The Abraham Fund Initiatives – for the integration and equality of Arab citizens
– sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu last week calling for a new
government program to deal with violence against Arabs.
drafted by the co-executive directors of the Fund in Israel, Amnon Beeri-
Sulitzeanu and Mohammad Darawshe was titled “A plan of action for dealing with
violence against Arabs.” It mentions recent suspected incidents of racist-based
violence against Arabs, and argues that the phenomenon has increased
The letter states, “We turn to you [Netanyahu] in order to
initiate an urgent plan to deal with violence and hate crimes against
The plan will include a coordinated effort by the police, the
judicial branch, and the educational system.
It will include clear steps
for strict enforcement of laws against racist violence and deterrence, the
There should also be an educational initiative to
eliminate racism among Israeli youth. The letter concluded by calling on the
prime minister to publicly condemn racist actions.
The letter refers to
recent incidents that involved violence against Arabs. On Monday an alleged
attack on an Arab woman by a group of religious Jewish women was reported in
Jerusalem. Police have launched an investigation.
Early Sunday near
Jaffa, an Arab was apparently attacked by what he claimed was a group of around
15 Jews who also yelled racist insults at him.
Beeri-Sulitzeanu told The
Jerusalem Post that one of the main things that needs to be done is to pass a
“hate crimes” law. Additionally, he said there needs to be a change in the
educational system with a curriculum and workshops that promote
He also said Netanyahu should come out much stronger against
racism – “he needs to say there is a zero-tolerance policy for hate crimes
“The public sphere is turning into a hunting field of
Arabs and we see that this is growing, and we fear that if we don’t stop it now
someone could be killed.”
Regarding a comment by the Post that Arabs are
also attacking Jews, Amnon said, “I don’t see Arabs attacking Jews. Where do you
see Arabs attacking Jews?” He went on to add, “You have to understand that this
is not the situation right now.
Maybe Arabs attack Jews once in a while,
but this is not what we are seeing now.”