Parallels between Minneapolis and Jerusalem are more than skin deep | Middle East Eye11 Giugno 2020
It is hard to ignore the striking parallels between the recent scenes of police brutality in cities across the United States and decades of violence from Israel’s security forces against Palestinians.
A video that went viral late last month of a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, killing a black man, George Floyd, by pressing a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes has triggered a fortnight of mass protests across the US – and beyond.Live discussion: How will the world respond to Israel’s annexation plans?
The footage was the latest disturbing visual evidence of a US police culture that appears to treat Black Americans as an enemy – and a reminder that rogue police officers are all too rarely punished.
Floyd’s lynching by Chauvin as three other officers either looked on, or participated, has echoes of troubling scenes familiar from the occupied territories. Videos of Israeli soldiers, police and armed settlers beating, shooting and abusing Palestinian men, women and children have long been a staple of social media.
The dehumanisation that enabled Floyd’s murder has been regularly on view in the occupied Palestinian territories. In early 2018 Israeli snipers began using Palestinians, including children, nurses, journalists and the disabled, as little more than target practice during weekly protests at a perimeter fence around Gaza imprisoning them.
And just as in the US, the use of violence by Israeli police and soldiers against Palestinians rarely leads to prosecutions, let alone convictions.
Floyd’s murder has shocked many white Americans into joining the protests. Hallaq’s murder, by contrast, has been ignored by the vast majority of Israelis
A few days after Floyd’s killing, an autistic Palestinian man, Iyad Hallaq – who had a mental age of six, according to his family – was shot seven times by police in Jerusalem. None of the officers has been arrested.