Mayasem Abu Alqian, a 19-year-old Bedouin citizen from the southern town of Hura, was attacked on Sunday (May 22) by a group of Israeli Border Police officers outside his workplace, at a grocery store near Rabin Square in the center of Tel Aviv. He was brutally beaten by the officers, yet instead of receiving adequate medical care he was arrested and has been under house arrest. Such acts of police brutality against Bedouins is not rare. The current political tensions often mark every Arab as a suspect of criminal activity or as a potential terrorist, in this case, Mayasem’s only crime was being an Arab in Tel Aviv.
Tuesday morning, the NCF launched a crowdfunding campaign for Abu Alqian. The goal was to raise NIS 40,000 (just over $10,000) to fund his psychology studies and provide legal aid. That goal was met within less than 12 hours, as hundreds of Israelis donated to support Abu Alqian.
The successful campaign was covered by the Israeli and the international media, and within less than a week, we raised more the NIS 90,000 for Mayasem’s studies from about 1,000 Israelis. The campaign served as proof for many Arabs and Jews that there is hope out there for shared existence and empathy. On Saturday, more than 50 people joined a solidarity visit in Hura, to meet Mayasem and his family and support them.
Read more on +972 Magazine – Israelis’ heartwarming response to shocking police brutality, by Michal Rotem of NCF