400 Jewish families fled Lod after rioting, mayor says

“We are still [experiencing] post-trauma,” said Lod mayor Yair Revivo.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The Knesset’s Land of Israel caucus met today to discuss the fallout from widespread Arab rioting in mixed cities during Operation Guardian of the Walls.

The caucus is made up of Knesset members across coalition lines, and often hosts local politicians and officials from NGOs to speak on issues related to Jewish sovereignty in Israel.

Lod mayor Yair Revivo, whose city saw two deaths and multiple synagogues torched during the unrest, said that 400 Jewish families had fled the municipality after the riots.

Revivo said the government should launch a special program to encourage people to live in the city once again.

“There must be an incentive to come and live here,” he said. “We are still [experiencing] post-trauma. You may hear about quiet, but we went through a very rattling event here two months ago.

“Not everything is about budgets. I am an example that I allotted a lot of funding [to the Arab sector] and promoted affirmative action, but on the day [the clash began] Palestinian identity surged and the ‘ethnic demon’ was openly released in the cities involved.”

Former Interior Security Minister Amir Ohana, who was widely criticized for his response to the Mt. Meron disaster and the May 2021 rioting, which both occurred during his tenure, said that police had been unprepared for the rioting, both in its intensity and scope.

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“The latest unrest, we have not seen [this kind of rioting] since the establishment of the state. The police did not know how to respond properly in the early days,” he said.

“We saw both in the Negev and the cities [where unrest occurred] that Israeli Arabs [acted] out of hostility to the idea of ​​a Jewish state…The backlog of incidents was such that the police did not know how to respond well… and had to make an unprecedented request for backup from the Border Police.”

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan spoke to lawmakers about rumors of a de facto building freeze in Judea and Samaria.

“I am really worried about freezing construction…and it should be made clear that we will stand as a wall in the face of an attempt to freeze settlement,” he said.

“This lobby has the ability and crushing power in the struggle for the Land of Israel.”