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One of the torched vehicles Photo: alarab.net
One of the torched vehicles Photo: alarab.net
 
 

Safed: 2 cars torched; anti-Arab slurs sprayed

Two Arab students from Zefat Academic College say their cars were set on fire by Jews; graffiti slurs 'death to Arabs', 'revenge' sprayed on walls near college. Jewish, Arab students hold rally, call for end to violence, racism

Hagai Einav
Latest Update: 03.16.11, 15:54 / Israel News

'Price tag' spreading to Galilee? Two vehicles belonging to Arab students on Wednesday morning were set on fire in the northern city of Safed, and slurs reading "Death to Arabs", "Kahane was right," and "revenge" were sprayed on the walls of the Zefat Academic College. Police launched an investigation, but no suspects have been arrested yet.

 

Some 250 Jewish and Arab students held a demonstration outside the college later on Wednesday following the incident.  

 

Protestors called on Jews and Arabs to end violence and racism. A college representative said at the rally that the college condemns any act against Arab students' property.

 

Salim Abu Shakra, whose car was torched said: "On the one hand, I'm furious but on the other hand disappointed. Our studies here, Jews and Arabs, are an excellent example of coexistence. Many of my Jewish friends are angry."

 

Ali Namna's car was also set on fire. "No doubt something has to change and the college needs to consider placing security guards and cameras in the dorms to fight violence targeting Arab students," he said.

 

Zefat Academic College student Walid Ghanim told Ynet, "The college just held a conference on the issue of dialogue and co-existence between Arabs and Jews. Since the incitement against us began, we had to reiterate that we haven’t come to live here, but only to stay at the dorms during our studies.

 

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"Unfortunately, since Safed's Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu spoke out against Arab students living and studying here – we've have been feeling persecuted. It is reflected in threats, curses, and as we can see now – damage to property," he said.

 

Another student expressed concern that recent events such as the massacre in Itamar might lead to "price tag" operations crossing the Green Line and reaching the Galilee.

 

"We live in our villages but run our errands and go out in the big cities," the student noted.


'Price tag may cross Green Line' (Photo: alarab.net)

 

"We've been building relationships between Arabs and Jews for years. The Zefat Academic College is attended not only by Muslims, but also by Bedouins and Druze, and we all feel as though it has turned into a battle between Jews and non-Jews. The college is one of the symbols of co-existence and must not let external elements from both sides jeopardize this," she said.

 

Zefat Academic College stated in response to the incidents that it condemns any damage caused to property of students from the Arab sector and acts of hostility perpetrated by different elements in the city.

 

Safed police continues to investigate a number of incidents that have occurred in recent months, including stones hurled at Arab students' houses in the Old City, and an incident in which shots were fired in the air near a house rented by an Arab student.

 

The municipality also tried to calm spirits down on Wednesday and stressed that the heads of the college and the police were discussing ways to prevent future violent attacks against Arab students.

 

 

First Published: 03.16.11, 12:32

 

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