The War on Israel: What is happening in the Arab Sector?
המלחמה על ישראל , מה קורה במגזר הערבי
Why did this happen in Lod? Where did the Arab population of Lod come from?
?למה זה קרה דווקא בלוד? מאין הגיעה האוכלוסייה הערבית של לוד
Dr Mordechai Kedar
Videos: Alex Tseitlin, YouTube, 24, 25 May 2021
Translated: Alexandra Troush
Edited: Anjuli Pandavar
With the kind permission of Alex Tseitlin and Dr Mordechai Kedar
Today is 19 May 2021, the tenth day of the events that are shaking this country, on the inside too. It's happening in Lod, the Negev, Haifa and other mixed cities; it's happening between Israel and Gaza; it's happening in Jerusalem. The question is how to deal with it. But first, we have to think about what this is in the first place. How do we understand what's happening? Once we understand it, we might know how to deal with it.
First of all, what do we call it? Is it an Intifada [Palestinian reign of terror, AP]? Are these pogroms similar to those of 1920-21 and 1929? Since we touched on those pogroms, we have to remember that whoever is claiming that the current wave is because of discrimination against the Arab sector in Israel, is forgetting that in 1920-21 and 1929 there were very similar pogroms in the mixed cities, but there was no Israeli state then and there was no discrimination. So wait a moment, if this [the 2021 pogrom] is because of discrimination, then what on earth happened back then?
Talking of discrimination against the Arab sector is only a fig leaf intended to conceal the actual problem. I'm not saying there's no discrimination, but that's not the reason, because the discrimination [pogroms?] didn't start today. This thing has to be looked at from an entirely different angle. We're talking about something of a different scale, what they call in Arabic, or the Islamic language, "Jihad".
Those who have believed, migrated, and waged jihad in the way of Allah, and those who gave them shelter and help, it is they who are truly the faithful. For them shall be forgiveness and a noble provision, (Qur'an 8:74).
Now we need to understand what Jihad is. In Israel, we perceive Jihad as the Islamic war on unbelievers [kufaar, infidels, non-Muslims, AP], in this case, against Jews. This is true, but it's only a small part of the issue. It [Jihad] is a holistic, general term that includes many aspects of the battle of Islam against the non-Muslim so that Allah wins and the unbelievers lose. Jihad has a military aspect to it, called "Al-Jihad Bisseif", "the sword-led Jihad", which is a war intended to take over the world and bring Islam to rule.
However, Jihad also has other aspects. For instance, there is an argument in Islamic literature on whether a person who gives water to a Jihad warrior has contributed to a quarter or a third of Jihad. There is no doubt, however, that the person contributed to Jihad in some way. And if they gave the Mujahid [a Jihad terrorist, AP] a horse in order to get to their Jihad duties faster and more efficiently, it's unclear whether the person contributed to a third or a half of Jihad. In all cases, a logistics contribution of an outsider is accepted as part of Jihad as well. Giving publicity and advertising to Jihad is considered Jihad as well. Donating money to Jihad, as Qatar donated to Hamas, [and as any Muslim who gives zakat, AP,] also takes part in Jihad.
In other words, not only Mujahideen are part of Jihad, but also those around them, those who make the rockets, those who feed those who make the rockets, those who give money to those who feed those who make the rockets; this whole support system is part of Jihad. Those who spread support for Jihad online are also part of Jihad. There is media Jihad, financial Jihad, and those who can't do anything for the Jihad because they don't have anything to give, can pray for Jihad and the Mujahideen, and this prayer contribution is considered the prayer Jihad.
So we have the military Jihad, the financial Jihad, we have the media Jihad, we have the prayer Jihad, and if a woman brings boys into the world so that they can eventually become Jihad warriors, it is also considered Jihad. Every man and woman who wants to take part in the great Islamic nation can take part in the Jihad. Write on Twitter, write posts on Facebook, put a picture on Instagram, upload a video on YouTube, and you're part of Jihad, even if you live in Vancouver, Canada, or Melbourne, Australia.
You can be part of this cause, and it is amazing. Everybody can join in, and we clearly see many people joining. Jihad is not only what Hamas does. Hamas is only the tip of the sword that pokes Israel, while the supporters are those that support it, lead it and direct it, especially if they live in Lod, Ramle, Haifa, Jerusalem, the Negev, and they help support the shaking of Israel's existence. They are all part of Jihad. If they burn a Jewish car, if they help terrorise Jews, if they burn a Jewish business, if they break a window that belongs to a Jew, if they burn an apartment owned by a Jew, and especially if they wound or kill a Jew, they contribute to scaring the Jews, which is a part of Jihad that's dedicated to eradicating the Jewish state that has no right to exist, according to them.
And we're not only talking about the conquests of '67 that many people assume is the actual issue, but also the conquests of '48 that aren't any less important than those of '67. Many people are delusional enough to think that if we just give them Jerusalem that was conquered in '67, and if we only give them the Judea and Samaria area, then they will hug and kiss us and accept us as a legitimate state. NO! This isn't real and this theory is nonsense. You have to listen to what they're saying.
The Jaffa Muslims are running down the streets in mobs, the Christian Arabs are forced to join, because if they don't, then the Muslims will hurt them too. Christian Arabs are afraid of them. But those who aren't afraid don't join the Muslims. For example, there are Christian Arab villages in the Galilee where not even one stone was thrown, because they understand that if Israel falls, they fall with it, because they're not Muslim. I'm not even talking about the Druze yet, who are heretics in the eyes of Islam. This explains why the Druze help Israel all the time, because they know exactly what Islam is, what it wants, and they know that it was only waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack, which is now, when Hamas is attacking from Gaza, when Jerusalem is attacked, when Jaffa is attacked, when the Negev is attacked.
These days Israel has a very weak image. Anytime a country in the Middle East has a weak image, Jihad warriors come and attack it. It happened to Syria because of their inner mess, it happened to Iraq because of their inner mess, and this is what brought ISIS into the world. Those who today act against Israel, their mindset isn't conceptually different from the ISIS mindset. Yeah, sure, ISIS was butchering people left and right in front of the cameras and that's not happening in Israel just yet, but if they could, wouldn't they? Just to remind you, several tens of Israeli Muslims went to ISIS, including one doctor from the Negev who was a surgeon in Barzilai [Hospital] in Ashkelon. The ISIS buds exist among us too.
I'm obviously not saying that the entire Arab sector is radical and made up of ISIS and Jihad warriors, there are many normative people who support Israel and prefer it, many claim that they are even the majority of the Arab sector in Israel. However, in any contact between a radical, aggressive and armed individual and a moderate, peaceful and unarmed individual, the aggressive and armed will always win, even if it’s one against a thousand. Why? —because he will scare them with his Kalashnikov, or his stones, or his torch. He scares the peaceful and nice people. We're not talking about a majority of the Arab sector in Israel, but rather about a big enough minority that no one dares defy, because the state is seen as weak. If I'm, for example, some Mahmud, and I don’t agree with the radical minority, and I fight them, who’s going to protect me? The police? The police can't even help the Jews, how will they help us? We all saw what happened to the gangs who captured and lynched Jews — nothing! This is what happens when the state is seen as weak. They smell blood.
Why is the state seen as weak? First of all, for two years running, the state, or rather the political Right, hasn’t been able to form a government despite having a majority in the Knesset. Lieberman won’t join, Sa’ar won’t join, Bennett flip-flops Right and Left, then Right and Left again, and the Likud [party] can't choose anyone other than Netanyahu who could maybe form a government. So the Right is paralysed. The Left is too weak and small anyway. And so the Jewish majority is seen as something that can't even form a government. This invites violence.
What is more, the Right and Netanyahu, over the last year, have been courting the Ra’am [United Arab List] party, which is the Islamic Movement. The Islamic Movement is joined to the Muslim Brotherhood, and no matter whether they are now in Egypt, in Israel, in Tunis, in Syria, in Jordan or wherever, their ideology is always based on three things: the first is to get rid of foreign occupation, be it the British in Egypt, the French in Syria, the Zionists here, or even the Arab rulers in those countries — if they don’t apply Sharia, they are seen as a foreign occupation for ruling with foreign ideologies such as socialism, liberalism, all kinds of different "-isms" brought from the West, and so there is no difference between them and any other foreign occupation — That's the first thing.
The second thing is to get rid of the culture of foreign occupation, as in anything that's Western, especially when it comes to women's rights, gender issues, cellphones, the TV, the Internet that corrupts the youth (and girls in particular). In other words, all things that represent Western culture and corrupt Islam from within.
The third thing is to impose Sharia, the Islamic laws. “Why would we need European laws and UN laws, Swiss laws and so on? That's not Islam and not our culture. Islamic countries must be led by Islam.”
These three points are common to the Muslim Brotherhood in the entire world, including the Islamic Movement in Israel, with its two parts: the Northern Faction led by Sheikh Ra’id Salah; and the Southern Faction led by Mansour Abbas. Sure, the Northern Faction is more dogmatic, more strict and principled, which is why they won't run for elections. Instead they go to Al-Aqsa. Sheikh Ra’id Salah goes there and incites against the Israeli state. He's been outlawed several years ago and good riddance.
This behaviour has been tolerated for far too long, all because of one attorney who insisted on not letting anything be done to the Islamic Movement, on account of freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of opinion and all those things, and she protected the Islamic Movement. That attorney eventually left and became the head of one of the organisations that finance Left-wing organisations in Israel [Generally, ‘Right’ and ‘Left’ in Israeli politics differentiates between antipathy to, and affinity for, Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians. These are broad-brush strokes just for context, AP].
The Southern Faction ran for elections. Sheikh Ibrahim Sarsur, Sheikh Kamal Rayan, his vice, Abdel Malek Al-Dahamshah, Taufik Khatib, Abu Arar (who's married to two wives—a Knesset member married to two wives!) Now there’s also Mansour Abbas and others. They share the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sure, they're not as radical right now, but they do the most they can within their limits. Their method is sitting in ruling, and pulling the strings from within to shake the Jewish status of this state. According to them, the Jewish state has no right to exist. According to them, the Jews have to live as Ahl Dhimma, “protégés” of Islam, and they have no right to their own country, their government, their army, their border patrols, their police, or any other sign of sovereignty; the Jews have to live under the wings [in reality, the heels, AP] of Islam. This is what they believe.
Ask any of them, ask Mansour Abbas if they believe the Jews have a right to a country of their own and he will stutter. On the one hand, he doesn’t want to say no because he might lose his position as a Knesset member, but on the other hand, he can’t say yes because he will be kicked out of the Party by his colleagues. He’s never asked the right questions.
Unfortunately, the Israeli Right brought the Islamic Movement closer, because it understood that it’s very hard to form a government without some Arab voice. The Balad [“Country”, Chapter 90 of the Qur’an, AP] party shares the ideology that the Jews have no right to a country, but from a nationalist standpoint, not from a religious one, and the Balad party was established by a Christian, let’s not forget that. It has members who are Christian, like Basel Ghattas who snuck in phones to inmates, Muslims like Wasil Taha and [Jamal] Zahalka, and even one Druze, Said Nafa (he’s against enlisting in the IDF, although he himself was enlisted but later discharged). This party tries to be non-religious, but rather Arab nationalist. Because of their ideology, they believe that Israel has no right to exist on Arab land. Balad will not join the government.
Netanyahu thought that the Islamic Movement with its Taqiyya, its pretending that it can supposedly be a party that you can trust in Israel, can be part of his government, but he failed to understand its ideology. The Muslim Brotherhood, and this is praiseworthy, knows perfectly well how to pull in, anybody who is furious with the state, in Egypt, Jordan and even here. In Egypt it’s those poor fellows who live in Ashwa’yat, those unplanned neighbourhoods, who live in wooden or tin boxes without any water, electricity, sewerage, or other utilities. About 30 million Egyptians out of a 100 million live in unplanned neighbourhoods in boxes or other makeshift houses, without any utilities.
So the Muslim Brotherhood brings them water, brings them food, gives them something to do. They bring them healthcare, especially women's healthcare run by women, in order to gain their trust. It’s called Da’wa, “the call to Islam”. We give you these things, and you support us. It doesn’t even matter to them whether they’re [practising] Muslims—they’re often drunks and drug addicts—but the Muslim Brotherhood knows how to get them, because their own country neglects them. And here too, the state neglected them, especially in the Negev, and so the Muslim Brotherhood kissed and hugged them and that's how those people started supporting it.
This is what we saw with the Bedouin uprising in the Negev, that’s why Arad was under a curfew for several days, because you couldn't get out. By the way, [personnel from] the Nevatim military base, in case you don't know, are not allowed to move north at night to the Be’er Sheva - Arad road, because the Bedouin have been harassing soldiers for years and the prosecution forbade them to protect themselves. Several military cars have been stolen, so now they are just not allowed to leave their base at night. The big IDF! The strong IDF! The hero IDF! The strongest air force in the area! They can’t even deal with some thieves, Bedouins who would ambush them on the road. That’s a state? That’s an army? That’s an air force? What the Hell is this?
They see the weakness, they know the prosecution forbade the army to deal with them properly, and that's how it happened. This is how we got this low. This is the result of “courtisation” [allowing the Court too much power, AP], the castration of the state’s power. This is where it comes from. The ruling of the prosecution, together with the Supreme Court, is an octopus that took control of the state and annulled its capacity to deal with Jihad, both inside and outside the state…
[Interpolated below is Dr Kedar’s discussion of some of the underlying causes of the pogroms in Lod and other Israeli cities, from the second video]
We have to talk about Lod. The city of Lod certainly has a problematic reputation, and so maybe even has Ramle [another mixed Jewish-Muslim city, AP]. The question is, why Lod? Yes, Haifa and Akko are also problematic, as we've seen with the recent mess there, but Lod was at the centre of the troubles and the question is why.
The Arab population of Lod consists of three parts, and this is the history. The first and smallest group is Christian Arabs who've been living there since before ’48 and either stayed, or left and returned. They are a peaceful group that accepts, and depends on, the Israeli state, and there is no problem with them. The second group is Falakh Arabs that the state brought there at the beginning of the ’50s from two villages that used to be where Ashkelon is now. The first village was Majdal, the second Jorah. These were the (refreshment) stopping points for the Fedayeen in those years, on their way from the Gaza strip into the state, somewhere around Rehovot, Nes Tsiona, Rishon Letzion, with the purpose of stealing supplies and murdering Jews. This all happened during the Fedayeen period of the ’50s, the result of which was Mivztah Sinai [the Suez Crisis, AP] of ’56.
At some point at the beginning of the ’50s, Ben Gurion understood that this can’t go on, and one day trucks arrived at those villages, picked them all up, some were transferred to Gaza, like Ismail Heniyeh and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, both from Jorah. Others were brought to Ramle and Lod. Many houses there were abandoned in ’48. They were housed there under the orders of the military ruling of that time. One example is the Mazarik family, but there were more.
The third group is Bedouin who came from the Negev [Desert] after several years of drought, following their cattle north. They settled in the area of Ramle, Lod, Pardes Shnir, and so on. First they put up tents, then huts, then tin houses, then proper houses, and so now they reside in the Ramle and Lod area. There are many families who migrated from the Negev. We have the Turi family, the Abu Ranem family (who recently murdered about ten ladies from their tribe because the ladies didn't behave properly), the Azbarga family and more. These all settled there. At Bar Ilan, I once had a student from there who told me, “You can take the Bedouin out of the desert, but it's very, very hard to take the desert out of the Bedouin.” This saying puts everything into perspective and makes it easier to understand things.
These guys behave exactly like the Bedouin in the Negev, even though they've been in Lod for two or three generations. They kept the Bedouin mindset. How do I know this? One day I had two students from this area, dressed in their pretty traditional gowns and hijabs. They were always together. One day we talked about society and rulings in Arab countries and as part of it we talked about marriage and matchmaking. Every student participated, including the Arab students. One of those two students said that she might, for instance, marry a student from the university after arranging some calls and pushing towards matchmaking with him, if she insists that he's a good and serious man. The second says, “No, I have no option at all. I have to marry someone from my own tribe. There is no way for me to marry an outsider.” I asked what the reason was, and they explained what I just told you. The first is a Falakh Arab, a descendant of those guys who were brought from Majdal, and as the years went by, their group gradually opened up and now allows marriage to outsiders. The second is a descendant of the Bedouin from the Negev, and they still don’t allow their daughters to marry an outsider, no matter how decent he is. So one has a choice, the other doesn’t. Another student, a Christian Arab, once told me, “Life in Ramle-Lod was normal until the Bedouin came,” and that's a quote. This is what we see today. Life there is problematic, not just for Jews, but for everybody.
Now I’d like to talk about what we've been hearing a lot about recently: “settlers”. Those guys from Lod claim that they’re fighting “against the settlers”. The way we understand this, they’re talking about those fellows who came from Itzhar to assist them during the war against the state (modern settlers), but that’s not it. To them, all the Jews who came to live in Lod after them are settlers. For example, even the Neve Ya'ar neighbourhood in the eastern part of Lod is a settlement to them. They think that Jews were brought there to settle on purpose, in order to stop the city from becoming too Arab. That's where it comes from.
They believe that all the Jews have to be removed from the city; not the Bedouin from the Negev [who settled there illegally]. To this day, it's unclear to me who gave them the idea that the Bedouin settlements were legal and authorized by the state. Those lands belonged to the state already, and no one sold it to them. Now Bagatz [the Israeli Supreme Court, AP] prohibits their removal. That's the story.
Recently, there was this thing with the train. They wanted to change it to make it run on electricity, but it emits waves and you can't put it where people live. I don't know how they solved it, but it’s a problem. The state can't move forward because of this [having to consider illegal settlements, AP]. And it’s not only about the Bedouin in Lod. There's another story involving the Giv’at Shmuel junction. The same thing happened there, but with Jews. They settled on state lands near the junction and live there to this day. You can’t get rid of them, because the state failed to guard its lands. To this day, this junction is very problematic because you can’t develop it. You have to pay millions to those who live there, people who never actually paid for those lands. It’s a similar problem at the Ibn Gabirol/Arlozorov cross section in Tel Aviv.
When the state doesn't protect its lands, when it doesn't stop land-related crime, the state ends up having to deal with those problems for years. And this is what happened in Lod, this is what happened in Ramle, it’s happening in Tel Aviv. This is what happens whenever the state doesn’t behave like a state, but rather behaves like a rag. Whoever can, will step on it and claim the rag as his own.
[The interpolation of the second video ends and the first video resumes]
Israel has a choice between two options. There are no other options. We’re at a fork in the road. Either the state starts acting like a state, or it ceases to exist. There is no way to handle this without the state deciding it is a STATE, and that means acting by law first and foremost, which means that anybody who raises a hand to another citizen will receive the maximum penalty right away.
Now we need to call a spade a spade: whoever commits Jihad against the state shall be doomed. The state has to recognise it as Jihad and act like a country that protects itself. In the ’60s, the state knew how to protect itself. There was this Yerador verdict against the chairman of the Central Elections Committee. The state told the Al-’Ard [party] that they cannot run in elections. Why? —because they questioned the status of the state as a Jewish and democratic one. Judge Cohen and others kept Al-’Ard out of politics.
Since the ’90s, ever since Bagatz [the Supreme Court] took control of the state, when [MK Dr Azmi] Bishara’s [Tajamoah (National Democratic)] Party was allowed to join the Knesset with some crazy justification — go read that verdict if you're curious — ever since then, the country has been sinking. Why? —because Bagatz tied the country’s hands so it wouldn't be able to deal with threats anymore, either from inside or outside, and it doesn’t even matter if it’s Jews or not, because even Jews are threatening this country and its Jewishness. There are organisations in this country that are financing activities against the Jewish and democratic aspects of this state.
It's about time that this country started acting like one, like a Jewish and democratic state. First thing: Jewish; then democratic. Bagatz has to keep itself away from this Primary Law, the status of the country as a Jewish and democratic state. What is a country without primary laws? Is the Supreme Court above the Primary Laws of the state? If so then it's really more powerful than the state itself. In other words, the political system in Israel has to take back control and make it clear that it is a Jewish and democratic state. It has to let all its enemies know this, both inside and outside, be it Jihad, or court agendas, that contradict the being of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; both scenarios are destructive to the state.
There is no choice. All politicians who care about the state as a Jewish and democratic one have to organise themselves, organise the legal system, organise the court system, in a manner that will make the state Jewish and democratic again, and a functional one! So that it can tell its enemies from within and on the outside “Thank you; from this moment forth we are Jewish and democratic again,” and take back control. The Right picks politicians that don't get along. Those politicians have to put their private matters and personal disagreements aside, so that they can build a functioning government and state. After all, we don’t have another one.