Middle East Monitor / June 18, 2021
The Joint List [not to be confused with the United Arab List (Ra’am) of Mansour Abbas], an alliance of mainly Palestinian political parties in Israel, has called on several embassies to intervene and stop the highly provocative rallies held by far-right Israeli groups.
Letters were sent to the US, UK, German and French consulates amongst others, today, The Jerusalem Post reported, warning of “bloodshed” if pressure was not applied on the Israeli government to stop the marches which over the past few months have been a source of major controversy.
“The planned provocations throughout the occupied Palestinian territories could be an opportunity for settler violence against Palestinian civilians, backed by the army,” the letter said. “This event could provoke a general escalation similar to what we experienced in May,” the letter continued, pointing to last month’s aggression by Israel on Gaza which led to the death of more than 250 Palestinians including women and children.
“These marches will only take place in the occupied Palestinian territories and therefore require international attention,” the letter explained before calling on the foreign embassies “to do everything in [your] power to put pressure on the Israeli government to prevent the marches and the planned provocation, which could lead to bloodshed.”
The warning from the Joint List follows Tuesday’s controversial Flag March, which the new coalition government allowed to go ahead despite pleas from Palestinians. The Flag March is an annual event to commemorate the capture of Jerusalem by Israeli forces in 1967.
A video widely shared on social media from Tuesday’s march shows a large group of Israelis chanting “death to Arabs”, “may your village burn,” and “a second Nakba is coming,” referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians which began in 1947 when Zionist militias expelled more than 750,000 people from their homes and villages. A number of Israeli Knesset members were among the participants.
The hate and racism that was on display during the march was condemned by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid who is in a coalition government with Naftali Bennett, a far-right ultranationalist considered to be more extreme than the man he deposed, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Expressing his opposition on Twitter, Lapid said the “fact that there are extremist elements for whom the flag of Israel represents hate and racism is revolting and unforgivable. This isn’t Judaism or Israeliness, and it is definitely not what our flag symbolizes. These people are a disgrace to the nation of Israel”.