Covering the anti-gay shootings and killings in Tel Aviv, NPR’s hourly news bulletin this Sunday morning stated the following:
(Dave Pignanelli): “Officials say they believe it is the worst hate crime in in Israel in decades.”
(Linda Gradstein): “The shooting has shocked many in Israel where hate crimes are almost unknown.”
Worst hate crime in decades? Hate crimes almost unknown? Ignoring the bitter irony of “hate crimes almost unknown” in a state that has a general policy of state run hate crimes against non-citizens in territory it controls – can one find evidence of deadly attacks by individual Israelis against people based solely on race, religion, etc?
Here are a few I found in about 5 minutes of Googling on the Internets:
- May of 1990 a lone Israeli gunman killed 7 and wounded 10 Palestinian workers not far from Tel Aviv in Israel.
- November of 1992 a grenade attack on an Arab market in Jerusalem killed 1 and wounded 11. Palestinians.
- August 5, 2005 an Israelis gunman killed four Israeli Arabs and wounding 13 others on a bus in Israel.
- August 17, 2005 – though not in Israel proper, an Israeli citizen killed 3 and wounded 2 random Palestinians near a settlement in the West Bank.
These incidents are clearly recognizable as standard hate crimes, but if your news coverage is almost always pro-Israeli government/military, it’s hard not to adopt the same (widespread and very much alive) racist ideology that fuels Israeli expansionism and militarism and degrades the humanity of Arabs to the point where they have simply been erased.
Calgary – Activists and Academics are increasingly questioning the purpose of Canada having ‘hate speech’ laws to criminalize certain forms of speech.
Critics say such laws are applied inconsistently and often serve the interests of powerful groups whilst doing nothing to prevent the tide of Islamophobia that has swept Canada since the disputed events of 9/11.
‘I can tell you that headline wasn’t in Calgary….it could be in the National Post but I can tell you that didn’t originate in Calgary’
That was the response of Rick Hanson, Chief of the Calgary police when confronted by Press TV with a hateful headline claiming that Iraqis worship the devil, printed by one of Canada’s most prominent broadsheet newspapers. The question was prompted after the police chief had given a speech in which he had affirmed his desire to use controversial anti-Hate Crime legislation to stamp out prejudice and discrimination in the city of Calgary. Canada has Hate Speech laws which criminalize certain forms of speech that are deemed to be illegitimate by the Canadian state.
Press TV was interested to discover whether or not Hate Speech laws were being applied consistently in Canada, even to powerful elites who seek to demonize Muslims. The police chief’s response was terse.
Critics say that Hate Speech laws are not applied consistently in Canada as every day we see the mainstream media stigmatizing and dehumanizing Middle Eastern people with impunity. On the other hand those anti-racists who criticize Israel’s policies of genocide and apartheid are finding their freedom of speech to do so increasingly challenged with powerful pro-Israel lobbyists seeking to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.
Press TV got in touch with a prestigious Canadian professor and member of the Canadian Islamic Congress who had tried but failed to invoke Canada’s Hate-Speech laws to prosecute a journalist in Canada who had disseminated anti-Islamic conspiracy theories in an article published in a prominent Canadian magazine called MacCleans.
It is clear that Hate Speech laws are controversial. And when such laws are being applied inconsistently and in a politicized or ethnicized manner experts warn that they can only have a negative effect on society.
At least three African-Americans have been killed and two others injured in separate shootings in the US state of Oklahoma in what is perceived as a racially-motivated attack.
The shooting spree happened in north Tulsa, Oklahoma early Friday morning, AP reported.
All five victims were out walking when they were shot, homicide detective Sgt. Dave Walker said.
He added that police think the shootings are linked because they happened around the same time in the same general area.
Police do not believe the victims knew one another and are trying to determine the circumstances behind the killings.
The Tulsa Police Department named the victims as Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clarke, 54, and 31-year-old William Allen.
Detectives are searching for a white pickup truck that a white male was driving around the area at the time of the shootings.
Meanwhile, Tulsa police spokesman Capt. Jonathan Brooks said investigators were looking into whether the shootings may have been possible hate crimes.
The murder of a young African-American in Florida brought to light the case of hate crimes in the US.
The unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February.
Zimmerman claimed that he had acted in self-defense, saying that the victim slammed his head into the pavement repeatedly before he fired the gunshot. He has not been charged with any crime.
Last month, the 22-year-old African-American Rekia Boyd was fatally shot by an off-duty Chicago police officer.
The issue of hate crimes is one of the most controversial topics in the Unites States, and has sparked demonstrations across the country.
- Tulsa Gay Teen Savagely Beaten At Party By Guests Yelling Anti-Gay Slurs (queerty.com)
- Man Arrested for Hate Crime and Assault (lapdblog.typepad.com)