Netanyahu vows to stop price-tag, racist attacks

PM slams anti-Palestinian vandals and alleged segregation of Arab children at Superland amusement park.

Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned racism against Israeli Arabs and “hooliganism” against Palestinians at Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting.
He did not specifically mention the words “price-tag” attacks, in which right-wing extremists seek revenge mostly against innocent Palestinians or Israeli Arabs through acts of property damage, arson and graffiti.
But it was inferred, given that his statement comes in the aftermath of two such attacks on Friday morning.
The first was in the Palestinian village of Beitilu near Ramallah, where vandals slashed the tires of three cars and scrawled graffiti on a nearby wall. The second incident was in Jerusalem, where anti-Christian graffiti was found on the doorway of the Dormition Abbey.
Separately, last week, the media published reports that Superland amusement park in Rishon Lezion hosted Jewish and Arab children on separate days.
Netanyahu told the cabinet, “I would like to strongly condemn recent phenomena of racism against Israeli Arabs and hooliganism against Palestinians, which were without any provocation or justification whatsoever.
We strongly reject these phenomena and will act with all legal means at our disposal to stop them.”
He spoke amidst a political drive to strengthen the law enforcement arm to combat the growing phenomenon of price-tag attacks by legally classifying them as acts of terror.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beytenu) have pushed this reclassification initiative and want to bring the issue to the cabinet. Finance Minister Yair Lapid recently spoke of his support for the reclassification as well.
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has said that there is no legal barrier to reclassifying price-tag attacks, but believes the antidote is better police investigatory work, according to sources in his office.
Netanyahu has not stated his position on the matter.