Liberman called on Israelis to boycott the Arabs of Wadi Ara in response to their violent riots over the weekend against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
Several hundred Arabs with Israeli citizenship rioted at various locations in northern Israel on Saturday in response to President Donald Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The masked rioters blocked a main route and threw rocks at passing cars and buses. Three Israelis were wounded and several vehicles were damaged.
A mob violently assaulted an Israeli news photographer. While he was able to escape unharmed, his motorcycle was destroyed.
The wild protests were part of the larger Palestinian “day of rage” following Trump’s announcement that he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and planned to move the US Embassy there.
In response, Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman said the Arabs of Wadi Ara, where the riots occurred, are “not part of us” and called for a boycott on the area.
Rioters ‘have no connection to this country’
“These people do not belong to the State of Israel. They have no connection to this country,” Liberman told IDF Radio on Sunday. “Furthermore, I would call on all citizens of Israel to stop going to their stores, stop buying, stop getting services there, simply boycott Wadi Ara. They need to feel that they are not welcome here.”
In a similar interview with Ynet, the minister called “on all of Israel’s residents to stop buying” in the Wadi Ara area.
“Simply impose a consumers’ boycott and don’t go in there—don’t enter their restaurants or their businesses, don’t get your cars fixed there. The residents of Wadi Ara must understand that they’re unwanted and that they’re not part of us. They’re working from within to harm the State of Israel,” Liberman stated.
“We’ve seen terrorists come out of there, we’ve seen funerals for the terrorists from Umm al-Fahm who murdered police officers at the Temple Mount, and we’ve seen a terrorist murder people at the attack on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street, including an Arab taxi driver from Lod,” he said.
‘They should become part of Ramallah’
“They should become part of Ramallah. There, they will receive convalescence pay, an unemployment allowance and maternity benefits instead of the billions of shekels they are currently receiving from the [Israeli] National Security Institute,” he added, referring to the Palestinian Authority’s funding of terror.
“I have never seen a protest in Wadi Ara with a single Israeli flag. I’ve seen many Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Authority flags there, and I’ve never seen a single State of Israel flag there,” he affirmed.
Member of Knesset Ayman Odeh, head of the Arab Joint List in the Knesset, said Liberman’s call for a boycott was reminiscent of the worst regimes in history.
Liberman has long called for Wadi Ara to be included in his proposal to swap lands and populations as part of a future diplomatic agreement with the Palestinians. The residents sympathize with the Palestinians and often openly identify with them.
Interestingly, a poll from November showed that the vast majority of Israel’s Arabs, 73 percent, feel a sense of belonging in the Jewish state and 60 percent are proud to be Israelis.
Almost half – 46 percent – identify as Israeli Arabs, while 42 percent identify as Palestinian Arabs. Only three percent identify as Israelis.
Most of the Israeli Arabs polled say they believe that Jews have historic and religious ties to Israel. Their widely held desire, expressed by 82 percent, is not to live under Palestinian rule, while 14 percent say they would prefer it.