Israelis 'mock' Arab customs in Ultra-Orthodox wedding near Jerusalem

Israelis 'mock' Arab customs in Ultra-Orthodox wedding near Jerusalem
Videos shared online showed a group of Israelis wear imitations of stereotypical Arab clothing, while dancing in a seemingly mocking manner to Arabic music as onlookers watched during a wedding in Beit Shemesh.
2 min read
20 February, 2023
Racism against Palestinians is widespread in Israel and the occupied territories [Getty]

A video posted online showing a group of Israelis allegedly mocking Arab culture at a Jewish ultra-orthodox wedding in the city of Beit Shemesh, in Jerusalem's west district, has been condemned by Palestinians as "racist".

The clip shows the group imitating traditional Palestinian dances, such as the dabke, while wearing imitations of Arab clothing, including the keffiyeh and thobe.

Arabic music can also be heard playing in the wedding hall, as wedding guests looked on.

The video was originally posted online by Israeli journalist Israel Cohen. It was later reposted by Palestinian researcher on Israeli affairs Dr. Saleh El-Naami, who said that the wedding included an entire segment mocking Arab culture.

The New Arab was unable to independently verify the video, which has amassed more than half a million views online, though

El-Naami said: "Racism and the inferior view of Arabs are a common denominator in [such events].

"Israelis do not differentiate between the various Arab cultures and nationalities, and use the term 'Arab' to refer to everyone from the wider region," he added.

Activist and journalist Yanal Jabarin also criticised the video, saying: "We dance in normal clothes. There is no Arab dance like that. This is pure racism."

Activists and human rights groups have pointed out that racism against Palestinians is commonplace in Israel and in the occupied territories.

Israel continues to implement discriminatory policies against Palestinians, such as illegal settlement expansions, racial profiling, arbitrary arrests, and deadly physical assaults.

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Palestinians in Israel say they are relegated to second-class citizens, facing regular discrimination in housing, employment and public services.

Israel has occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem illegally since it invaded in 1967, and has imposed a years-long economic blockade on the Gaza Strip, since 2007.