Kaplan appears to respond swiftly and accurately to events occurring in Israel. Following the attempted imposition of new restrictions aimed at suppressing and regressing women by the extreme government, last week (33) women activists from diverse backgrounds were invited to the main stage to address the crowd. This occurred concurrently with significant preparations for the Women’s Demonstration in Bnei Brak.
Similarly, last night, in response to the murder of another appointed official within the Arab Society, this time the shooting of Tira’s director general, Abed al-Rahman Kashua, and the injuring of two other men, Mayor Mamoun Abed Elhi of Tira was invited to speak at Kaplan. He spoke about his colleague with fondness and respect, and accused the police of collaborating with an extreme government that promotes crime and violence within the Arab community. He stated, “Whoever elected Ben Gvir to protect us does not wish for our safety.”
If the government truly aims to address the issue of violence, there are effective ways to combat crime and violence. The mayor provided the example of the city of Netanya, which, until recently, had been plagued by organized crime. The police took serious measures to restore order, transforming Netanya into a safer place to live.
Prior to the main event and the speeches, the protest organized a massive march from Habima Plaza to Kaplan. This time, in addition to the anti-occupation slogans, there was a solidarity march with our Arab neighbors. People marched with coffins protesting the killing in the Arab society. Neighbors from areas near Tira held signs in Hebrew and Arabic, reading: “To our neighbors in Tira/ we send our condolences. We are furious with our government/ We demand equality and protection for all citizens./Enough with the racism/From your neighbors in Kfar Hess and Ein Vered.”
It is very heartening to observe that from week to week, the social awareness of those participating in the protests becomes more attuned to the injustices present within Israeli society. It is not solely about the Judicial Overhaul; it signifies a profound endeavor to make Israel a better and more just place to live.