A Jewish Israeli man needing to see an orthopedist urgently was referred by his healthcare provider to a clinic in an Arab village. While passing the time in the waiting room playing with his smartphone, the man was suddenly punched unconscious by an Arab resident, reportedly motivated by the fact that his victim was Jewish.
As seen on video captured by a security camera, others in the waiting room did not immediately come to the aid of the man, who after being punched forcefully, grabbed the side of his head as if stunned, stood briefly, then descended to the floor, appearing to be briefly unconscious.
Eventually, two other men in the waiting room helped the man up from the floor and escorted him out of the room. According to Israel National News, the victim was later taken to the hospital for treatment.
Israel’s Channel 2 News reports that the incident took place in Ibilin, an Arab village. As the video shows, both men were sitting across the room from each other when suddenly, seemingly unprovoked, the Arab man rises from his seat and throws a punch to the side of the Jewish man’s head.
“The only characteristic which differentiated me from the others sitting in the waiting room is I’m Jewish,” the victim told Channel 2. Israeli media are withholding his name, referring to him only as “A.”
Channel 2 identified the attacker as Mohammed Mariset, a 20-year-old resident of Ibilin, who was later arrested. The victim who was diagnosed with a concussion told Channel 2, “My intuition is that the trigger [for the attack] is that I’m Jewish.”
According to the date stamp of the security camera footage, the incident took place on September 9th.
The victim of the attack told Channel 2 that while he would usually visit the health clinic in his town in northern Israel, he was told that there was a two-and-a-half month wait for doctors in his town and a three month wait in a nearby town, while in Ibilin there was an appointment available the next day.
Israeli healthcare is socialized, and patients often experience long waiting periods to see specialists.
Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir who is representing the victim told Israel National News that he believes there would have been an outcry had the roles been reversed and a Jew had punched an Arab in a Jewish town.
“President [Shimon] Peres would have issued a harsh denouncement, [Justice Minister] Tzipi Livni would have proposed new laws and the chief rabbis would have come to visit. But when a Jew is attacked, it’s as if nothing happened and hypocrisy rules,” he said.
“We demand that the full force of the law be brought against the attacker and I recommend to the victim to file a civil suit,” Ben Gvir added.
Israel National News, a right-wing news site, echoed the attorney’s sentiment that a role reversal – Jew on Arab violence – would have gained more attention. Of the security camera footage, it quipped, “Video you won’t see on CNN.”
Here is the security camera footage: