Akko: Jewish residents call for boycott on Arab businesses
Yom Kippur riots take financial toll as SMS circulating among Jewish residents calls for boycott on Arab business-owners; Jewish shop owners also to pay price as State will not assist with damage to shops because riots do not fall under 'enemy activity'
A group of Jewish residents of Akko have called on fellow Jews to boycott all Arab merchants, tradesmen, and business-owners in the city, in retaliation for the Yom Kippur riots.
As soon as the holy day was over text messages began to circulate among the Jewish residents of the city stating: "Dear Jew, after the terrible Kippur pogrom in Akko, we shall all unite in a financial and general boycott against Arab merchants and businesses-owners." Recipients were asked to continue circulating the message.
During protests that took place in Akko posters with the slogan "A Jew shall not buy from an Arab" were distributed, and Ynet has learned that a senior city official approved the boycott.
Some precedents of such treatment exist. The riots of October 2000 were followed by a spontaneously organized boycott that lasted almost a year, in which Jewish residents of Akko limited their contact with Arab places of business and even avoided visiting the Old City.
Another boycott was unsuccessfully attempted following the violent events that occurred on Simchat Torah two years ago.
The city's Arab businesses have already suffered a blow due to the riots, as Akko Municipality canceled its annual theater festival – a significant source of income for the city's business-owners.
A senior police official told Ynet that "the Arab public will pay dearly for the events of Yom Kippur Eve. They have succeeded in greatly antagonizing the Jewish population and I don't see them being forgiven for the next few years."
Jewish shop-owners are also suffering a significant financial loss, as they will have to repair the considerable damage done to their stores, the price of which does not exceed the self participation fee demanded by insurance companies in many cases.
In addition, the State does not recognize the Yom Kippur riots as "enemy activity", and therefore will not compensate the residents with property tax. The Israel Tax Authority stated in response that "property tax does not have the authority to take care of the damages, as they were not caused by enemy activity as defined by law."
However the statement added that the Tax Authority had offered its logistical assistance to the mayor of Akko.