Police: Israeli Arabs have stopped rioting

Experts say Arabs fear financial losses due to Jewish boycott. Police: the past 10 days have been quiet.

Gil Ronen,

Police arrest Arab rioter in Israeli city of Nazareth
Police arrest Arab rioter in Israeli city of Nazareth
Basel Awidat/Flash 90

Israel's Arab citizen population has stopped the rioting that accompanied the current terror wave at its outset, according to the police.

"For two weeks, there was an awakening and an intensification of the protests and riots, Chief Superintendent Doron Malka, Spokesman for the Police's Northern District, told Walla! Monday. "But for the last week and a half there has been utter quiet in the Northern District."

The riots began October 1, with organized protests in several northern cities and villages. The violence then spread to most of the northern Arab communities, and included dozens of instances of blocking roads with burning tires, as well as hurling rocks and firebombs and police and civilian vehicles.

Police said that 164 Arabs were arrested for rioting and purposely damaging property during those two weeks.

Dr. Nohad Ali, who researches the Israeli Arab sector in Haifa University and the Academic College for the Western Galilee, explained that the unpleasant memories of the riots in 2000 have apparently been seared into the Israeli Arabs' minds, and are deterring them from continuing the riots.

"They are afraid of the response of the Israeli society, which knew how to boycott them on several levels. A social boycott by some Jews. An economic boycott that has two levels – a boycott of governmental suppliers like Bezeq (phone company), the IEC and Israel Postal Service, which have been refusing to enter Arab communities because their personal security will be at risk; and a boycott by suppliers of food and equipment like dairy giant Tnuva, Strauss and others. The Egged [bus company] has also canceled its lines to Arab communities, for a few days."

Individual Jews, too, stopped frequenting Arab communities for various services and commodities following the massive riots in 2000. The economic setback was felt for years. 

Those fears were the driving force behind a recent live on-air confrontation between the Arab mayor of Nazareth and the leader of the Arab Joint List party.

Footage of the incident - in which Mayor Ali Salam interrupted a live interview with MK Ayman Odeh - quickly went viral.

"You have ruined this city, ruined everything! We did not have even one Jew here today, not one!" Salam shouted.

"What are giving interviews for? You have done nothing! You have destroyed the world! Get Out of here!"




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