“Israel has launched an unprecedented wave of repression against own Palestinian citizens” according to Mossawa Centre in Haifa

As soon as the truce was signed with Hamas, Israel launched an unprecedented wave of repression across Israel, targeting its Palestinian citizens who had been demonstrating in support of those facing expulsions at Sheikh Jarrah or against the bombing of Gaza. Over 2000 have been arrested, according to Suha Mousa, Executive Director of Mossawa, the Advocacy Centre for Palestinian citizens of Israel. Read more and watch the interview…..

Israeli forces are arresting hundreds of Palestinian citizens in the most widespread crackdown in decades”, according to various observers in Israel.

In an official announcement of a campaign dubbed operation “Law and order”, Israeli police claimed that they were looking for “the rioters, the criminals, and everyone who was involved in the events, in order to prosecute them”.

Unofficially, the police indicated that the campaign was to “settle the score” with those who took part in demonstrations in East Jerusalem and elsewhere. In the two weeks prior, the police had already arrested more than 1,550 people. By May 20, police had charged 170 people: 155 Arabs and 15 Jews. In every case but one, Arabs were accused of being motivated by racism.

Left: Thousands demonstrate in Uhm Al Fahm, one of the largest Palestinian communities in Israel. This and other demonstrations were aggressively repressed by police who carried out many arrests.

According to the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, an umbrella organization that is regarded as the national representative of the Palestinian Arab community in Israel, between 80 to 90 percent of the arrests were for things like “insulting a police officer”, “disturbing an officer in the line of duty”, “assaulting an officer”, or “taking part in illegal gathering.” Few were related to property damage, stone throwing, or assaults on civilians.

One of those arrested was Jafar Farah, founder and general director of the Mossawa Centre, based in Haifa. The Mossawa centre (Mossawa means “equality” in Arabic), “seeks to promote a democratic society and acts against all forms of discrimination” according to its website. In 2007, Mossawa outlined its vision for an inclusive Israel in a document entitled “An Equal Constitution for All?” by Dr. Yousef Jabareen, who later became a member of the Israeli Knesset.

Farah was interrogated by police for several hours, before before being released without charge. His son was also arrested and held for two days.

The real objective of this repressive campaign”, says Suha Salman Mousa, Mossawa’s Executive Director, “is to intimidate the Palestinian citizens of Israel into submission.”

CTIP interviewed Musa about the current situation. “It is similar to Trump’s “Law and Order” call against Black Americans”, she said..

Israel appears to be facing an unprecedented situation. After years of successfully fragmenting the Palestinians into separate geographical groups with different legal and physical circumstances (e.g. those in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in Gaza, inside Israel), Israel’s most recent actions seem to have created an unprecedented unity among Palestinians no matter where they live.


Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

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  1. A very disturbing and disproportionate crack down on the rights of Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel for demonstrating for the rights of Palestinians homeowners in occupied East Jerusalem and other Palestiniqn territories.. Arab citizens of Israel already have no national rights in Israel which are reserved only for Jews under the Jewish nation-state law and also suffer from discrimination inferior services, withdrawal of Arabic as an official language etc under multiple pieces of Israeli legislation. A real challenge for the new Coalition government with Arab Israeli representation to bring stability to this situation or Netanyahu will again capitalize using the anti disloyal Arab Israeli ethnic card as he has so many times in the past to scupper the opportunities for peace in Israel and between Israel and Palestine. Canada and other countries should be watching this situation closely and intervening. appropriately to prevent further deterioration of the current unacceptable situation and to ensure that dialogue peace process for a 2 state soln with equality democracy human rights remains in play in Israel and Palestine .

  2. The recent wave of repression against Palestinian citizens of Israel is brutal. I question, however, the use of the word “unprecedented” to describe it. Some aspects, of course, are unprecedented. In other ways, though, it is thoroughly consistent with past actions.

    Israel’s treatment of its “Arab minority” has always been predicated on massive forceful repression. From 1948 until 1966, the Palestinians who were not forced out of their homes and managed to remain within the area ruled by Israel were subjected to a repressive military government. (https://www.paljourneys.org/en/timeline/highlight/14340/palestinians-under-military-rule-israel) From 1948 until today, Palestinian homes within Israel are demolished, Palestinian-owned land is simply taken and given to Jews and, at times, Palestinian protesters are shot dead.

    The recent wave of arrests and physical brutality is horrific. It’s intended to send a clear message to all Palestinians about their place in Israeli society. However, based on 73 years of repression beneath the veneer of toleration, enforcing total Jewish domination is not unprecedented at all.

    1. Hey David,
      Thank you for bringing this up.
      Yes “unprecedented” is probably not accurate. There have been precedents. But the current wave does appears to be exceptionally violent.

    1. Hey Mr. Sigman,
      I don’t feel desperate. If well founded criticism of Israel makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to go elsewhere.

    2. Hi Peter this guy mr. Sigman always makes me laugh or at least smile (for real!) when i read his comments.

      So entertaining the things he comes up with each time! Honestly I sort of look forward to what he’s gonna write each time 🙂

      1. Hey Tara,
        thanks for your comments. I don’t feel the same way. While I don’t like most of his comments, as long as they are serious, and on topic, no matter how much I disagree, I am happy to allow them to be posted.

        Mr. Sigman is one of the fearful Zionists who think the whole world is against Jews and cannot abide any criticisms of Israel without assuming they are rooted in anti-Semitism. I wish he and others did not feel that way, and avoid doing or saying anything to raise his fears. Of course, I disagree with him and feel sorry for him but don’t want to laugh at him.

        His comments fall into two types:
        1. serious arguments against points raised in various blog posts. I want these comments to be posted because he often raises arguments/issues that others have heard/believe and to which i would like to respond.
        2. ad hominem attacks on me or other contributors that i feel are worthless and i just delete them.


      2. Hi Peter thanks for the reply. Just to be clear I’m not laughing at him but I can count on him for chiming in on any topic and bringing it back around to anti zionism. Have a good one and all my best to Mr Sigmand. Ps I’m not anti-Zionist just someone who wants equality for all and not just Palestinians.

  3. as David says, Israel always acted with utmost brutality and quickly against its own Palestinian “citizens”.
    Many years ago when Israel massacring Palestinians in Jenin for a week long, there was a peaceful demo by Israeli Palestinians. The police opened fire killing 13 and wounding about 100.
    Never an investigation or consequences.
    It’s all done intentionally.

  4. Israel often pretends to be a democratic state in which all citizens have equal rights (the phrase “separate but equal” comes to my mind)/. They point out that Palestinians can join the IDF (but are not required to do so) and can even have high office such as a judgeship. However further probes usually reveal that these are token cases for show. For example, I once asked an Israeli official if it was really true that a Palestinian could serve in the army. Thinking that I was worried about this 😀, she hastened to reassure me with “but we make sure that they hold no positions where they could do any harm”. My impression is that many Israelis regard the presence of Arab citizens as an unfortunate accident of history.

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