Friday morning, December 5, more than 2,000 people — students, teachers, and parents from “Hand in “Hand” schools throughout Israel — marched through the streets of Jerusalem to the Max Rayne Hebrew-Arab bilingual school, the target of a racist arson attack the previous week (November 30). Many others, among them activists from Hadash and the Communist Party of Israel (CPI), joined the march as an expression of solidarity with the school and against racism.
In last week’s attack on the school, unidentified arsonists broke into two first-grade classrooms where they piled up books which they set ablaze. One classroom was completely destroyed and the second was seriously damaged. The arsonists also painted racist graffiti on the walls of the classrooms: “Death to Arabs” and “There can be no coexistence with cancer.”
Following the lifting of a gag order on Sunday, December 7, the Israeli Police revealed the arrest of a number of suspects for their alleged involvement in the attack. The Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court has extended the remand of four of the suspects until Thursday of this week, contrary to the police request to initially detain them for eight days. A preliminary police investigation indicated that fire was set intentionally from inside the school.
According to the CPI branch in Jerusalem the attack on the school “is a direct result of the ‘Jewish State Bill’ which legitimizes harming the relations between Jews and Arabs. It is no coincidence that this violent action was perpetrated against those who want to establish coexistence, peace, democracy, and equality.”