire state and all of its leaders come out together against such phenomena, and we will continue to do so,” Netanyahu said.
“That is what makes us unique in the environment around us and this will continue to make us unique. I hope that one day our environment will change as well. But we will be persistent in our complete opposition to racism and violence,” he said.
Netanyahu made the comments at a ceremony where he signed a document encouraging the integration of Ethiopian immigrants and against discrimination and racism. “We are not prepared to tolerate racism in Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Neither are we prepared to tolerate the combination of racism and violence.”
Netanyahu, who said he spoke with the Hadassah Medical Organisation’s Director General to inquire about the victims of the attack, said that such acts were “something that we cannot accept – not as Jews, not as Israelis. This is not our way; this goes against our way, and we condemn it in word and deed. We will quickly bring to justice those responsible for this reprehensible incident.”
Eight Jewish teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19, three of them female, were arrested over the past four days in connection with the beating. On Tuesday, the Jerusalem District Court released one 15-year-old girl to house arrest.