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From far-right to Islamist parties, leaders condemn Jewish-Arab violence

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13.05.2021

In a rare display of unity, Israeli politicians from across the spectrum — from Islamist Arab to far-right Jew — expressed shock and condemnation of the paroxysms of internal Jewish-Arab violence that erupted across the country in recent days.

Israel on Wednesday experienced its worst night of internal Jewish-Arab chaos for many years, amid the ongoing armed conflict with Gaza, as scenes of unrest, rioting, hate rallies and growing social chaos spread throughout numerous cities, some of which were once seen as symbols of coexistence.

Violent confrontations erupted in Lod, Acre, Jerusalem, Haifa, Bat Yam, Tiberias and many other locations, with multiple people injured, some of them seriously, leading Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to announce he was looking at deploying the military inside towns to restore order.

Perhaps the most shocking scene of the night, and one that elicited expressions of disbelief and horror from Israeli leaders, was footage of hundreds of Jewish extremists in Bat Yam vandalizing Arab property and then assaulting an Arab driver in his car, dragging him out of the vehicle and beating him savagely.

A man beats someone lying prone on the ground in the Israeli city of Bat Yam amid interethnic violence across Israel, May 12, 2021. (Screenshot)

The well-documented incident in Bat Yam brought on expressions of disgust from politicians, from the prime minister to far-right Knesset members. In a video from his office, Netanyahu told the public that such incidents were “intolerable.”

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“I don’t care if your blood is boiling. So it’s boiling. It’s irrelevant. You can’t take the law into your own hands,” he thundered. “You can’t come to an Arab civilian and try to lynch him, just as we can’t see Arab citizens do so to Jewish citizens. This will not stand.”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid decried the “total loss of control.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that Israeli internal divisions were “no less dangerous than Hamas.”

Yamina chief Naftali Bennett called the scenes in Bat Yam “un-Jewish, immoral, inhuman.” His No. 2 Ayelet Shaked decried the “moral bankruptcy” of such an attack.

New Hope’s Gideon Sa’ar warned the country could be sliding toward civil war.

סירנות ועימותים באום אל פאחם, בתוך........

© The Times of Israel


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