Former MK Mohammad Barakeh, speaking at the rally, said the state of Israel did not the right lesson from the October riots, and that it was attempting to eliminate the Arab-Israeli political leadership, illegalize it, and grind down the Arab-Israeli civilian population. “Our spirits will not be broken, we are shunned from all events, and suddenly it’s important to the state of Israel whether or not we participate in Shimon Peres’ funeral. Suddenly they miss us? It’s not our priority whether to participate or not. We have problems with lands, homes up for demolition, and what not,” he added.
The October 2000 riots broke out a few days after the Second Intifada (nicknamed the “Al-Aqsa Intifada” by Palestinians, since one of its main claimed catalysts was the way Israel was handling the Temple Mount area, which houses the Al-Aqsa mosque), in October 2000. On October 1, 2000, Israeli Arabs began violently protesting in several Arab-Israeli towns and villages across Israel, in solidarity with Palestinian protesters who had been rioting for several days.
The dispersal of the Arab-Israeli riots (which were generally geographically disconnected to the Palestinian rioting that took place mainly in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem) involved the deaths of 12 Arab-Israelis and one non-Israeli Palestinian civilian, as well as a Jewish woman who was killed by a thrown stone.
In the aftermath of the riots, the Or Commission, headed by Supreme Court Justice Theodor Or, which rebuked several government ministers, high-ranking officers in the Israel Police, and leaders of the Arab-Israeli public.