Israel / Occupied Palestine: Brutal Zionist Police Beating of Palestinian Worker Shows Need For Palestinian Self-Defense

Trigger Warning: Police brutality, violent language

By Yehuda Stern, Israel / Occupied Palestine, 23.05.2016,


Note of the Editorial Board: Comrade Yehuda Stern has attached two pictures to this article which can be viewed on his blog:


Yesterday (22.5) in Tel-Aviv, as he was taking out some garbage, supermarket worker Maysam Abu al-Qian was approached by two men who asked him for identification papers. When he responded that his ID was inside the store and asked who the men were, the two, who turned out to be plainclothes members of the Border Police, proceeded to brutally beat him, shortly joined by several other clothed police. They continued to do so even as al-Qian was lying wounded on the floor, posing no threat to the armed throng which attacked him. Other workers who tried to help al-Qian were also beaten, and an elderly woman who asked the cops what they were doing was told that to "fuck off before we finish you off too". Such is the heroism of the Zionist entity's Boys In Blue. After he was taken into custody, al-Qian was put in house arrest and was given an order barring him from entering Tel-Aviv, thus preventing him from reaching his workplace. [1][2]


The Zionist media, in a fittingly cynical move for those who refer to the occupation of Palestine by Zionists as a "conflict", called this clear act of racist police brutality a "brawl", with some echoing police claims that al-Qian tried to bite the cops,[3][4] a ridiculous claim that was promptly mocked by Israeli commenters.

It is common for liberals and left-Zionists to blame the increasingly common acts of violence and open racism against Palestinians on"the occupation", meaning in this case the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. However, as any supporter of Palestinian rights should know - let alone communists, who should understand Zionism's colonialist, imperialist nature - Zionist violence and racism towards Palestinians did not begin in 1967. It did not even begin in 1948. From its very inception, Zionist colonialism was based on the "occupation of land" and "occupation of labor" - driving out as many Palestinians from their land, and making life impossible for those who managed to somehow hang on. For a while, it was possible for the Zionist entity to concentrate its violence on 1967 Palestinians, although even those decades are full of acts of violence against 1948 Palestinians, including, but not limited to, the October 2000 massacre (by a left-Zionist government, one might add) and the 2005 massacre in Shefa-'Amr by Kahanist soldier Eden Natan-Zada. However, as Zionist society crumbles and the Zionist regime relies increasingly on racist incitement and brutality, the methods of the settlers and the Zionist army in the West Bank begin to seep back into "Israel proper".


Due to the colonialist nature of Israeli society, it is rare for Jewish workers to feel any sympathy towards Palestinians. However, the reports of supermarket workers attempting to help al-Qian, as well as the protest which took place outside the supermarket later that day, are good signs that show a potential for class solidarity across national lines. Nonetheless, the history of the Palestinian struggle against Zionist oppression shows time and time again that only by accepting the leadership of Palestinians can Israeli Jewish be reliable allies. Therefore, the demand must be raised for Palestinian self-defense against Zionist police, army and fascist thugs.

Some might argue that given the racist climate in Israel, such a slogan is impractical, or that it can be used to blame Palestinians and leftists of terrorism. However, by now any Palestinian should know that to be blamed of being a terrorist, he need only be a Palestinian. As for calling for self-defense in a climate of racism, there are precedents: the Black struggle in the US South, for example, relied heavily on self-defense, to the point where some described Martin Luther King Jr.'s home as "an arsenal". Indeed, without Black self-defense, it is doubtful that any of the gains of the civil rights movement could be achieved.


The brutal police beating of al-Qian, as well as the cynical response to it from the Zionist media and state, prove once more that only a resolute struggle against Zionist oppression can put an end to racist violence. Attempting to rely on the police or liberal Zionists to protect Palestinians can only result in more death. Against the increasing audacity of the Zionist police thugs, revolutionaries must call for Palestinian workers to defend themselves, joined by Jewish workers who realize that Zionism is a death-trap for them and that their place is with their class sisters and brothers.



1. Tel Aviv police beating sparks calls for ‘soul-searching’, Times of Israel, May 23, 2016

2. Border Police assault Arab supermarket employee in central Tel Aviv, +972, May 22, 2016

3. שוטרי מג"ב תועדו תוקפים עובד מרכול ערבי במרכז תל אביב, Haaretz, May 22, 2016

4. אלימות במרכול: "התנפלו על העובד הערבי במכות ודרכו לו על הראש", ynet, May 22, 2016

5. "שמונה הכו אחד, זה היה מחריד", Arutz 2, May 22, 2016