Erdan: Arabs pull out knives instead of legally solving issues

The minister spoke against "Arab culture", saying: "A mother can give her approval to her son to murder the sister because she is dating a man who the family does not like."

By ARIK BENDER/MAARIV
October 7, 2019 19:08
2 minute read.
Gilad Erdan

Gilad Erdan. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan attacked Arab elected officials for interfering with police work, in part by preventing the establishment of police stations in Arab villages.

His comments come in response to the officials criticizing police failure to confiscate illegal weapons as well as the blame the government, which they say does not invest enough in curbing violence in Arab society.

“Arab society is a very, very violent society,” Erdan said on Monday on Radio Jerusalem. “It’s because in their culture disputes – rather than ending with a lawsuit – end with a knife or weapon being drawn. It’s because a mother can give her approval to her son to murder the sister because she is dating a man whom the family does not like.”

Erdan later posted a clarification on Twitter: “Due to the distortion and exclusion from the context of my words, once again: the main responsibility for the fight against crime and violence in Arab society is the government and the police. The Arab public is a law-abiding, normative public. I am proud of the unprecedented investment in recent years for the benefit of the sector in a scope that has never been before.

“However, those who want our investment to bear fruit must recognize that there are also social norms in parts of the Arab public that must be fought by changing cultural codes: blood revenge, murder in the family of a family member, illegal weapons (not only in criminal organizations). In order for us to succeed, so does the sector’s leadership.”

As expected, Erdan’s words stirred up and upset the Arab public. “Instead of taking responsibility for the safety of all citizens of the country, Erdan prefers to hide behind racist allegations and throw the responsibility on the murdered,” said Joint List head Ayman Odeh. “Again he avoids facts. The number of people killed in Arab society before the events of October 2000 was the same as the national average.

After the police abandoned our streets to crime organizations and gangs, the number of those murdered began to rise.”

According to Odeh, “Crime in Arab society is not a product of Arab culture but government racism. [He is] a minister who sees us as enemies and refuses to protect us from the criminal organizations that obtain the vast majority of the weapons from the military. Erdan must realize that there is no room for this kind of racism in 2019. The minister is demonstrating a tribal-government culture with no hint of citizenship. We will continue the fight for the most basic right of every citizen: the right to life and security.”

Joint List MK Joseph Jabarin said “Erdan escapes responsibility by blaming the victim. His reference to the rising violence in Arab society, as if it is a problem in Arab culture, is a racist and greedy reference. If the police had fulfilled their role as required and handled the crime as it does in Jewish society, we would not have reached the current levels of crime. The offenders feel that there is no law or justice in the Arab communities, and they continue to operate almost freely. The flawed culture is the racial culture that views Arab citizens as second-class citizens and [having an] inferior culture.”



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