Arab Knesset Members have claimed that the shooting attack in Shfaram is
an expression of "what many Israelis want to do."
Knesset Member Mohammad Barakeh, secretary general of the Hadash party and a resident of Shfaram, spoke to Ynet from the scene of attack. “The writing was on the wall,” he said. “Public officials, politicians, and Knesset Members have been inciting against the Arab public day and night, and this is the outcome.”
“We are dealing with a terrorist attack carried out by one of the right-wing terrorist factions,” said Barakeh. “The responsibility for this attack falls on the Israeli government, the branches of the security forces, and law enforcement agencies. As long as they react poorly to attacks like this, we can, to my sorrow, expect more severe crimes. The Arab population won’t sit on its hands,” he added.
Barakeh said that the atmosphere in Shfaram was extremely angry, and it was not clear how events would unfold. “This extremist,” he said, “who is similar to many ministers and Knessset members in Israel, in terms of his worldview and opinions, has applied what these politicians have said. They have effectively asked for our blood. Its not clear how we can not respond to this,” warned Barakeh.
Israeli Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, of the Hadash-Ta`al coalition, told Ynet that the attack was “a terrorist application of the incitement against the Arab sector, and expression of the anti-Arab attitude that have spread through the public and the political system in Israel. The anti-Arab sentiment has not been considered to be a racist phenomenon long ago, but rather is seen as a security issue.”
He continued, “In a situation in which politicians are calling for the expulsion of Arabs, this soldier decided to slaughter innocents.”
Responding to the question of whether Arab Knesset Members would act to calm the atmosphere, Tibi said, “We in the Arab sector have never been for violence, but we are now in a situation where we have to defend our lives.”
Netanyahu: Murder of innocents
Azmi Beshara, an Israeli Arab Knesset Member of the National Democratic Assembly Party, said that, “this is not a conflict. This was an attack against the Arab public, and I fear that a respectable portion of the Jewish public will see the attacker as another ‘real man like Baruch (Goldstein).’”
Other ministers responded with outrage following news of a Jewish terror attack. Finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “This is a severe crossing of all the borders and a terrible blow against democracy. These acts slander an entire public that is trying to protest in a legitimate way. The murder of innocents has no justification.”
Knesset Member Uri Ariel, of the anti-disengagement National Union Party, said, “This is not a Jewish act and it’s not human. This is the insane act of a madman. Whoever carries out an act like this is a cold-blooded murderer. The IDF must find out how a guy like this got hold of weapons.”
Amram Mitzna of the Labor Party said that attack was “an act of terrorism from every perspective, and it must be condemned in the harshest terms. The writing was however on the wall,” said Mitzna, who called on security forces remove their gloves in the fight against Jewish extremism.