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Classified police memo recommending ways to covertly monitor the Israeli Black Panthers, a 1970s grassroots organization of citizens of Middle Eastern origin fighting discrimination
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March 4 1971
Classified police memo recommending ways to monitor the Israeli "Black Panthers" In January 1971, a group of young Jews of North African and Middle Eastern origin from the Musrara neighborhood of Jerusalem established a movement whose aim was to fight against what they perceived as the country's institutionalized discrimination against Jews who were not of Ashkenazi (generally European) origin. The movement gained strength partly as a result of the government's attempts to absorb new immigrants then arriving from the Soviet Union, and also thanks to the relative quiet on Israel's borders at the time. The group gained additional support from a number of left-wing activists, and eventually expanded its activities to include the Tel Aviv region. The members decided to call themselves the "Black Panthers," modeling the movement after the Afro-American organization by the same name, established in the US in 1966. The Israel Police was concerned that the Black Panther demonstrations would escalate and result in violent riots like the ones that erupted in Wadi Salib in Haifa in 1959 under the leadership of David Ben-Harush. The police therefore decided to begin gathering intelligence regarding the movement, and planted an informer within the ranks of the leadership. On March 4, 1971, one day after a Black Panther demonstration had taken place opposite Jerusalem City Hall, a police intelligence officer by the name of Turgeman delivered a classified memo which listed a number of measures which could be used to more effectively infiltrate the movement. The Black Panther movement continued its activities until the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Subsequently, some of the movement's leaders adapted their approach and joined a number of different political parties.
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National State Archives, ל-412/9
 
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