Two brothers from the village of Musheirifa in Wadi Ara have received demolition orders for their homes that cannot be appealed. The two demolition orders are part of a recent spike against Arab homes in the area. Residents who received the demolition orders have threatened to defend their homes with their bodies and are calling on the government to rescind the demolition orders. The crackdown on Arab construction has gathered steam since December, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to step up “enforcement against unauthorized building among the country’s Arab population.”
Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen (Hadash), who lives in Umm al-Fahm in the vicinity of Musheirifa, has said: “In recent weeks we have demonstrated against demolitions in Arab communities. We want to present an alternative voice. Netanyahu is leading our two peoples to destruction using racist policies and annexation laws of all kinds, and we are warning the Israeli public against disaster. We offer the public an alternative to hate, incitement and the divisiveness of Netanyahu and his government. An alternative based on equality, coexistence and respect for all citizens. Our demonstrations are a point of light in Netanyahu’s destructive radicalization.”
Last Saturday night, February 4, over 5,000 Jewish and Arab demonstrators from across the country marched together in Tel Aviv against home demolitions and in support of equality for all. The demonstrators called on Prime Minister Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Erdan to step down, after months of racist incitement against Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel.
The demonstration was organized by a large coalition of organizations and political parties, including Standing Together, the Communist Party of Israel, Hadash, Meretz, the Council of Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, Rabbis for Human Rights, Yad B’Yad, Sikuy, and others. The protesters marched along King George Street chanting slogans like “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies,” until they reached Dizengoff Street, where they held a large rally. Among the speakers were Joint List head MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) and Meretz MK Michal Rozin. Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon and representatives of the Zionist Union, who were supposed to attend, were absent.
Former Hadash MK, Muhammad Barakeh, who heads the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, called on the demonstrators to come back to Tel Aviv this month for another demonstration, warning against the growing partnership between the Netanyahu government and fascist parties in Europe and the United States. Hadash MK Dov Khenin (Joint List) added that it is “infuriating to see Netanyahu copy the anti-Semites in Europe. In Europe the supporters of the Tsar said ‘strike the Jews and save Russia.’ The prime minister says ‘strike the Arabs and save Netanyahu.’”