Amidst the ongoing deadly armed escalation with Gaza, scenes of unrest, rioting, hate rallies and growing social chaos are spreading throughout numerous cities in Israel. The most shocking scene on Wednesday night, May 12, was live coverage of hundreds of Jewish racists (mostly from the Jerusalemite “La Familia” gang) in Bat Yam vandalizing Arab property and then assaulting an Arab driver in his car, dragging him out of the vehicle and repeatedly and mercilessly beating him.
Violent confrontations between racist Jews and Arabs erupted in Lod, Acre, Jerusalem, Haifa, Bat Yam, Tiberias and many other locations, with multiple people injured, some of them seriously, leading far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to announce he was considering the deployment of the military inside Israeli towns “to restore order.” MK Yair Golan (Meretz), a former Deputy Chief of Staff in the Israeli army, expressed support for the PMs fascist proposal.
Hadash, the Arab-Jewish Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, the largest faction of the Joint List, has been repeatedly calling over the last several days to end the violence and restore calm. “We support joint demonstrations by Jews and Arabs, against the occupation and the attack on Gaza, but resolutely reject any mob violence, whether by Jews or Arabs, against individuals and groups, and the vandalizing and burning of of property and houses of worship.”
However, Hadash has also come out vehemently against any government decision to deploy Israel’s Border Police and military forces in the ethnically mixed city of Lod to restore order following days of riotous violence. “We reject the introduction into Lod of border forces, whose anti-Arab inclinations are notorious. This can only lead to further escalation,” Hadash said in a statement.
Hadash MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, has called for Arab-Palestinians in Israel to refrain from acts of violence. “We are worried about the deteriorating situation on the street,” he said. “We oppose any attack on innocent civilians – they must be kept out of the conflict. We have warned Netanyahu, time and again, that [his incessant incitement] motivated by his desire to preserve his rule could ignite the entire area, and now we see the outcome of his actions.” Odeh also attacked the Minister of Internal Security, Amir Ohana, who only encouraged Jewish rioters when he spoke earlier in the week in support of racist vigilante Jews suspected of shooting Arab rioters, saying “civilians carrying weapons are helpful to authorities in immediately neutralizing threats or dangers.” Odeh implored, “The madness must be stopped. A joint struggle by Arabs and Jews is the only acceptable response to the violent vision of Netanyahu and the racists MKs (Itamar) Ben-Gvir and (Bezalel) Smotrich.”
In a statement addressing the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Gaza, Hadash made a stark accusation: “In a desperate attempt to maintain power, Netanyahu is dragging us into a dangerous war that will wreak havoc on the two peoples. War will only bring more killing, suffering and pain. We demand an end to the escalation and a cessation of the shooting. We emphatically call for the only solution to the situation: The end of the occupation; the end of the siege of Gaza; and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, living peacefully alongside Israel.”
“We are extremely worried by the deterioration of the situation and the escalation of violence. We oppose the harming of innocent civilians and call for them to be kept out of the cycle of violence and hostility. We have warned again and again that Netanyahu might set fire to the area in order to maintain his rule, and here it has happened. We support and encourage demonstrations, and believe in the basic right to protest,” the Hadash statement ends.