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Issues of the Day Extremist Attacks on Israeli Arabs is an Attack on Israel

The "price tag" moniker is used by West Bank thugs to justify their violent outrages and are often launched when the authorities limit their adventures. Early last Monday morning, vandals torched the mosque in the northern Galilee village of Tuba Zangaria. Holy books were desecrated and graffiti identifying the attack as a "price tag" action appeared in Hebrew on the site.  


President Shimon Peres and the country's chief rabbis rushed to the village in a show of solidarity with the community and to repudiate the act. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu was quick to declare his outrage. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin was reported on the ynet news serve as saying that  "These criminals, if they are Jews, are the main threat to the State of Israel in general and especially the Zionist movement. They keep the Jewish dream and the vision of returning to Israel far away and they must be brought to justice."


Arrests followed, but the identity of those who have been arrested have not yet been revealed. The security authorities are described as working energetically to identify those responsible and any confederates they might have had.


Later that day, on Monday night,  a violent protest by some 300 youth broke out in the village. The resulting damage included the gutting of a local clinic, an elders center, a youth center and a community center. Those who lost the most from the mob's wrath were the villagers themselves.

Rumors allege that the demonstration were fired by outside instigators. Be that the case or not, the original attack by the extremists exacted a double "price': Not only did their vandalism damage property, but it endangered the fragile majority-minority relations that exist in the country and the cycle of violence was fueled.


At a time when efforts should be directed to healing the rift between Arabs and Jews – within Israel, between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and her other Arab neighbors --  "price tag" attacks, West Bank settler violence and the inflammatory and provocative statements of right-wing figures including rabbis, only serve to weaken Israel. In the name of defense, the hooligans and their allies debilitate Israeli society and endanger our position regionally and internationally.

Anyone who cares for the future  of Israel should condemn the hatemongers and all who support them. 

© Yosef Gotlieb, . All rights reserved