The country’s Arab parliamentarians managed this week to surpass even their own
most strident incitement against the state that bankrolls them and guarantees
their rights to subvert it. Speaking in Sakhnin at the 12th memorial to the 13
Arabs shot dead during the October 2000 riots, MKs Ahmed Tibi and Taleb a-Sanaa
in effect agitated for violent vengeance, thereby ramping up already
inordinately confrontational rhetoric.
This wasn’t just more of their
by-now-pervasive in-yourface insolence – the sort to which we’ve already grown
inured. This time there were exhortations for an operative translation by fellow
Israeli Arabs of the escalated bellicosity.
Not much could be left to the
imagination when Sanaa railed: “If the government fails to do justice, we shall.
If it fails to punish the criminals, we shall.”
Tibi was hardly more
circumspect: “We shall not forget and we shall not forgive. The criminals must
be prosecuted and punished. A state which kills its own citizens, and rewards
their murderers, is a state which conducts itself with criminal
This isn’t inconsequential nattering, enunciated today and
evaporated tomorrow. Sanaa in effect urged Israeli Arabs to take justice into
their own hands – or what they claim to be justice.
Tibi honed a
fraudulent sense of victimhood and concomitantly the delegitimization of Israel
as both criminal and racist. This follows countless provocative acts and
statements, including junkets to Mideastern capitals where Israeli Arab MKs
unequivocally sided with the existential enemy of the state whose taxpayers foot
their bills and in whose parliament they serve.
THE INFLAMMATORY oratory,
moreover, willfully promotes a skewed version of the 2000 riots (which not
incidentally coincided with the launching of Yasser Arafat’s intifada just
then). Falsehoods are elevated to an axiomatic historiography when all mention
is omitted of the fact that rampaging Israeli Arabs besieged dozens of
communities within Israel 12 years ago.
A Jewish civilian, Bechor Zhan,
driving south from Haifa, was killed by a rock that Jisr e-Zarka youths hurled
at his car. Throughout the North, motorists were violently dragged from their
vehicles, asked if they were Jews and forced to show their IDs to ascertain
their ethnicity. This is what happened to Ya’acov Ben-Hamo of Kibbutz Beit Alfa
when driving between Umm el-Fahm and Afula. Fifteen masked Arabs pulled him from
his automobile, burned it and kicked him mercilessly. He was barely rescued by a
passing bus driver.
The ambulance eventually summoned to treat Gershon
Adani’s severe wounds couldn’t get through the Arab mob’s roadblock. Adani was
assaulted while driving to his home, near Acre. When his Jewishness was
established, a whooping war cry went up: “Yahudi
[Jew]!” It was immediately
followed by the bloodcurdling “Itbach el-Yahud
[slaughter the Jew]!” Adani was
pelted with bricks and rocks and beaten to a pulp for being a Jew. He somehow
managed to flee, with his attackers in hot pursuit. He hid, bruised and
bleeding, in a fruit grove while they prowled about, trying to locate him and
finish the job.
Simultaneously other Arabs, in Jaffa – a hop and a skip
from Bat Yam and downtown Tel Aviv – singled out Jewish stores to vandalize.
They marked the windows of businesses not owned by Arabs, so that only Jewish
property would be ransacked.
These weren’t isolated incidents. At the
Nitzanei Oz Industrial Park in the country’s Center, which provides employment
for Arabs from nearby towns, frenzied men burned four plants to a
It behooves the leadership of Israel’s Arabs to remind its
electorate that those who wish to enjoy the perks of Israeli citizenship cannot
claim the liberty to abuse that citizenship in order to facilitate the brutal
murder of fellow citizens and eventually destroy the state
Incendiary speechifying from Israeli Arab public figures does a
grave disservice foremost to their own communities.
Reiterated lies trap
ordinary folk in a vicious cycle of self-deception and self-imposed isolation.
Disingenuous politicians confine their voters in a subjective counterfeit
reality, which provides fertile ground for further incitement, violence and
The radicalization of the Israeli Arab sector becomes a cynical
vote-getting formula, and this is foremost that sector’s homemade tragedy.