Black-Israeli lives matter : Online activism among young Ethiopian Israelis

Omer Keynan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In April 2015, CCTV footage of Israeli police officers beating a Jewish-Israeli of Ethiopian descent, who was an active duty soldier in uniform, went viral on Facebook. In response, members of the Ethiopian-Israeli community organized a series of demonstrations against police brutality. By studying online interactions on Facebook pages popular with Ethiopian users, this chapter shows how these users interpreted the video as exhibiting of social exclusion based on skin color. The protest movement's narratives were inspired by the historical and cultural struggle of the African American community, and more recently, by the Black Lives Matter Movement in the United States. Adopting the narrative of textquotedblleftblack struggletextquotedblright also indicated Ethiopian-Israeli users' preference for an uncompromising social protest rather than conciliatory approaches that advocates social integration efforts. Drawing upon concepts in studies of social movements and online activism, the findings of this chapter lend insight into the role of social media in the formation and ongoing conduct of contemporary social movements as a space where ideas, messages, and forms of protest are conveyed by visual, symbolic and emotional means.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlackness in Israel
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-00311170-2
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


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