"Death to Arabs!"
By JONATHAN COOK
".....In subsequent days, Jewish gangs have roamed Acre’s streets and torched several Arab homes, forcing dozens of Arab families living in Jewish-dominated areas to flee.
An Arab member of the Israeli parliament, Ahmed Tibi, observed that what is occurring in Acre is not a riot but a “pogrom”, conducted by Jewish residents against their Arab neighbours.
Communal tensions are always high in the half a dozen “mixed cities” like Acre, the only places in Israel where Jews and Arabs live in close proximity, even if in largely separate neighbourhoods.
But the situation has grown especially strained in Acre, where some Arab residents have escaped the deprivation and overcrowding of their main neighbourhood, the walled Old City, by moving to Jewish areas. Acre’s Arabs are also numerically strong, comprising a third of the local population......
His probable successor, Tzipi Livni, added of Yom Kippur that “every citizen has to respect this day” – a reprimand to Arab citizens for driving rather than to extremist Jews for turning into a lynch mob......
The next day the country’s president, Shimon Peres, reminded community leaders: “There is one law and one police.”
As if to disprove him, the police arrested Mr Jamal the same day, accusing him of offending religious sensitivities, speeding and reckless endangerment – though it was unclear whom he had endangered apart from himself. He was released to house arrest two days later.
Mr Tibi, the parliamentarian, sounded a rare note of sanity when he observed: “I wonder if they will start to arrest Jews who eat and drink during the month of Ramadan.”......
Even more painful are memories of the events at the beginning of the intifada, in October 2000, when Arab citizens protested against the military whirlwind unleashed against their Palestinian kin in the occupied territories. The worst violence inside Israel occurred at the town of Umm al-Fahm, where Arab demonstrators threw stones at cars driving along the nearby highway.
Politicians did not talk about Arab sensitivities, or the need for calm, at that time. Instead they sent in a sniper unit. In the ensuing crackdown 13 Arab demonstrators were shot dead, and hundreds injured with live ammunition and rubber bullets."