Tag Meir Visits Druze Soldier Beaten for Speaking Arabic

Activists from NIF grantee Tag Meir visited the home of hate-crime victim Tommy Hasson, a Druze student and IDF veteran, last week. A group of Jewish youth brutally attacked Tommy last week at the Jerusalem Central Bus Station in front of dozens of passersby and security. His assailants taunted him for speaking Arabic, spat in his face, and then brutally beat him with broken glass bottles and other sharp objects. Hasson, who is twenty-one years old and studies at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, was recently discharged from the army after serving in the Druze Herev Battalion, and then as military secretary to the president.

Tag Meir activists visited the Hasson family to support Tommy and to condemn all violence and racism in the name of Judaism. During the visit, Rabbi Gilad Kariv spoke about the story of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, who, according to tradition, is a prophet in the Druze religion. Tommy’s father praised the deep connection between the Druze and the Jews. At the end of the evening, Tommy played piano for the crowd.

In the days following the incident, six of the teens responsible for the attack were arrested. President Rivlin expressed support for Tommy as well, writing in a Facebook post: “Tommy, a Druze who was recently released from army service as the military secretary to the president, is hospitalised at Hadassah Hospital after being severely beaten last night. I talked to his father this morning and could not believe my ears. A man who is integrally linked to this country, attacked with such terrible violence. We are brothers, and all of us must condemn terrible behaviour like that.”

Tag Meir is the largest grassroots organisation working against hate crimes and racism in Israel.

February 2015