MKs Itamar Ben Gvir (Religious Zionism) and May Golan (Likud) arrived in the town of Kafr Qassem on Tuesday afternoon to protest outside its city hall.

The Knesset members arrived in a convoy of vehicles in order to hold a “protest of support for our police officers,” following the attack on police in the town last week.

Large numbers of police officers secured the MKs’ visit, while local residents raised an angry chant of “Allahu Akbar.”

בן גביר בכפר קאסם
בן גביר בכפר קאסם צילום: יהונתן גוטליב

“We are peaceful people and there is no place for racists here,” Arab protesters yelled at the MKs. “You think we’re going to offer you pastries? We’ll throw shoes at you,” they said, referring to an Arab gesture of disgust and rejection. “Ben Gvir is a piece of garbage, a racist – get out of here. You and your friends murdered Rabin.”

Ben Gvir responded: “Israeli residents are fed up with being taken for suckers. We came here to show our support for our soldiers and police officers and to tell them: We love you and we want to support you. Anyone who raises a hand against a police officer should get beaten up. This is really the job of the Israeli government, but unfortunately they have abandoned our soldiers and police.”

Prior to arriving in Kafr Qassem, MK Ben Gvir clarified that, “In a place where Israel Police is afraid to tread, the Islamic Movement moves in to take control and this is how we lose sovereignty in our own land. We’re talking about a slippery slope, with police losing their power of deterrence instead of bolstering it. If we were talking about residents of Yitzhar [a right-wing community in Samaria], last week’s incident would have ended with live fire, and that’s why the police commissioner and the Minister for Internal Security should both resign,” he concluded.

MK May Golan added, “Effective rule means deterrence and enforcement. In their absence, the road to anarchy is short indeed. It’s inconceivable that police officers are victims of violence and verbal abuse and neither the Prime Minister nor the Minister of Internal Security respond. We’re going to Kafr Qassem in order to protest the incompetence of this government, which conveys the dangerous message that it’s okay to attack police officers. And we also came to protest outside the municipality here, which uses militiamen from the Islamic Movement in order to attack our police.”