Thousands of Arab-Palestinian, Israeli citizens, protested on Monday in the northern city of Nazareth against deadly Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. Members of the Arab community expressed great interest in the strike, which was called for by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee on Monday morning. The number of residents of large Arab cities – like Nazareth, Umm al Fahm and Sakhnin – and various communities who responded to the call was large.
The committee explained that the troubling pictures emerging from Gaza – particularly those that came out of the massacre in Shujaiyeh on Sunday – have shaken up the Arab population, and in the face of those pictures they can’t remain indifferent.
Racist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman urged Israeli-Jews to boycott the businesses of Arab citizens who take part in a general strike in protest of the Israel Defense Forces operation in the Gaza Strip and the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians. In a Facebook post published Monday afternoon, Lieberman wrote, “I call upon everyone not to shop anymore at the stores and businesses of those among the Arab sector who are participating today in the general strike that was declared by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee as a sign of empathy for Gaza residents and against Operation Protective Edge.”
MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) said Lieberman’s statement is “an example of incitement and racism.” He also said “once again the foreign minister, who is supposed to be the face of the State of Israel, is exposing his racist, ugly face. Arab citizens, like every other citizen, have the right to express solidarity with their brothers who are suffering in Gaza and the suffering of innocent people in Gaza.”
MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) learned on Monday night in Nazareth that the police heard the Lieberman’s message. Police arrested two of Barakeh’s sons, and 21 other Arab citizens, following the large scale demonstration in Nazareth on Monday, which was attended by thousands. Eighteen residents were arrested immediately after the protest, and MK Barakeh with others were nabbed when they tried to enter the police station to talk with an officer. These include Barakeh’s sons – Dr. Saeed Barakeh, a veterinarian, and another son named Yazid. A video shows Barakeh, trying to enter the Nazareth police station. The police form a wall and push the crowd back, and Barakeh eventually finds himself on the ground.
A video: MK Barakeh trying to enter the Nazareth police station