The New York Times has rejected a documentary featuring non-Jewish African migrants in Israel despite having originally commissioned it, according to the film's producers.
The documentary, "Israel's new racism: the persecution of African migrants in the Holy Land" was produced by Israeli journalist David Sheen and American author and journalist Max Blumenthal.
It shows footage from the anti-African rallies of 2012 as well as exclusive interviews with Israel's former member of the Knesset Michael Ben-Ari.
Blumenthal, known for his work about the right wing in the US and extremism in Israel, told Consortium News that the New York Times asked him to submit a documentary for the new op docs section on its website.
"They solicited a video from me, and when I didn't produce it in time, they called me for it, saying they wanted it," he said. "So I sent them a video I produced with my colleague, David Sheen, an Israeli journalist who is covering the situation of non-Jewish Africans in Israel more extensively than any journalist in the world.
"We put together some shocking footage of pogroms against African communities in Tel Aviv and interviews with human rights activists," the journalist said. "We tailored it to their style, and of course it was rejected without an explanation after being solicited."
Recent statistics published by the Population, Immigration and Border Authority in Israel show that only four refugee applicants have been granted asylum status so far in 2013, out of 2,593 who submitted requests.
The High Court in the country overturned the so-called Infiltration Law which allowed Israel to jail migrants for three years, pending a review of their refugee status, and set a 90-day deadline for detainees to be released. Around 1,800 Africans are still in detention and only two have been released since the ruling.
Among the extracts filmed by Sheen and Blumenthal at an anti-African rally is a woman saying that she is "proud to be racist".
"We're racist because we want to preserve our lives and our sanity. So I'm proud to be a racist - and it's our right to be racist!"
Michael Ben-Ari, a notorious anti-African right-winger, is seen saying that migrants are a threat to the Jewish identity of Israel.
"We'll turn into a country of immigrants. We'll bring in a million Africans, half a million Philippines, 2 or 3 million Chinese and this is the end for Israel," he said during the interview.
"It's threatening because this will no longer be a Jewish state. Our state is different from other countries [...] Our country is a Jewish state. A Jewish and a democratic state."
Ben-Ari is also seen joined by Likud Party politicians in the anti-Africans rally in May 2012.
Interior Committee chair Miri Rege also makes an appearance in the documentary, saying: "The Sudanese are a cancer in our body!"
The footage also shows rabbis singing decrees forbidding the rental of apartments to Africans. Rabbi Ariel Abreli is seen in 19 March 2013 saying: "We initiated a movement here to convince people not to rent them apartments."