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Netanayahu Wants to Keep the Arabs Scared and Desperate

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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Protesters rally against violence in Arab communities in Jaljulya following the deadly shooting of a teenager, last week
Protesters rally against violence in Arab communities in Jaljulya following the deadly shooting of a teenager, last weekCredit: rami shllush
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

I asked for coffee. The waiter replied that first, he’ll prepare a plan for making the coffee. Toward noon, I asked what was happening. They told me the plan was ready, and now they’re thinking about how to implement it. I left with no coffee.

When I got home, I sat down to write a column. But first, I made a plan for writing it. The next day, the paper was published without my column.

That’s the way things are nowadays. The cook doesn’t cook, but waits for a cooking plan; the engineer doesn’t design, because he’s busy making plans for the design; and the police don’t catch thieves, because they’re preparing a plan for how to catch them.

Once, in the good old days, the police caught criminals, who were then tried and served long sentences behind bars. But no longer.

For a long time now, the police have been busy preparing a plan to end crime in the Arab community. But, to paraphrase a line from a Shalom Hanoch song, the plan isn’t coming, nor is it telephoning. The meter continues ticking up Arab bodies.

Crime is spreading, and the age of the victims is decreasing. Recently, a teenager was shot to death in Jaljulya. The criminals haven’t yet been caught, but don’t worry; even if they are caught, the ranks of the organized crime rings will fill up again immediately. After all, they have lots of money and there’s no shortage of guns.

Last Thursday I heard a criminologist, Dr. Walid Haddad, on Eran Singer’s show “Marhabet” on Kan Bet radio. Haddad said that if the police wanted to confiscate guns in the Arab community, they could do so within in a month; they already have all the tools they need. I understood that only one thing was missing – a decision. Without a decision, it’s all bullshit.

In that same interview, Haddad said that people come to Israel from all over the world to learn how to fight crime. Yet in its own Arab backyard, it has suffered a shameful failure.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pretending to be searching for a miracle plan. His office, presumably, is preparing a plan to find this elusive plan that isn’t aware of its own elusiveness. Nevertheless, allow me to point out that the prime minister did manage to find a tenth of the errant plan – an allocation of 150 million shekels ($45 million), the vast majority of which will be invested in setting up new police stations and hiring more police.

In the meantime, our charming criminals are walking around in perfect safety amid the personnel slots, the PowerPoint presentations and the data tables, since for now, the police are hardly interfering with them at all. Stealing weapons is like a carefree shopping trip to a fair – choose what you want and take it. You don’t even need to pay; it’s all on the house. The only condition is that the guns not creep into the Jewish community, heaven forbid.

Why is the prime minister doing this? Oh, that’s easy. He wants to keep the Arabs scared and begging him to protect their lives.

On the other hand, MK Mansour Abbas says that “the police have managed to thwart hundreds of murders or attempted murders,” and he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of supporting a law that would bar sitting prime ministers from standing trial. This would result in Netanyahu staying in power, without any hindrance from the courts.

It’s interesting. All over the world, leaders responsible for failures are ousted. But here, even some Arabs are giving the main culprit a seal of approval to stay on.

And if Netanyahu has so far approved only a tenth of the grand plan to end crime, it will be at least 10 years before it’s completed. If 100 people are being murdered each year, then go out and dig another 100 graves. That’s Netanyahu’s glad tidings – instead of freeing up land for construction, it’s more important to free up land for cemeteries.

To make the situation clearer, recall that in 2020, according to Palestinian sources, 48 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Israeli soldiers. Inside Israel, in contrast, 113 Arab citizens were murdered due to crime and the police’s complete inaction. It turns out that to extend your lifespan under Netanyahu’s government, it’s better to be occupied to be a citizen.

Here’s an anecdote: When the police were determined to suppress a demonstration against violence in Umm al-Fahm, they had no need for plans. Everything ran like a Swiss watch. The people responsible for beatings beat, the ones responsible for shooting shot and the water cannons also performed outstandingly.

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