In Israel, a homeowner sold his house to an Arab family.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 14, 2018
White supremacists are now surrounding the home and chanting that they want the neighborhood to be for white Jews only. Local politicians are now moving to cancel the sale.
Deeply disturbing. https://t.co/5uH0zXna8V pic.twitter.com/MAqWxnf0fR
When a Jewish family sold their house in Afula, Israel, to an Arab family, about 150 people decided to demonstrate against the Jewish “traitors” and the town’s new residents.
Even the deputy mayor of the town showed up.
The house in question is located in the Yizrael neighborhood. Prior to the demonstration, flyers were spread showing calls for action from Jewish residents. They asked locals to help “put a stop to this phenomenon… the sale of homes to those who are undesirable in the neighbourhood.”
During the protest, both Deputy Mayor Shlomo Malihi and former Mayor Avi Elkabetz showed up.
According to Malihi, locals weren’t marching because they hate Arabs. Instead, he said, they want a “pure” town.
“The residents of Afula don’t want a mixed city, but rather a Jewish city, and it’s their right. This is not racism,” he told Haaretz. “I hope that the house sale will be canceled so that this city won’t begin to be mixed. We do not have admittance committees like in the towns and kibbutzim around us, but we will not allow the character of the city to change.”
Unhappy Jewish residents marching for a fully Jewish town held signs as they marched. One read, “Traitors against the Jews will get no rest.”
Israel is a country of 8.6 million residents, and about 20 percent of the population is Arab. Despite the strong presence of Arabs in the country, a bill under consideration by the country’s parliament, the Knesset, would allow only Jewish residents to establish communities, excluding Arabs.
Afula went through similar xenophobic protests in 2016 when bids for 43 lots in a new residential neighborhood were all won by Arab families. THe bids were not finalized as the Nazareth District Court overturned the approval.
To many Arab politicians in Israel, the reality is one of fear.
Arab politician Yousef Jabareen said what’s happening in Afula is just a symptom of a much wider problem.
“The racism of ethnic superiority has become a legitimate reality under this right-wing government,” Jabareen said. “This protest should rock the political system and keep up at night all those who care about equality and human dignity.”
This story helps to shed light on Israel’s most pressing problem: its inability to admit it wants to override democracy in the name of building a country that is purely Jewish.
As Israeli forces continue to harass Palestinians under military occupation, they also belittle and humiliate Arabs inside the country. Unfortunately for them, their brutal campaign is not working, as the world continues to report on these incidents, and pressure from foreign nations continues to mount.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Lilach Daniel