We knew it was latent. His awakening is spectacular. Violent. Prime-time live footage on Israeli TV of the lynching of a suspected Arab man in Bat Yam, a Tel Aviv suburb on the evening of Wednesday, May 12, shed harsh light on the city. Israeli extreme right. Never, until then, had she taken action. Not even in 2014, during the Gaza War, when it stirred up protests in support of the Palestinians. The next day, they attacked a journalist in Tel Aviv.
צלם כאן 11 רולנד נוביצקי הותקף במחאה בתקווה ומצלמתו נחטפה ממנו. התוקף נעצר. סרטון קשה. pic.twitter.com/FlU0LCiO6g
– Hagar Shezaf (@HShezaf) May 13, 2021
How to explain this eruption of violence? The riots in Lod launched by Israeli Arabs after the death of one of their own have escalated the tensions that had agitated the country for several days. “It gave them a avenue to act”, observes Denis Charbit, professor of political science at the Open University of Israel.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, the man who stirs up the embers of hatred
Times have changed in seven years. The arrival for the first time of one of their own in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, the deputy of the “Religious Zionist Party” (far right) Itamar Ben-Gvir, three weeks ago, unleashed the racism of his supporters. He is “responsible” for the Arab-Jewish riots that have been inflaming mixed cities of Israel for several days, going so far as to declare the chief of police to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Channel 12.
On Thursday, May 6, his visit to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, where several Palestinian families are threatened with expulsion by Jewish settlers, sparked a first wave of violence. There was ostensibly installed his “parliamentary office” (a tent) in support of the Jewish inhabitants of the district. Protected by his new status as a deputy, he was not arrested for disturbing public order but urged by Benjamin Netanyahu to leave the premises.
At the end of April, his allies from Lehava (a far-right group on the way to being classified as terrorist in 2015) had confronted Palestinian groups and the police near the Damascus gate, in Jerusalem, at the cry of ” Death to the Arabs ”.
Netanyahu opened Pandora’s box
The Prime Minister condemned the violence on both sides after the Bat Yam lynching: “What has been happening in recent days in the cities of Israel is unbearable… nothing justifies the lynching of Arabs by Jews and nothing justifies the lynching of Jews by Arabs. “ Yet it was he who introduced Itamar Ben-Gvir to the Knesset. “He did not want to lose any votes (in the last legislative elections, editor’s note) and he did everything to make Itamar Ben-Gvir eligible”, explains Denis Charbit.
Shocked by the images of Bat Yam, much of the Israeli population condemned the violence. “The far right does not have more popularity, but it has more political effect. She succeeded in imposing her agenda “, raises the researcher.
Asked by France Inter, the writer and representative of Palestine at Unesco Elias Sanbar affirms it: “The settlers are now in power. The rest of society is in disgust or in fear. This is what will determine the outcome of the situation. “