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‘Death to the Arabs’

It was unfortunately predictable that, following the terrorist attacks on Israel’s civilian population this past week, unruly mobs will take to the streets calling for “Death to the Arabs.”

They were encouraged by Knesset Members, who seek to derive political advantage from the sense of anger and insecurity generated by such events. Itamar Ben-Gvir rushed to the scene following the terrorist attack in Hadera, disrupted a television interview with Omer Bar-Lev, Minister of Public Security, and told him that he should be ashamed of himself.

Bezalel Smotrich was also quick to arrive at the scene following the shooting in Bnei Brak and told Channel 14 that Naftali Bennett was unfit to be prime minister.

Bibi Netanyahu, of course, was not far behind in making political capital following the murderous events of this past week. Visiting the families of two of those who had been killed, he blamed the government, which “unfortunately, as everyone can see, … is dependent upon the Islamic Movement (for its majority)”.

Of course, he failed to mention that his own party had held negotiations with that same Movement when it was trying to form a government.

None of them mentioned that two of the victims of the recent terror attacks were Arabs. One of those killed in Hadera was a police officer named Yazan Falah from the Druze village of Kisra-Sumei in the Western Galilee, while the policeman who was killed while confronting the terrorist in Bnei Brak was an Arab Israeli Christian named Amir Houri.

While the angry mob screamed “Death to the Arabs,” it was to the credit of Bnei Brak’s mayor, Avraham Rubinstein, that he chose to visit Amir’s father to offer his condolences and express his appreciation for Amir’s sacrifice in the defence of innocent civilians.

When Theresienstadt concentration camp was liberated and some of the inmates wanted to kill the Nazi guards who were then helpless, it was the Reform rabbi, Dr. Leo Baeck, who stopped them, quoting God’s words in Deuteronomy 32:35: “Vengeance is Mine.”

Israel in indebted to its Arab citizens who contribute so much to our country. It was high time that their representatives should be part of our government. We cannot allow the political agendas of those who want to overthrow it to take advantage of the recent terrorist attacks to discredit them.

About the Author
Rabbi Boyden was educated and received his rabbinical ordination in London, England. Having served as the rabbi of Cheshire Reform Congregation for thirteen years, he made aliyah with his family in 1985. He has established Reform congregations in Ra'anana and Hod Hasharon and previously served as director of the Israel Reform Movement's Beit Din.
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