The Roots of the Crime Wave in Arab Communities in Israel

Arab citizens are being terrorized by criminals and life in Arab communities has become hellish. It wasn’t always that way, but 19 years ago, after the police gave a chilling demonstration of what it thinks of Arab citizens (reminder: It ended with 13 people dead), Arab society simply expelled them, physically and consciously. The police, for their part, cooperated, preferring to limit to a minimum their involvement with law and order in Arab towns. This under-policing created a terrible vacuum that became fertile ground for crime, which has risen and flourished. Today it’s clear that it’s a disaster.

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In recent years, more than half of criminal deaths in Israel have been Arabs, while Arabs are 20 percent of the population. In 2019 there has been a steep rise in the number of those killed; to date 65 Arabs – 55 men and 10 women – have lost their lives to crime, a 47 percent increase over the same period last year.

>> Read more: ‘It’s like a war zone’: Arab protesters recount living in fear as Israeli police fails to fight crime in their communities

To put an end to violence and crime in the Arab communities and to promote personal security, safety, prosperity and quality of life, one must address seven aspects of the big picture:

* Personal security is a basic right, and as such the anger and frustration in the Arab communities is justified and understandable. This rage ought to be translated into an unequivocal demand that the government provide effective and fair policing, protection and personal security. The community cannot divorce the police again and it would be a mistake to issue calls or take action against them, because only they have a real ability to battle crime and fight criminals.