עפיף אבו מוך
Afif Abu Moch
Photo: Amit Shaal
Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and the murdered past  weekend

Not all violence in Arab sector caused by organized crime

Opinion: Recent spike in violence in Arab Israeli communities is actually a result of a lack of proper education at home and a product of the perception that violence is a solution, a source of income and a way of life

Afif Abu Much |
Published: 09.03.21, 19:04
Terror and violence, crime and illegal firearms have all become synonyms to the Arab sector. Just last weekend, on Saturday, three people were murdered, and since the beginning of the year, 76 people have been murdered in total in Arab Israeli communities across the country.
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  • In the past few years many bold statements were made by officials and politicians from all spectrums of the political map on the issue of violence in the sector. However, there is no decrease in violence, with the number of victims only rising. The police, meanwhile, stand helpless in the face of the violence that has been raging in Arab communities, which today look more like the Wild West.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    פשע במגזר הערבי
    פשע במגזר הערבי
    Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and the murdered past weekend
    (Photo: Elad Gershgoren)
    Let's from the start address the elephant in the room, and say explicitly - if the victims of the crimes over the weekend were Jewish, this would have been handled long ago. But why am I so sure? There are several reasons.
    Firstly, In the early 2000's, Israel had launched an operation to eradicate organized crime in the Jewish sector and it proved as effective. Secondly, only last May when the riots erupted in mixed Israeli Arabs cities in the wake of the Gaza war, suddenly quite a few current and former Israeli officials came out decrying the overflow of firearms in the sector.
    That means as soon as the weapons were used against Jews, it started bothering them. Which only proves the saying that is common among Arab citizens in the country: "As long as it's Arabs shooting at Arabs - it doesn't bother anyone."
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    A local resident stands by his burning car during clashes between Israeli Arabs and police in Lod, May 11,2021
    A local resident stands by his burning car during clashes between Israeli Arabs and police in Lod, May 11,2021
    A local resident stands by his burning car during clashes between Israeli Arabs and police in Lod, May 11,2021
    (Photo: AP)
    One of the problems with analyzing terrorism, violence and crime in Arab society, is that you look at all cases. Violence in the Arab sector does not begin and end in murders, but rather in a nightmarish everyday life. Just last week, there was an attempted armed robbery at a wedding in Tayibe when a few masked men tried to steal safe box from the wedding hall.
    But it doesn't end there, shootings at house, burning down of business and vehicles during the night in order to intimidate and blackmail the owners - all of this is part of everyday life in the sector. On top of that, silly arguments among the residents often turn violent to save the ego and earn respect.
    And that's exactly the point, not every case of violence in the Arab community is an act of organized crime. Many of those cases are a result of a lack of education and a mentality that believes that violence could solve anything in life.
    But, it can all be solved through education, accommodation, employment and giving the Arab youth something to do with their lives.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    עפיף אבו מוך
    עפיף אבו מוך
    Afif Abu Much
    (Photo: Amit Shael)
    And despite the bleak situation described here, it should be emphasized that according to high-profile police official Jamal Khorosh, 97.5 percent of the Arab residents are normative citizens who shy away from violence, and only 2.5 percent engage in such acts, and they are responsible of ruining the eputation of others.
    So, instead of finger-pointing and blaming the Arab community, it should be pointed at those who decided to weaken the police and ignore the problem.

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