A video footage that went viral on social media showed a popular Israeli children’s TV show host driving with his family in the Naqab (Negev) desert and feeding two Palestinian children as if they were zoo animals.
The video shows Roy OZ (also known as Roy Boy), opening the window of his car while holding a cookie. He, then, waves the cookie at two Palestinian children from the Bedouin community while asking his son: “Ariel, do you want to feed a Bedouin?”
“Let’s feed a Bedouin. Don’t you want to feed a Bedouin?” OZ repeatedly says to his children while in the backseat.
Disgusting and infuriating. “Who wants to feed the Bedouins?” the fathers asks the kids.
Israelis treating Palestinian Bedouins like animals in a zoo.
Ugly racism!!! pic.twitter.com/cKsuyI3CJo
— Jala جالا (@jala_leb) July 12, 2020
The video sparked immediate outrage among human rights activists, with much of the criticism targeting institutional racism in Israel.
In a Facebook post, OZ said that the video was taken five years ago during a family trip. It is unclear how the offensive footage was leaked on social media.
Atia al-Asem, head of the Regional Council of Palestinian Villages in the Naqab, expressed outrage at the video, saying that the Bedouins are being treated by Israelis as if “monkeys”.
— Richard Hardigan (@RichardHardigan) January 27, 2018
Arab member of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) Ahmad Tibi described OZ’s behavior as the “lowest of human behavior, racist and despicable brutishness.”
“The thousands of Palestinians who are still living in the Naqab desert have been subjected to a relentless Israeli campaign of dehumanization, racism, and ethnic cleansing,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud said.
“Racism and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Bedouin communities go hand in hand,” Baroud added. “OZ’s video cannot be viewed separately from Israeli government’s plans to corral Palestinians in the Naqab into isolated and impoverished communities to make space for Jewish-only housing developments.”.
“For that sinister scenario to succeed, the Palestinian Bedouins needed to be dehumanized by the Israeli political and media establishments. OZ’s video is a mere expression of that outrageous reality.”
(The Palestine Chronicle)