A city council member called on armed Jewish activists to take the law into their own hands on Friday in the mixed city of Lod, and to come and protect Jewish homes in the city in light of recent tensions between Jews and Arabs.
Israeli police said Saturday that they arrested an Arab resident of Lod on suspicion of throwing a firebomb at the home of a Jewish family in the city on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Amichai Langfeld, a city council member who is an activist for the Habayit Hayehudi party, called for armed Jewish activists to come to Lod to protect the Jewish community. During a visit to the home hit by the firebomb, Langfeld said, "I don't trust the police to protect us, and we call on armed people - like those who came on Shavuot - to come and help us protect ourselves before the sabbath."
Langfeld spoke alongside Lod Mayor Yair Revivo, and former Knesset member Juma Azbarga. Revivo clarified, "We are not calling on people to take the law into their own hands." The municipality has yet to issue a response.
According to Langfeld, "We're in favor of calming things down, but we aren't suckers and we have our honor. And anyone who wants to mess with us should know that security forces will have a bone to pick with them, and if they come up against us, they'll wish they hadn't."
Langfeld added, "We'll take care of ourselves, and anyone who deals with us should know, that if necessary, we are armed and will open fire. We will protect our lives, including our property. No one will mess with Jews in Israel. They won't mess with us."
Langfeld's statements enraged Arab citizens of Lod. City council member Fadi Shehadeh wrote on her Facebook account that "the police have failed, but is the solution to incite armed Kahanists, who are even more dangerous?"
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"Our city - where my family and I grew up - is bleeding and on the brink of more and more bloodshed… I may be an Arab Palestinian and those who voted for me are primarily Arab Palestinians, but I don't see myself as a representative of Arabs alone, rather as a representative of all of the city's residents. Revivo cannot act as the mayor of the Kahanists alone. He must also act as the mayor of the Arabs and the rest of the Jews who are weakened and discriminated against due to his blind support for the religious Zionist sect."
Joint List member Ofer Cassif wrote a letter to Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, in which he warned that "there is a blatant call for armed people to take the law into their own hands and even to use live weapons… all of this under the auspices of the Lod mayor, who stood beside the inciter."
Cassif warned that "without immediate intervention on your part to stop the blatant incitement from escalating to violence, a horrible tragedy may occur."
The right-wing organization "My Israel" said today that they are mobilizing supporters to protect homes in Lod.
"Will the police be there? We're preparing to get along with or without them, to stand by the residents of Lod," the organization wrote on social media. Head of the organization, Sara Haetzni-Cohen, said in an interview with Israeli radio that the movement has been approached by hundreds of people, many of them armed, volunteering to protect homes. According to her, members of the organization are already in Lod, "protecting the residents."