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Photo: Alarab.net
Khair Hamdan's funeral. PLO and Islamic Movement flags, calls for revenge
Photo: Alarab.net
Yoaz Hendel

National conflict is alive and kicking

Op-ed: Jews and Arabs are not separated by religion, but by their willingness to accept the State of Israel's existence and live in it as it is.

Late Israeli singer and songwriter Meir Ariel once wrote that at the end of every sentence in Hebrew sits an Arab with a hookah. I wish our lives could be summarized with this beautiful sentence. In the Israel of today, everything is upside down. At the end of each sentence and local incident hides a national conflict.

 

 

What happened in Kafr Kanna this weekend is no different than dozens of other incidents that have taken place in the Arab sector in recent years, apart for the tragic ending.

 

Whoever thought that the situation at the Temple Mount is explosive has discovered that there is an explosive potential on every mountain in Israel, and religious sentiments in every home.

 

The Arab sector is not calm. Nothing has changed since the 2000 riots, except for the radicalization perhaps. Arab Knesset members are doing everything in their power to destroy any possibility of a living together, and they have dangerous partners among us.

 

The silent majority in the Arab sector, which seeks to integrate into the Israeli society, is failing to gain power – and the official Israel is acting as if it's someone else's problem.

 

Clashes between police forces and civilians always have an explosive potential. About two months ago, riots broke out in the city of Ferguson, Missouri after an unarmed young black man was shot to death. US President Barack Obama had to calm the situation down. Similar incidents have taken place in other conflicts across the Western world.

 

What makes the events in Israel unique is the history. The national-religious conflict over this land is alive and kicking, the Nakba is still in the air, and the Jewish state's existence continues to get in the way.

 

Riots following Kafr Kanna shooting. 'It wasn't a protest against discrimination and violence, but against the State of Israel's existence' (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)  (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
Riots following Kafr Kanna shooting. 'It wasn't a protest against discrimination and violence, but against the State of Israel's existence' (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)

 

The funeral Saturday of Khair Hamdan, the young man shot by police in Kafr Kanna, was national, not just in accordance with the civilian nationality of its participants: Flags of the PLO and Islamic Movement were waved during the funeral, and there were chants calling for revenge against the state.

 

The public that attended the funeral was not angry at the police but at fate, which led the Jews to control them. In Haifa, there were calls for an intifada and chants from the new campaign encouraging drivers to run over Jews. It wasn't a protest against discrimination and violence, but against the State of Israel's existence.

 

We must investigate and draw conclusions from the Kafr Kanna incident. It could have ended differently. Yet Kafr Kanna is not Ferguson, and a terrorist armed with a knife is not an innocent young man. Police officers must shoot when they feel their life is in danger, and potential terrorists should be afraid of attacking the police.

 

Israel is a democratic nation state in which minorities live with equal rights. There is no other way of life.

 

If we examine the list of people who have been hurt by the security forces in recent incidents, we'll find members of different religions there. We are not separated by religion, but by the willingness to live here, in the State of Israel as it is.

 


פרסום ראשון: 11.09.14, 15:20
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