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Israel Inquiry Finds Pattern of Prejudice Toward Arab Citizens

by systemfailure Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 5:32 AM

Well, it looks like the Israeli police force is prejudiced against Arabs after all... (dont tell Fresca that...she'll call you an anti-semite) hA h@ Ha

JERUSALEM, Sept. 1 Finding a pattern of government "prejudice and neglect" toward Israel's Arab minority, an Israeli commission of inquiry today accused the police of using excessive force three years ago to combat riots that it said had resulted from simmering, overlooked anger.


 

It said that insensitivity by the Israeli "establishment" permitted widespread discrimination against Israeli Arabs and the buildup of a "combustible atmosphere," as, it said, a politicized Islam began to radicalize the population.

The three-member panel was charged with investigating the deaths of 13 people from police fire in October 2000, when thousands of Israeli Arabs choked streets and threw stones in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who had just begun their uprising against Israel. A Jewish motorist was also killed, by a thrown stone.

Criticizing police tactics that included the use of sniper fire to disperse crowds, the report concluded that Israel "must educate its police that the Arab public is not the enemy, and should not be treated as such." More than a million of Israel's 6.6 million citizens are Arabs.

Israel identifies itself as a Jewish state, and since its founding in 1948 its Arab minority has held a vexed position in society. While many Israeli-Arabs say they enjoy political freedoms and economic opportunities that they might not find in Arab states, they generally also say that they feel like second-class citizens.



For their part, Israel's Jews increasingly regard Arab compatriots as a potential fifth column, after the convictions of a small number for aiding Palestinian terrorism.



The report, which recommended that at least one police commander be dismissed but did not call for severe sanctions against top political officials, seemed unlikely in itself to bridge the deepening divisions between Israel's Arabs and Jews. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he would convene his cabinet to consider the findings.

Relatives of those who were killed gathered here today to criticize the commission as not going far enough. "It didn't identify or make any attempt to identify the killers," said Jamila Asleh, whose son, Asel, 17, was killed in one stone-throwing protest.

Asel Asleh, who had many Jewish friends, was a leading member of Seeds of Peace, an American-based group that promotes conflict resolution between Israelis and Arabs. Mrs. Asleh, who wore a picture of her son pinned to her lapel, said the report "shows that the future won't be so good between Arabs and Jews."

The committee found that Ehud Barak (news - web sites), then the prime minister, "was not sufficiently aware and attentive" to developments among Arabs that "created the possibility of widespread riots."



The committee did not recommend that Mr. Barak be barred from running again for prime minister, should he choose to do so. But it did bar Shlomo Ben-Ami, then the minister of public security, from ever holding that position again.

Both Mr. Barak and Mr. Ben-Ami testified to the commission. Mr. Barak, who ordered the inquiry, said that the violence took him by surprise, saying that "there was no concrete warning of such an eruption from any intelligence agency." Mr. Ben-Ami, who has since left politics, also said he had no warning. He said that the police had failed Israel's Arab citizens.

(click on the weblink for whole story)

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 34 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Arabs in Israel Meyer London Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 1:07 PM
Say it ain't so Mott the Hoople Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 1:51 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 3:13 PM
prejudiced losers anti-hate Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 6:59 PM
FYI Planet Queen Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 9:12 PM
Mott the Planet Queen Meyer London Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 9:30 PM
No, they're angry because... nonanarchist Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 9:32 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 10:23 PM
Actually no Sister Ray Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 10:36 PM
FUNNY. NON-NEOCON FASCIST. Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 12:29 AM
wingnut ml & wingnut kpc X Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 12:38 AM
^^^^^^^^ la indymedia Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 12:46 AM
Say it ain't so Joe unbelievable Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 12:55 AM
Funding for Hamas here Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 1:01 AM
So by that logic history Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 1:08 AM
Bad Logic no Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 1:21 AM
My, my. nonanarchist Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 7:15 AM
testing testing Saturday, Sep. 06, 2003 at 2:54 PM
Fighting anti-semitism Meyer London Saturday, Sep. 06, 2003 at 3:15 PM
Forgot to add Meyer London Saturday, Sep. 06, 2003 at 3:17 PM
And yet fresca Saturday, Sep. 06, 2003 at 3:20 PM
fresca fresca Saturday, Sep. 06, 2003 at 3:28 PM
UN security council resolutions against Israel 1948-1990 Saturday, Sep. 06, 2003 at 5:54 PM
UN security council resolutions against Israel 1948-1990 Saturday, Sep. 06, 2003 at 5:56 PM
Yo, '48 - '90 nonanarchist Saturday, Sep. 06, 2003 at 6:42 PM
UN Resolutions Have No Teeth Meyer London Saturday, Sep. 06, 2003 at 8:36 PM
Some facts fresca Sunday, Sep. 07, 2003 at 5:51 PM
Tripe That I Float Meyer London Sunday, Sep. 07, 2003 at 7:38 PM
well fresca Sunday, Sep. 07, 2003 at 7:58 PM
HYPOCRITE FRESCA HITLER Sunday, Sep. 07, 2003 at 9:02 PM
Yeah fresca Sunday, Sep. 07, 2003 at 10:14 PM
reflect mirror Monday, Sep. 08, 2003 at 1:12 AM
a bit o' history about Israeli aggression systemfailure Monday, Sep. 08, 2003 at 6:45 AM
circular time sink Hex anon w/ encryption Monday, Sep. 08, 2003 at 8:31 AM

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