ZOA: Israeli Arab Anti-Jewish Rioting, Calling For Death To Jews, Is Alarming Trend
October 17, 2008


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has again expressed its concern regarding the rising security threat posed by anti-Israel Israeli Arabs following the anti-Jewish rioting in Acre during Judaism’s holiest day, Yom Kippur. On that day, an Israeli Arab sped his car through a Jewish neighborhood in Acre, when the roads are normally almost empty. When this produced angry altercations with Jewish residents, a still-unidentified Arab in the Old City broadcast via mosque loudspeakers that a Jewish mob had murdered Tawfik. More than 200 Arab residents then descended on the Ben-Gurion neighborhood with axes and knives, shattering the windshields of some 110 Jewish-owned cars. Jewish businesses were ransacked as the Arab rioters shouted “Death to Jews!” “Allah Akbar!” and “We’ll kill you if you leave your homes!”


In the aftermath of the rioting, Acre’s Arab leaders decided to organize their festival in response to Mayor Shimon Lancry’s decision to postpone indefinitely Acre‘s annual Alternative Theater Festival. The Arab leadership called their festival ‘Acre Is Not Alone.’ In the invitations distributed to the Arab residents of the city, the organizers wrote, “We will not surrender to the emergency laws that were enacted after the settlers’ [the Jewish residents of Acre, part of pre-1967 Israel] attacks. The settlers are trying to enact an ethnic cleansing of the eastern neighborhoods of the city. We call on Acre’s Arab residents to come to the Old City and break the siege that has been enacted against the merchants there. We are organizing these activities to preserve the importance of Acre as a center of Palestinian tourism, culture, history and geography.”


Likud MK Yuval Steinitz said of the absence of speedy police action in Acre to stop the rioting that “The public security minister [Avi Dichter] and the chief of police [David Cohen] must resign. The State of Israel has become the only country in the Western world where pogroms are carried out against Jews. Physical assaults are carried out against them and against their property amid calls of ‘Death to the Jews.’ A police force that is incapable of defending Jewish neighborhoods requires a serious overhaul” (Caroline Glick, ‘The disappearance of law,’ Jerusalem Post, October 16, 2008).


The ZOA has previously voiced its concern at anti-Jewish violence committed by Israeli Arabs, including in July when an Israeli Arab, Husam Taysir Dwayat, carried out a terrorist attack in Jerusalem by ramming buses and vehicles with a bulldozer, killing three and wounding 45 others.


Other instances of Israeli Arab disloyalty:


  • March 2008: Members of the National Democratic Assembly (Balad) Party, an Arab parliamentary list represented in the Knesset, have been shown in a video chanting in Arabic “Our Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] – we want an attack from you” and “Oh [PLFP chief Ahmed] Sadaat we want weapons to build.” The video was screened by Israel TV’s Channel One in connection with Arab protests over Land Day in the Arab village of Arrabe (‘Israeli Arabs call for terror attacks against Israel at Land Day protest,’ Independent Media Review Analysis, March 30, 2008).

  • October 2007: An Arab mob in Peki’in attacked Jewish homes in the village. Police refused to confront the Arab mob and allowed a policewoman to be held hostage for several hours and essentially begged anti-Israeli local leaders to intervene on her behalf (Caroline Glick, ‘The disappearance of law,’ Jerusalem Post, October 16, 2008).

  • September 2007: An Arab driver from Shibli in the Galilee mortally wounded nine-year-old Tal Zino from neighboring Kfar Tavor when he drove his all-terrain vehicle at top speed at a group of children playing outside a synagogue (Caroline Glick, ‘The disappearance of law,’ Jerusalem Post, October 16, 2008).

  • March 2007: A report by Israel‘s General Secret Service (GSS – Shin Bet), in 2005, 17 terror cells involving 22 Israeli Arabs was uncovered by Israeli security services. In 2006, a further 21 Israeli-Arab terror cells were uncovered, involving 24 Arab citizens.

  • October 2006: An Arab mob in Acre violently attacked yeshiva students dancing in the streets on Simchat Torah, forcing them to flee to their yeshiva, where the Arabs then besieged them. Rather than disperse the crowd, the police simply helped the students escape to their homes through the yeshiva’s backdoor (Caroline Glick, ‘The disappearance of law,’ Jerusalem Post, October 16, 2008).

  • January 2006: a survey has found that Israeli Arabs willing to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) decreased significantly following the second Lebanon war, falling from an already low figure of 42% of the Arab population in 2006 to an even lower 26.5% in 2007 (Yediot Ahronot, January 17, 2007).

  • December 2006: The Mossawa Center the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, an Arab advocacy group, produced a paper, ‘Constitution Based on Equality for All’ which calls for overturning the Law of Return which allows for automatic citizenship for Jews who immigrate to Israel. (Independent Media Review & Analysis, December 6, 2006). The same month, the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee also released a document entitled, ‘The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel,’ stipulating that Israeli Arabs will demand that during the next two decades Israel become a bi-national state alongside an independent Palestinian state (Haaretz, December 6, 2006).

A sample of troubling statements by Israeli Arab members of Knesset:


·            Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al Party): Tibi, who serves as the Knesset’s Deputy Speaker, attended a conference in Doha, Qatar, where he announced that he came as a representative of ‘Palestine.’ This apparently even shocked Kadima Minister, Majalli Whbee, who said, “It’s time for Ahmad Tibi to decide which country he represents… he cannot be a member of one nation’s parliament while representing another at international conventions.” Tibi also condemned Israel in his address at Doha, saying that “Israel discriminates against Arab citizens and has established an apartheid state in the occupied territories where Arabs have different roads and different laws” (Barak Ravid, ‘Livni accuses MK Tibi of trying to sabotage two-state solution,’ Haaretz, April 15, 2008).


·            Raleb Majadele (Labor):”Of course I would not sing [‘Hatikvah’] the anthem in its current form” (Amnon Meranda, ‘Majadele refuses to sing national anthem,’ Yediot Ahronot, April 17, 2007). Majadele has also declared that Israel lacks sovereignty in Jerusalem: “I say clearly: Al-Aksa, Al-Haram al-Sharif [as the Temple Mount is called by Muslims – ed.], cannot be under the authority of Israeli law … if there is a contradiction between the law and my deep faith as a Muslim, I announce that I will know what to choose.” (Gil Ronen, ‘Majadle Justifies Destruction of Temple Remains,’ Israel National News, November 14, 2007).


·            Azmi Bishara (Balad): Has praised Syria for its “struggle to liberate occupied Arab land, its resistance against occupation and its defense of the legitimacy of such resistance” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006); stated that “We are Syria’s ally” and supported its efforts to free “occupied Arab land” (Haaretz, September 10, 2006); condemned “Israel’s barbaric onslaughts” against Lebanon and urged Hizballah’s Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to “continue his fight” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006) and warned Syria of likely “preemptive Israeli strikes” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006), something of which he might well have knowledge as a result of his presence in the Knesset.


·            Jamal Zahalka (Balad): “For us Syria is no enemy … [we support] solidarity with Syria, especially after Israel‘s savage aggression against Lebanon” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006); “We don’t see Syria as an enemy state” (Haaretz, September 10, 2006)


·           Wasal Taha (Balad): terrorist groups should “concentrate their efforts on attacking and abducting Israeli soldiers” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is simply astounding that it is possible that Jews can be attacked en masse in Israel by violent Israeli Arab mobs. It is vital that Israelis start addressing the issue of increasing radicalization of Israeli Arabs and increasing evidence of Israeli Arab disloyalty which, as the evidence provided here shows, is a real problem that is not simply going to go away.


“The evidence that has emerged in recent years, and especially in recent months regarding the increasing disloyalty and hatred of Israel and Jews by Israeli Arabs, is deeply worrying. Unless the cult of jihad is confronted by the Israeli government, this problem can only be expected to grow over time. These are issues that the ZOA has raised before and will continue to raise until action is taken on them.”


  • Center for Law & Justice
    We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
    We assist American victims of terrorism in vindicating their rights under the law, and seek to hold terrorists and sponsors of terrorism accountable for their actions.
    We fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses.
    We strive to enforce existing law and also to create new law in order to safeguard the rights of the Jewish people in the United States and Israel.