by Caroline B. Glick
Tuesday's violent riots in Umm el Fahm and the debate which accompanied them are emblematic of one of the greatest challenges facing not only
Tuesday's demonstration, which was led by former followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane MK Michael Ben-Ari, Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben Gvir was supposed to take place last December after the Supreme Court upheld the activists' legal right to march through the city. But the police blocked the it, claiming they could not guarantee the marchers' security. Only after again being ordered by the Supreme Court to the let demonstration to go forward did the police relent. But they limited the march to the outskirts of the city.
In accordance with the police guidelines, Tuesday the marchers were transported to the outskirts of the town in bullet-proof buses. 2,500 policemen deployed along Wadi Ara highway, and throughout the town to protect them. They were allowed to march holding flags and singing folksongs for a half an hour and then returned to their bullet proof buses. In the meantime, thousands of local residents standing on rooftops and crowding into the streets began rioting. They threw volley after volley of rocks at the Jewish marchers and the police protecting them. They cursed them. They cursed the police. In the end, some 15 policemen were wounded by the projectiles - including Inspector General Shahar Ayalon, the Deputy Superintendent of the National Police.
As far as the media were concerned, the fact that thousands of Arabs attacked the police and the lawful demonstrators was a non-story. The fact that these Israeli Arab citizens claimed to be personally insulted and injured because the demonstration "forced" them to set their eyes on their national flag was seemingly understandable. The fact that these Israeli citizens rejected
To the extent the media found a culprit, it was the Israeli demonstrators. They were "provocateurs" who forced taxpayers to spend millions of shekels to deploy 2,500 policemen armed with riot gear to the city. It never occurred to the media that Ben Ari, Marzel and Ben Gvir were not the cause of the enormous police presence. They were a danger to no one. The reason the police were forced to deploy so massively was because they believed that the Arabs would violently attack the Jewish demonstrators. It was the Arabs, not the Jews whom the police feared would break the law. And as it works out, they were right.
The media's coverage of the Umm el Fahm riot fits into an ongoing patter. Over the years, the local media have developed a code for reporting on Arabs - whether Palestinian or Israeli or foreign. And it is a bigoted code.
As far as
The Israel Left has demonized Lieberman as a racist for his positions on the Arabs. The anti-Israel lobby in
Lieberman is a populist. He owes his popularity to the fact that he properly identified the political radicalization and increasing lawlessness among
Like most populists, Lieberman is not a deep thinker. As a consequence, he adopted the bigoted framework of the Left for contending with the challenge posed today by
No one talks about the need to inculcate Israeli values of liberal democracy among our Arab citizens. No one talks about blunting the power of radical leaders like Sheikh Ra'ad Salah, who heads the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch or Arab parliamentarians who openly treat with Hizbullah and Hamas and side with
And this is a tragedy because the situation is truly grave. Early this week a Hizbullah-controlled Israeli Arab terror group which calls itself the Free People of the Galilee claimed responsibility for the attempted car bombing at
Since 2001, the same group has claimed responsibility for a string of murderous attacks - mainly centered in
Also this week, the Jerusalem District Attorney's office announced that four Israeli Arabs have been indicted for the attempted murder of an
On Sunday Phillip Johnston published a column in the Sunday Telegraph critiquing the British government's new strategy for defending against Islamic terror.
That is, to contend with the growing radicalization of British Muslims, the government in London should end its current policy of appeasement of radical Muslim groups which is based on the bigoted assumption that Muslims cannot be expected to either abide by the laws or to integrate into wider society.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in
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