Israel is burning at the moment, and most of the international media is focused either on suspected acts of Jewish violence or is reporting very vaguely on ongoing Arab riots. What’s being all but ignored are some very serious attacks against Israeli Jews for the crime of being Jewish.
As the Arab riots spread to the northern part of Israel over the weekend, masked men began blocking roads in the area known as “the Triangle” and demanding to know if passing motorists were Jews or Arabs.
Two such passengers who made the mistake of answering in Hebrew were pulled from their vehicles and beaten by an Arab mob. One of the victims managed to get back in his car and make a speedy escape, while the other fled on foot. His car was subsequently torched by the rioters.
A police officer responding to the scene was similarly attacked and forced to run away on foot from the marauding Arab mob.
Back in Jerusalem where the violence was most severe, a group of Arab youth hurled stones at a Jewish couple walking near the Old City on Saturday evening. The Jewish woman sustained light injuries, while her husband managed to scare off their attackers by firing his gun in the air.
Arab stone-throwers also attacked a public bus traveling near Mount Scopus, injuring the driver and two passengers.
On the Mount of Olives, Arab attackers reportedly stormed a yeshiva (Jewish seminary) and threw stones at students gathered in the dining hall. The unarmed religious Jews are said to have responded by throwing chairs, food and boiling water, eventually repelling their assailants.
In southern Jerusalem, at least two large fires were started when Arab mobs hurled firebombs at Jewish motorists. Two parked vehicles presumably belonging to local Jews were also burned.
On Friday, a number of Arab men posted to Facebook pictures of themselves attempting to use a circular saw to cut down a power line supplying electricity to the city’s light rail.
At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israeli authorities are working quell disturbances on both sides, but that the local Arab leadership must do the same.
“There is no room in Israel for throwing rocks at police, throwing petrol bombs, blocking roads, destroying property or inciting against the very existence of the State of Israel,” he said, noting that the very same people currently engaged in unruly anti-Israel violence are the same who scream loudest about their right to receive benefits from the state.
“You cannot enjoy social security payments and child benefit on the one hand, and violate the most basic laws of the State of Israel on the other,” Netanyahu stated. “I call upon leaders of the Arab public to take responsibility, to face the wave of rioting and restore peace.”