Hate Crimes Can't Go Unpunished

 

Hate Crimes Can't Go Unpunished


The number of hate crimes targeting the Arab population in Israel has shot up since Israel destroyed buildings in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar last month. Jewish extremists connected to settler groups are reportedly behind these so-called “Price Tag” attacks. [1]

The good news is that there are many Israelis who want to see an end to this phenomenon. A coalition of organizations, known as Tag Meir, put together a large demonstration outside of the Prime Minister's residence on Sunday.

Stand with these Israelis.

Israel's leaders have firmly denounced these attacks. Last week Prime Minister Netanyahu said that these attacks go “against our values." [2] Two Cabinet officials want to classify the right-wing groups behind the violence as "terrorist" groups. [3]

However, the Israeli government’s actions have failed to match its strong rhetoric. Most of the perpetrators of these crimes have not been charged, [4] and the pace of attacks is quickening.

Show your support for the Israelis who are speaking out. Sign the statement below.

You and I know that Israel is a fragmented society. Too many Palestinian Israelis already feel like second class citizens. The failure to stop the attacks reinforces this troubling sense of alienation.

NIF believes in fostering a shared society for all Israelis. We stand for equality and democracy. That's why our partners in Israel are mobilizing around this issue. And that's why we hope you will lend your voice as well.

Let’s not forget: Price Tag attacks don’t just take place in Israel proper. Most of the violence takes place in the West Bank, where Palestinian civilians and IDF soldiers are targeted. Especially at this moment -- in the absence of peace talks -- it’s vital that the extremists are not allowed to further fan the flames of hatred.

This violence is a threat to the moral fiber of Israel, to its Jewish and democratic character, and to the security of its citizens.  It demands a response.

[Update 5/11/14: This statement was read aloud at this rally in Jerusalem today. We continue to collect and deliver signatures to the office of the Prime Minister.]