Middle East Monitor / December 16, 2020
Arabs in Israel have spoken out against the “systematic racism” enforced by the state, Arab48 reported.
This comes in the wake of racist remarks made by Israeli Mayor of Lod Yair Revivo, a longstanding supporter of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said “violence is part of the Arab culture”, adding that he will work on “deporting” the families of criminals.
Journalist Diaa Haj Yahya said this is not the first time the official has made racist remarks against the Arab population, adding that three years ago he tried to break into a mosque to stop Eid celebrations.
At the same time, Arab activists organised a protest in front of the municipality office and called for Revivo to apologise for his “dangerous” “racist” remarks.
Ghassan Munayyar, an Arab activist from Lod, said: “Arabs are facing a dark future in the city which was theirs before the Israeli occupation.”
“I am an Arab, my neighbour and my brothers are Arabs and they do not have arms,” Munayyar said, stressing that it is Ravivo and the Israeli police who have failed to fight crime in Arab communities.
“It is not our business to fight crime, but their business,” he said. “Israeli police doesn’t carry out its duties, but encourages crime and applauds the clashes between the Arab families,” he added.
Arab activists Horiyeh Saadi and Hanan Naffar told Arab48 that Ravivo’s remarks “are political” and “he is coaxing the right-wing.”
“Revivo is serving only Jews,” Horiyeh said. “Anyone entering the Arab neighbourhoods and comparing them to the Jewish ones can feel the difference and recognise the marginalisation of the Arab area,” she added.
Israel is practicing judaisation of the Arab areas across the country, Hanan explained, and “Revivo is sending clear and direct messages to the Arabs that they have no place here.”
The state is carrying out demographic changes in the city of Lod, Hanan continued, citing Revivo’s encouragement of Jews to travel to the city in order to give it a Jewish identity.