Community leaders have issued public castigation of the police for alleged impotence or timidity in enforcing laws among Arabs, alongside accusations that the police consistently apply a heavier hand in dealing with Arab suspects than when facing Jewish ones.
Umm El-Fahm, November 29 – Leaders of the Arab sector in Israel criticized the police again today for what they call a negligent attitude toward Arab-on-Arab violence, asserting that a greater show of law enforcement would deter crime, and that the police had better not make an appearance in their towns, since such a symbol of Jewish sovereignty will lead to violence.
Politicians and prominent community members spoke to journalists this afternoon following another bloody span of days in which gunfire by Arab Israelis claimed the lives of others Arab Israelis, and called on the police to take measures to combat spiraling Arab-against-Arab crime. They also threatened that if the police assert their authority in Arab towns that will spark riots, as the move will be perceived as the latest attempt by the Jewish majority to assert dominance over the Arab minority and a challenge to Arab honor that cannot go unanswered.
“We demand police action,” states Umm El-Fahm Mayor Khaled Aghbariyya. “There are far too many firearms circulating in the Arab sector, and the police have done nothing at all about it. It’s true, we Arabs have some cultural factors that exacerbate the problem, but effective enforcement of gun laws is the domain of the police. And this place will positively convulse with violence the moment the police show their faces, so they better stay away.”
Police officials note that when they ran an amnesty program among Arab citizens two years ago in which citizens could surrender their illegal guns and face no penalty, a total of four weapons were recovered, but Arab officials remain unmoved. “Well, are they in charge or aren’t they?” demanded Baka al-Gharbiyye Council member Hai Qalibr. “At some point they have to decide whether they represent the sovereign power here or not. And if they do decide to assert that sovereignty, by Allah, will our people show them the door in flames and rocks.”
Community leaders have issued public castigation of the police for alleged impotence or timidity in enforcing laws among Arabs, alongside accusations that the police consistently apply a heavier hand in dealing with Arab suspects than when facing Jewish ones. “We like to have it both ways,” explained Mayor Aghbariyya. “A good seven to ten percent of us identify primarily as Palestinian, and the Palestinian ethos has always involved self-contradictory stances aimed solely at shifting responsibility to others, so in the moment you go with whatever accusation seems relevant. Anything but assuming responsibility and volition.”
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