The Voice newspaper has an attention-grabbing exclusive today, claiming that “Hundreds of Black People Being Held in Israeli Jails”
The claim comes from filmmaker Ishmahil Blagrove, who was part of a mercy mission to deliver much needed aid to Gaza. Blagrove, along with former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney were trying to reach the shore when their ship Spirit of Humanity, was rammed by an Israeli naval boat.
The Voice quotes Blagrove as saying: “
The first day I was there, I witnessed 500 Africans scooped from the streets of Tel Aviv thrown into prison. The next day 300 more Africans were taken in and the prison population continues to grow daily with Africans falling victim to the Israeli judiciary system.
“There were Africans from the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Eritrea and so on. The prison population in Israel is 90 percent black, which is why I was so welcomed by fellow inmates. There are thousands upon thousands of Africans inside the Israeli prisons.”
The numbers Blagrove talks about seem very high, but as someone who has visited Israel it was certainly an eye-opener to see small villages of indigenous black people – who lived on the land centuries before many of the Jewish European settlers – living in terrible poverty.
More recent black residents include significant numbers of Ethiopian refugees, who are also generally socially excluded. I observed marginally better conditions of Jerusalem’s black population, many of whom were housed in cramped conditions in a converted prison, called appropriately enough ‘Prisongate.’
Israel also waged hostilities against the African Hebrew Israelites, a peaceful community of mainly African-American followers of Ben Ammi Ben Israel, who live in Dimona in the Negev desert. The Israelites told of poisonous powder being dropped on their village from army helicopters. The Israeli state has since made its’ peace with the black village, however.
But while all right-thinking people would defend the right of Israel to exist, the government do have a case to answer about their treatment of black people, both now and in the past.
Filed under: International Politics