Viciously Attacking Israeli Arabs – by Stephen Lendman
Reminiscent of Kristallnacht violence, Israeli Arabs in Haifa District’s Umm al-Fahm community were attacked, Haaretz writers Fadi Eyadat, Jack Khoury, and Chaim Levinson headlining, “Police clash with Arab protesters as rightists rally in Umm al-Fahm,” saying:
In Arab Umm al-Fahm, “Dozens of extreme rightists (hooligan West Bank settlers) held a protest against the Islamic Movement,” an initiative advocating Islam among Israeli Arabs on three levels – religious, social, and support for Palestinian self-determination.
Clashes followed, pitting Arab residents against 1,500 police, including special paramilitary and undercover forces, aiding hooliganism, “fir(ing) tear gas and stun grenades” to scatter crowds. Nine Arab residents were arrested, portrayed as instigators when they responded in self-defense.
Haaretz said about “30 right-wing demonstrators traveled in buses from Jerusalem to Umm al-Fahm on (October 27), led by far-right activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir.” Their purpose – in league with police, to hold a provocative demonstration march to incite violence, calling on Israel to outlaw the Islamic Movement (headquartered in Umm al-Fahm), as well as condemn Sheikh Raed Salah’s (its leader) Gaza Freedom Flotilla participation.
Head of the religious Jewish National Front party, Marzel is a notorious bigot, a man saying he was Rabbi Meir Kahana’s “right hand man” – Kahana, the extreme racist former Kach party head until Israel banned it in 1988, calling it a “threat to security.” Gviv is a Knesset aide to MK Michael Ben-Ari (a protest march participant), and spokesman for Marzel’s Jewish National Front party. Both men are fascists.
Their actions, and others like them, defile core Judaic tenets. Exhibit A – holding a provocative/racist/violent rally in an Arab community where they’re not wanted and don’t belong. It was held close the 20th November 5 anniversary of Kahana’s assassination, a man who lived and died by the sword, a rabbi in name only.
On October 27, Al-Jazeerah covered the incident headlining, “Israeli Occupation Forces Attack Palestinians in Um Al-Fahm, During a Provocative March by Fascist Israeli Settlers,” saying:
Violent clashes resulted, “Israeli occupation government policemen….protected dozens of extremist Jewish settlers holding a provocative protest against the Islamic Movement….”
Besides assaulting residents with tear gas and stun grenades, police “physically attacked them which led to injuries and suffocation cases.” MK Haneen Zoubi was harmed, struck in the back and neck by rubber bullets when police opened fire. She believes snipers deliberately targeted her for her Gaza Freedom Flotilla participation, after which she received death threats and calls to expel her from parliament.
Angrily, she denounced police violence, saying: They “proved that they are a far more dangerous threat to me and other Arab citizens than the fascist group that came to Umm al-Fahm,” though for sure former Kahanists and others like them pose a serious threat. Unaccountable, they’re lawless, menacing, and rampage freely in the West Bank.
Umm al-Fahm is Israel’s largest Arab community, its population exceeding 43,000. Before settlers arrived, police and paramilitary goons deployed within and around the city, ready to initiate assaults when they came. Arab residents, of course, reacted defensively.
MK Afu Agbaria was also injured, telling Al Jazeerah that right-wing settlers and police “attack(ed) the legitimacy of the Arab presence in the country in coordination with the right-wing extremists in the government.”
Umm al-Fahm’s Deputy Mayor Mustafa Ghalin told Haaretz that the city “will never be open to those extreme right-wingers,” arriving to incite violence.
On October 28, Muslims.net said “Palestinian leaders called for (a) city-wide strike….in protest (against) premeditated Israeli police brutality and violence.” The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee wants it. It also demands that Israel investigate the violence, committee chairman Mohammed Zeidan saying:
“What happened (on October 27) was a very dangerous occurrence. This wasn’t a Marzel incident. It was an attack by security forces who came to the city” with that in mind. “They planted undercover officers (dressed like Arabs) among us who threw stones (to provoke) and attack. Their decision was clear from the beginning, even though they knew there were Knesset members in the crowd. What we felt on our flesh today has taught us that a new era has started. Racism is no longer found only in documents or on the margins, like with Marzel, but has become a phenomenon among decision makers and carried out on the ground. What happened in Umm al-Fahm is a menacing escalation.”
The committee plans to circulate a message to human rights groups and global figures, highlighting the growing danger. It’s reminiscent indeed of 1930s Germany that escalated from racist laws to widespread violence to death camps and mass extermination. Afterward, worldwide Jewry said “never again,” a hollow slogan given Israel’s decades long slow-motion genocide against Palestinian and Israeli Arabs, former victims now world-class hatemonger/persecutors, committing horrendous daily crimes.
Umm al-Fahm residents understand. So do West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians as well as 1.5 million besieged Gazans. Suffocating under imposed harshness, their very existence is threatened. Yet they endure despite little outside aid, knowing it’s up to themselves to survive, what they’ve done heroically for over six decades and have no intention now of quitting, a lesson Israelis haven’t learned or that what they’re doing is self-destructive.
A Final Comment
On October 27, Haaretz writer Jack Khoury headlined, “Israeli Arab activist confesses to spying for Hezbollah.” Well not exactly. Falsely accused and given a choice of life in prison or less, Ameer Makhoul signed a plea bargain, “approved by the highest ranking levels of prosecution, including the state prosecutor.”
According to Haaretz, he admitted to espionage, contact with a foreign agent, and abetting an enemy, Makhoul saying in court that the story “is not yet finished.” He claims many charges were irrelevant, but took the lesser of two choices. His lawyer said he passed no classified documents or materials to anyone, let alone an enemy agent. All cited information was well known and publicly available. On December 5, he’ll be sentenced. Prosecutors want 10 years. His counsel seeks seven.
Information about him can be accessed through the following link:
Two earlier Makhoul articles can be found through the links below:
Makhoul is an Israeli citizen, human rights activist, and head of the internationally recognized Ittijah organization for Palestinian empowerment. He also chairs the Public Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners within the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee in Israel. Moreover, he supports the global BDS movement. Like many others, he was targeted for his activism and faith. In his case, for his prominence as well.
He committed no crime, yet was arrested in May on spurious charges of spying for Hezbollah. In fact, his outspokenness and legal discussions, within and outside Israel, were called communicating with a “state enemy,” outrageous by any standard.
According to Ittijah’s founder, Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh, “there is no doubt” that he was targeted for his political views. His wife, Janan, said “The story is not finished, it will be told later.” Accepting a plea “was a choice between bad (or) worse” in a nation where Arabs get no justice. It bears testimony to Israel’s lawlessness, its mockery of democratic principles, ones even eroding for Jews.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.