Tiny por­tion of at­tack­ers are Is­raeli-Arabs

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - ANSHEL PF­EF­FER

DE­SPITE AN up­swing of violence in East Jerusalem on Tues­day, the at­tacks on Is­raeli cit­i­zens and se­cu­rity per­son­nel have mainly taken place in the West Bank, par­tic­u­larly in He­bron and south of Jerusalem, in the past two weeks.

The shift in the lo­ca­tion of the violence has high­lighted the prove­nance of the at­tack­ers. In Oc­to­ber, the per­pe­tra­tors mainly came from East Jerusalem but in re­cent weeks they have orig­i­nated mainly in towns with a strong Hamas pres­ence, like He­bron and Tul Karm.

The sil­ver lin­ing is that, de­spite the fact that over a quar­ter of the at­tacks took place within the Green Line, only two of nearly 90 Pales­tinian at­tack­ers have been Arab-Is­raeli cit­i­zens.

This statis­tic, which is rarely re­marked on in pub­lic, has come as a great re­lief to Is­raeli se­cu­rity of­fi­cials whose night­mare sce­nario is a wide up­ris­ing that will spread from Jerusalem and the West Bank to the Arab towns and vil­lages within Is­rael.

So far, de­spite a num­ber of rather vi­o­lent protests last month, in sol­i­dar­ity with the Pales­tini­ans, this has not hap­pened. This was not a re­sult of any lead­er­ship in the Is­raeli-Arab com­mu­nity — most of its po­lit­i­cal rep­re­senta- tives sat on the fence. The re­strain­ing fac­tors are a com­bi­na­tion of cul­tural, po­lit­i­cal and — par­tic­u­larly — fi­nan­cial mo­tives that are caus­ing many young Is­raeli-Arabs to de­sire an ac­com­mo­da­tion with Is­raeli so­ci­ety.

They are not about to be­come Zion­ists or dis­re­gard the in­equal­ity that still ex­ists in many as­pects of Is­raeli life, but they ac­cept that Is­rael is a re­al­ity that will not dis­ap­pear.

In ad­di­tion, while the au­thor­i­ties are wary of re­leas­ing fig­ures, there are cau­tious re­ports of a

“Cor­po­ral T” rise in the num­ber of Druze res­i­dents of the Golan Heights re­quest­ing Is­raeli cit­i­zen­ship and Be­douin Is­raelis join­ing the IDF. A ma­jor­ity of the Golan Druze have un­til now re­mained of­fi­cially loyal to the Syr­ian regime; but as that coun­try dis­in­te­grates and the prospect of Is­rael ever re­lin­quish­ing the Golan is ex­ceed­ingly re­mote, they are re­assess­ing their op­tions. For the Be­douin, it is the in­creas­ing re­al­i­sa­tion that mil­i­tary ser­vice is a path to bet­ter in­te­gra­tion and im­proved em­ploy­ment prospects in Is­raeli so­ci­ety.

None of this means, of course, that Is­rael is any- where nearer to solv­ing its deep is­sues of in­equal­ity and mis­trust with nonJewish mi­nori­ties, but the over­all pic­ture is less stark than the wave of stab­bings in the past two months sug­gests.

On Tues­day, two Pales­tinian youths stabbed and mod­er­ately wounded a se­cu­rity guard in East Jerusalem. On the same day, at Da­m­as­cus Gate, a man who tried to stab two guards was shot be­fore he man­aged to reach them, and an­other at­tack was foiled at a check­point near Abu Dis.

It emerged this week that a sol­dier known as Cor­po­ral T, of the Kfir Bri­gade’s Shimshon Bat­tal­ion, pre­vented two ter­ror­ist at­tacks in less than two weeks. In both cases, he shot dead the as­sailants.


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