Israeli Arab politicians and a political activist rallied around their community on Wednesday, arguing that Israel’s actions and the “occupation” have led to the recent surge in violence.
Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen (Hadash) told The Jerusalem Post that the main source of the latest violence is “the continuation of the Israeli ‘occupation’ with no hope for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is acting to perpetuate the “occupation” and adopting “apartheid” practices in the “occupied territories,” he asserted.
“Israel cannot claim to be a democracy if it continues to oppress millions of Palestinians.”
The Joint List MK also called for international intervention in the Israel- Palestinian conflict in order to push for a two-state solution based on the 1949 cease-fire lines.
“Otherwise, I am afraid that the region will continue to boil,” he added.
A Joint List political source told the Post
that there are no talks going on behind the scenes between the Joint List and the government or security forces in order to calm the situation.
In general, there is little contact between the government and the Joint List, said the source.
Joint List MK Aida Touma- Sliman also blamed Netanyahu’s government for the recent escalation in violence, arguing that “settler crimes,” and “rampant violence by the army and police” in Jerusalem and the West Bank led to the current situation.
In addition, complained the Hadash MK, the police are not allowing people to protest and express their support for their own people, which has also led to increased violence.
“The strong angst from the continuing ‘occupation’ is causing an escalation on the ground,” she said, adding the “only way to calm the situation is a real effort to end the ‘occupation’ and the opening of genuine peace negotiations.”
Rami Younis, who describes himself as a Palestinian citizen of Israel and is a political activist and writer, told the Post
that he did not think the latest outbreak of violence was religiously motivated.
“It is a fight for our lives, literally. Our youth in Jerusalem and the West Bank feel they just cannot take it anymore,” said Younis, who had until recently worked with MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad).
He added that “the army and ‘settlers’ cannot keep committing crimes and not expect a struggle in return.”
If the third intifada is starting, it will be one led by the youth, he argued.
“The gap between the Palestinian puppet regime [of the Palestinian Authority] and the street could not be bigger.”
“We know the state is against us, and we know the police are against us.
We are not going to take it any more,” exclaimed Younis.
Meretz MK Esawi Frej called for further protests against the “occupation” on Wednesday, but called on protesters not to use violence or break the law.
“This is not our way,” he said.
“The expectation that we will close our eyes in the face of oppression and violence is unfair and disconnected from reality,” argued the Arab Meretz MK.