Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in a Sunday morning interview on Army Radio attacked the Arab citizens of Israel who live in Wadi Ara, and called on the Israeli public to boycott the shops and services of their residents, because of the “day of rage” clashes that took place with the police in area towns.
Wadi Ara (Nahal Iron) is a 12.5 mile long valley in northern Israel that begins at the meeting point of Samaria, the Menashe Heights, and the Sharon plain. It runs south-to-north along Highway 65, from the outskirts of Hadera near the coast to Afula in the Jezreel Valley.
The valley was captured by Iraqi forces in the 1948 war, then was given to Israel in exchange for territory south of Hebron in the 1949 Israel-Jordan armistice. In the deal Israel inherited 15 Arab villages that have grown over the years into flourishing towns but continued to be a source of anti-Israeli activities.
The most prominent cities of Wadi Ara are Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Umm al-Fahm, and Kafr Qara. There are also 10 Jewish towns in the same valley.
Regarding Saturday’s riots in Wadi Ara, Liberman said that “these people do not belong to the State of Israel, they are not part of us, […] in a future settlement they will be part of Ramallah.”
During Saturday’s riots in Wadi Ara, stones were thrown at an Egged bus, smashing its windows. The driver was lightly injured by shrapnel and was evacuated to hospital. Two passengers who were lightly injured were treated at the site. Police arrested two suspects, a minor and an adult, both residents of the Israeli Arab town of Arara. The Wadi Ara road was temporarily blocked by rioters and was reopened after police used crowd dispersal measures.
“It wasn’t just throwing stones at buses, there was almost a lynching of one of the journalists,” Minister Liberman said, adding, “The local people are not part of the state. We’ve seen terrorists coming out of there, and [we’ve seen locals] participating in terrorists’ funerals. It’s impossible to demonstrate with Palestinian flags, then receive billions from the state and destroy us from within.”
Liberman said he was calling “on Israeli citizens to boycott Wadi Ara, do not shop in the stores over there, do not consume the services there. Let them feel they are not wanted here. ”
He added that “as part of the final status agreement, they must be part of Ramallah, where they will go to get their Social Security. We [in turn] will annex Ma’aleh Adumim, Giv’at Ze’ev and Ariel. This is the only solution that appears on the horizon.”
Incidentally, Liberman may have violated Israel’s 2011 Law for Prevention of Damage to State of Israel through Boycott with his statement on the radio. The law states that individuals or organizations who publicize a call for an economic, cultural or academic boycott against a person or entity merely because of its affiliation to the State of Israel and/or to an Israeli institute and/or to a specific region under Israeli control, may be sued civilly, in tort, by a party claiming that it might be damaged by such a boycott.