Some 40 vehicles were vandalized and racist graffiti was sprayed Wednesday overnight on the walls of the Arab town of Jaljulia, in central Israel.
Suspects slashed car tires and spray painted slogans, which include “Jews, stop intermarriage,” in a manner consistent with what is known as "price tag" attacks. Although they remain at large, the people who carried out the attack were caught on security cameras, and police has launched an investigation.
Jaljulia resident Munir Harbush told Haaretz his car, as well as his son’s, was vandalized. “This is a despicable act that can’t go unpunished,” he said. “These people feel like they can do whatever they want, [but] they don’t know it leads to bloodshed.”
The town's mayor, Darwish Rabi, called it “terrorism,” lamenting the fact that such “frequent incidents against Arab citizens aren’t treated properly by the relevant authorities.”
Despite no clear connection, this follows the Tuesday indictement for violence of Israeli far-right leader Bentzi Gopstein for statements specifically referring to intermarriage.
In a 2012 video clip on the Arutz Sheva website, when asked what the anti-miscegenation Lehava organization, of which he is the chairman, would do in cases in which a Jewish woman fell in love with an Arab man and wanted to live with him, Gopstein replied: “There are those who deserve to have violence used against them."
"If an Arab hits on a Jewish woman, talk is not what’s needed. An Arab who hits on a Jewish woman I don't think needs to keep walking down the street too much with his Jewish woman,” he added.
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Such anti-Arab attacks are less common inside the borders of Israel proper, but they occur regularly in the West Bank. A similar suspected hate crime took place in the West Bank village of Jab’a, near Bethlehem, earlier this week.
Tag Meir, a nongovernmental organization battling anti-Arab hate crimes, recorded 43 similar incidents in the West Bank and Israel since January. “Israel is helpless in the face of Jewish terrorist militias,” it said.