Daily Israel Report

Liberman Blasts Arab MKs, 'Price Tag' Jews

Foreign Minister says Jewish vandals play into the hands of Arab 'fifth column' in the Knesset.
By Hezki Ezra, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/20/2014, 2:29 PM

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman used his Facebook account Sunday to mount a verbal assault on “the Arab Knesset Members and other extremist elements in the Arab sector,” in a post titled “the new alliance: Raed Salah and Price Tag.”

"I have already spoken and written several times, including on this page, against the actions known as 'Price Tag,'” Liberman wrote. “Besides the fact that these are ugly deeds, perpetrated by hooligans, I also spoke about the great damage that they cause the state of Israel in general and the nationalist camp in particular.”

"These things hold true for the arson of the mosque door and the hate graffiti last Friday in Umm el-Fahm,” Liberman added, in a reference . “Any damage to a holy site, be it a mosque or a church, is a criminal and despicable act that is intended to drag the state of Israel into a religious and cultural confrontation, inside the country and with the world.”

"The personally and nationally irresponsible people who do this are also the ones who hurt IDF soldiers and officers who risk their lives to protect the Land of Israel,” the Yisrael Beytenu party chairman argued.

He then turned his guns on the Arab MKs. “If there is something that makes the blood boil, no less than this, it is the cynical way the incident is exploited by the Arab MKs and other extremist elements in the Arab sector, like Sheikh Raed Salah, and MK Jamal Zahalka, who jumped on the opportunity as if there was no greater gift for them, and they inflate the matter in order to incite against the state of Israel.”

"Their behavior only proves again that they have become a fifth column against, whose only goal is to destroy the state they live in, and in order to do this they are willing to utilize every incident and every lunatic. These people, and the Supreme Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arabs, never tried to bring Jews and Arabs closer and defuse tensions. They only inflame tensions and hatred.”

"For this reason,” he concluded, “I can promise these inciters that we will do everything so that in any future accord, they will find themselves in the place they belong and Umm el-Fahm shall be part of the Palestinian state and not part of the state of Israel.” 

'Eviction order - Arabs out'

Graffiti was discovered Friday morning on the Araq Al-Shabab mosque in Israeli-Arab town of Umm Al-Fahm, leading to suspicions of a 'price tag' vandalism attack. The words "Eviction order - Arabs Out" were scrawled (in Hebrew) on an interior wall of the mosque, and a door leading to the outside had been burnt.

"At around 4:30 when we arrived for morning prayers, we noticed that the main entrance of the mosque was torched and graffiti denouncing Arabs was scrawled on the wall," Sheikh Mahajana Shafiq told Walla! News Friday. "We called the police, who began to investigate the incident. The mosque's security cameras recorded a vehicle arriving at the scene, and showed three men with their faces covered pouring a flammable substance, lighting a fire and fleeing." 

This is the latest in a string of vandalism incidents in Arab villages over the past several months. Earlier this month, 40 cars were found with their tires slashed in the Arab village of Jish in the Gaililee; four vehicles were also vandalized and graffiti had been scrawled on the Dir-Rafat monastery near Beit Shemesh. 

"Price tag" is a euphemism for politically-motivated vandalism and criminal damage usually attributed to Jewish extremists, carried out either in revenge for Arab terrorist attacks, or in protest of Israeli government policies such as the destruction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.  

It remains unclear whether any of the above incidents were actual "price tag" attacks, however, as an Arutz Sheva report in January revealed that in at least some of the cases, anti-Arab "price tags" were being systematically staged by Arab activists. 

Incidents of Arab arson and graffiti attacks on Jewish targets are more common and often more extreme in nature, but receive far less media coverage.