Hate messages and slashed tiresFriday 8 June 2012
In an apparent protest against the decision to evacuate an Israeli "outpost" settlement, thugs crept into the village during the night, slashing tires of many cars, and spray painting right-wing and anti-Arab slogans on cars and buildings.
The message on the school door (see attached photos) says "Hi from Havat Gilad" (one of the "outpost" settlements) and "Death to the Arabs". Another message at the school says "Revenge". A message on one of the cars said "Hi from Ulpana" (the outpost settlement that the government decided to evacuate).
In addition to the slogans, about 14 vehicles had their tires deflated.
Stories appeared in various Israeli newspapers though most of these have mentioned only damage to cars.
Residents of the village had the following to say:
Nava Sonnenschein (long term resident and a senior staff member at the School for Peace (to Haaretz:)
"This is a racist act directed against our community. They did it so that the children would see this when they come in the morning. "We have been trying for 33 years to do something to bring Jews and Arabs together to talk, yet the waves of racism are stronger than us."
Nihaya Dawood (a long term Arab resident says:
"Since they wrote ’Death to Arabs’ and not ’Death to Jews’ this is a phenomenon that is part of the wave of violence sweeping the country against Arabs and foreigners."
Her husband, who is principal of the Primary School, said to Channel 2 News
"We feel very bad and this causes us pain. We see on the school door "Death to Arabs" and "Revenge", and this is against our values. We have never harmed anyone, be they Arab or Jew. This is the first time in the last decade that we have experienced this. They sprayed cars of residents and guests. The writing is on the wall and we expect the State to bring the people who have done this to justice."
Village resident Michal Zak had this to say:
"This isn’t about "price tag". That’s just a euphemism. It’s crime, hatred, a call to violence, killing, vandalism. We mustn’t forget that this culture is part of the culture of the Occupation. This violence is taking place every day in the Occupied Territories. Vandalism and plunder is being perpetrated by the state and its delegates in the West Bank and Gaza. The choice of Neve Shalom is not by chance. The community symbolizes the opposite possibiliity. The possibility of equality and sharing."
- A car: "Death to Arabs"
- Message: "Kahana was right"
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Representatives of the community and graduates of the School for Peace were among those demonstrating against racism and incitement
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