מייסם ג'לג'ולי, יו"ר נעמת במרחב משולש דרומי
Maisam Jaljuli
Photo: Tal Shahar
Residents of the town of Kafr Yasif protesting gun violence in the Arab community

Inaction on violence in Arab sector is issue for all Israelis

Opinion: Any sane person must ask themselves why so many civilians are being murdered yet no effort is made to find their killers; but the state has never viewed its Arab citizens as equal, and there some in police who see them as potential enemies, not civilians who should be protected

Maisam Jaljuli |
Published: 07.02.21, 14:18
Since the beginning of the year, more than 50 Arab citizens of the State of Israel have been murdered. The wounded or the shootings that end without injury are no longer even counted.
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  • Over the past decade, Arab leaders and activists have warned on every possible stage about the dangers of government and police mishandling of the situation, asked them to prosecute the criminals and begged the police to collect weapons and ammunition.
    But the government and police refused to listen.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Residents of the town of Kafr Yasif protest gun violence in the Arab community
    Residents of the town of Kafr Yasif protest gun violence in the Arab community
    Residents of the town of Kafr Yasif protesting gun violence in the Arab community
    (Photo: Ynet)
    That all changed about a month ago during the demonstrations and terrible riots between Arabs and Jews in the mixed cities and other Arab localities, during protests over the attempted evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and the events at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
    For it was only after Jews were harmed did the police respond strongly. Suddenly they started talking about increased enforcement and collecting weapons and even announced the arrest of 1,500 young Arabs.
    One only needs to read the recently released State Comptroller's Report for 2021 to understand the chaos and deliberate policy of inaction on the part of the state: 70% of Arab murder victims died as a result of firearms, compared to just 22% overall in Israel.
    In 2019, a year in which 95 Arab civilians were murdered, only 5% of indictments were for the use of firearms. The comptroller's report notes that the police have not bothered to seize illegal weapons and in fact only came into possession of 19 weapons in 2019.
    The most interesting finding concerns the opening of new police stations, which the previous government boasted about. The report shows that the opening of the stations meant falling standards. In fact, the police took officers from existing stations in the same area to staff the new stations, leaving fewer police officers at each location.
    The State of Israel has never viewed its Arab citizens as equal. There are those in the Israel Police who see Arabs as potential enemies and a fifth column, and not civilians who should be protected or served.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    הפגנה נגד אלימות במגזר הערבי מול משטרת רמלה
    הפגנה נגד אלימות במגזר הערבי מול משטרת רמלה
    An Israeli Arab woman protests outside Ramle police station over inaction against violence in her community
    Any sane person must ask themselves why so many civilians are being murdered and why no effort is made to find their killers.
    Why is it that when criminal organizations tried to bring their methods of intimidation to Netanya, the police swung into action to restore security to the streets, but the same officers sit idly by as criminals destroy the lives of entire families in Umm al-Fahm?
    Why in the Jewish sector does one in two arrests lead to an indictment, but in the Arab sector that is only one in three?
    Many Arab citizens are beginning to understand that there is not point trying to pursue "justice and fairness" in Israel.
    They now realize that Israeli democracy is one-sided, serving only one people.
    If they are not tackled, the sense of helplessness and lack of trust in state institutions felt by of one-fifth of Israel's citizens will exact a price that we will all pay - Jews and Arabs.
    We must work together to change the political reality that has us on a path to destruction.

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