Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/376/4232
Racist police beat up Palestinian student
MUHAMMAD MANSUR is an Israeli Palestinian medical student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. On 8 January following a football match between Beitar Jerusalem (an Israeli Jewish team) and Sons of Sachnin (an Israeli Palestinian team) which ended with a victory for the latter, Muhammad went to a shopping mall where he works.
Three plainclothes men approached Muhammad, and told him that there were many violent fans of Beitar around and asked him to come with them to his car for his own security.
Muhammad replied that he didn't have a car and that he had to get to work. The policemen grabbed him and took him to the parking area and there they just started to beat him up.
When Muhammad asked "Why are you beating me up - you have just offered to protect me", these racist police thugs replied that he was an Arab and therefore a member of an inferior race.
After a while the policemen left him, but when he tried to use his phone (to call for help) one of them took it from him. He was then bundled into an unmarked car and taken to a police station.
There, Muhammad explained, he was tortured and humiliated for a long time. He spent the night at the hospital because of the wounds he received.
Israeli Palestinian students contacted members of Maavak Sozialisti which, like the Socialist Party, is affiliated to the Committee for a Workers' International and asked for our help in a campaign against this racist brutality. Along with other activists, Maavak Sozialisti issued a call for a one-hour student strike on 10 January on the university campus which Muhammad attends.
Within hours a joint leaflet signed by Maavak Sozialisti members and Palestinian activists was produced in both Hebrew and Arabic calling on students to join the action.
Although there was not full observance of the strike, many students, both Israeli Jewish and Palestinian, supported this call and over 120 of them organised an impromptu demonstration around the campus. Even Israeli Jewish students living in the Jewish settlements around Jerusalem participated in this demonstration. This was one of the biggest demonstrations on this campus recently.
Later, over 50 students demonstrated outside a local police station against the brutal attack on Muhammad. Both events took place despite threats from the state apparatus to take repressive action against activists and Maavak Sozialisti members who called for these actions.
In The Socialist 15 January 2005: