Israeli woman filmed hurling racial abuse at black man in supermarket
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Israeli woman filmed hurling racial abuse at black man in supermarket

Apparently mistaking man of Ethiopian descent for African asylum-seeker, woman accuses him of ruining south Tel Aviv; onlookers stay silent

A woman was filmed heaping racial abuse on a man of Ethiopian descent in a central Israeli supermarket, as those around remained silent.

Adamo Tagenia, aged around 30, was shopping in Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv, when a woman who identified herself only as Varda began to yell at him, seemingly unprovoked.

The incident was filmed by Tagenia and posted online Monday by his sister.

The woman, apparently mistaking Tagenia for an African asylum-seeker, said that individuals like him were “killing the people of south Tel Aviv.”

Many veteran residents of the neighborhood, which saw an influx of tens of thousands of Sudanese and Eritrean migrants in the last decade, blame the decline of the working class area on the newcomers and accuse them of spreading crime. Their opposition has helped fuel a controversial government decision — currently held up in the courts — to have all of the Africans deported.

A woman mourns at a memorial in south Tel Aviv on October 21, 2015 for Haftom Zarhum, an Eritrean man who was mistaken for a terrorist. Zarhum was shot and then beaten by an angry mob. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Tagenia’s sister, Sarit, who uploaded the video onto Facebook on Monday, said the woman started by asking her brother if he was from Sudan or Eritrea. When he said it was not relevant, Varda broke out into a racist monologue.

“Go and live in south Tel Aviv. We’ll see what you’ll do there,” she screamed at the man.

“They’re trash, aren’t they?” she continued and, on noticing that Tagenia was filming the outburst, said, “Go on, you son of a bitch, film me until tomorrow.”

Tagenia can be heard asking those around him, “Did you hear, did you hear?” but nobody else replies.

The woman also called Tagenia a kushi, a derogatory term for black people. “You’re black and your soul is black,” she shouted.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with residents of South Tel Aviv, during a tour in the neighborhood on August 31, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

When Tagenia calmly says to the woman, “Varda, you’re an elderly lady,” the woman retorts, “You don’t scare me. Move, get out of my face. I don’t want to see you. I’m about to throw up.”

In her Facebook post, Sarit Tagenia spoke out against the failure of other people in the store to intervene and praised her brother for maintaining his composure.

“The saddest thing is that none of the customers in the supermarket opened their mouths against the sickening behavior of this woman. I’m proud of my brother for his patience, because not many people would have behaved like that.”

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