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Escalation of violence in the Middle East - a crucial test for Jewish and Arab Israelis

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The military violence also leads to violent riots among Arab youth. The victims are Jewish residents and synagogues - such as in Lod.

The city of Lod is about 20 kilometers east of Tel Aviv. Around 75,000 people live here. The majority is Jewish, around 30 percent are Arab-Israeli citizens.

The outbreak of violence in recent days has made Lod headlines around the world. Just last night rioting Arab youths attacked a Jewish quarter and terrified the people. They desecrated a synagogue and set it on fire.

Right-wing Jewish settlers

Mahmoud Muhareb is an eyewitness to the events in Lod. He is a university professor and politician for the Israeli Arab Balad party in the city. He clearly condemns the violence of Arab youth against Jewish roommates and their facilities last night: “We are against violence against Jews. We want to live in peace, ”he says.

He explains what led to the violence: In the last ten years - for example, since Benjamin Netanyahu became Prime Minister of Israel - more and more religious-nationalist Jewish settlers have come to the city. Many of them are right-wing, racist Kahanists.

Palestinians shot dead during protests

When Palestinian youths demonstrated in Lod a few days ago because of the events in Jerusalem, after an increase in tensions between the settlers and the rest of the population, a scandal broke out. A settler shot and killed a Palestinian man.

"Civil War" in Lod

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According to media reports, Arab residents desecrated a synagogue in Lod and set it on fire. In addition, dozens of cars were set on fire and windows of shops were thrown in. The mayor of Lod spoke on television of a "civil war" in the city and called for an immediate curfew. Numerous other police troops were sent into the city to keep things calm. (sda)

The Israeli police watched and did not arrest the perpetrator until the following day when protests broke out again, says the Israeli-Arab professor and politician.

When the young man was buried, Jews also came to express their condolences. What happened was tragic, says the Jewish project developer Nathali Kirshtein. She has lived in Lod for 20 years.

Situation provoked by politics?

Last night's escalation of violence, which was directed against the Jewish population, infuriated them. "I have mixed feelings: Because my home, my city is being destroyed, I'm frustrated and angry." But she is not primarily angry with the Arabs in her city.

“I'm angry with politics, with the institutions: why are they bringing nationalists and extremists into our city? You give orders here, they trigger violence. " Sure, there was always tension in Lod. It is a poor city, a hard place.

"But this group of new residents systematically discriminates against the Arab population," says Kirshtein. And after the escalation of violence, it was clear to her that this was wanted by politicians.

Missile kills father and daughter

Last night Lod experienced unprecedented violence - but not only from the Arab youth who terrified the Jewish population. Two people also died from rocket fire from Gaza.

A father and his 16-year-old daughter - Arab Israelis - fell victim to one of the bombs. They shouldn't have built an air raid shelter because the Israeli authorities had forbidden them, says Muhareb.

In Lod today, Arab and Jewish citizens mourn together. And hope that the violence does not divide them so that they can no longer live together in the future.

SRF 4 News, Rendez-vous from May 12, 2021, 12.30 p.m.

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  • Comment from Enrico Dandolo (Doge)
    Unfortunately there are those on both sides who do not want peace. I realized that when Yitzhak Rabin was murdered. It was one of the most depressing acts I have ever had to go through.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Dorothee Meili (DoX.98)
    It is worth listening to Susanne Brunner's entire radio report, especially with the voices on the screen. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Brunner. When she took up her position in the Middle East, she must have imagined things differently, be it Jordan, be it Lebanon, but certainly Israel. Still best wishes!
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Maria Müller (Mmueller)
    Israel is somewhat similar to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
    A three-party conflict in which there will probably never really be peace.

    Only "armistices".
    Agree agree to the comment

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