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MK Ayman Odeh confronting police during a protest, August 21, 2023.

Hadash-Ta’al Chairman MK Ayman Odeh on Tuesday told Army Radio that it is safer for an Arab to live in the Palestinian Authority or the Gaza Strip than in Israel.

“There is no country,” MK Odeh said. “I ask why they don’t contact the police. They look at me like I’m crazy and say there is no country and no address, that’s the situation.”


“Let’s compare a Palestinian in Israel and a Palestinian in the West Bank or Gaza or Jordan,” he continued. “60% of the residents of Jordan are Palestinians. Ten people are killed every year there for every million citizens. Here, for every million people, at least one hundred are killed every year, ten times more than in the occupied territories, Gaza or Jordan. We need to internalize this fact.”

Odeh received a message from the Knesset Officer on Saturday that criminal organizations were threatening his life, and the MK was assigned a security detail, which he claims he doesn’t need. “I come out against them (the criminals) all the time, and I’m calling for a demonstration, and at the end of the month there will be a demonstration,” he said, adding, “I have an app where you press a button and then they (security) arrive quickly, and they said my house is guarded.”

“I think my situation is privileged compared to the rest of my people,” MK Odeh said. “There are 200 thousand who are threatened just like me but they don’t have the privilege of being called by a Knesset Officer or someone from VIP security who will be around.”

When what happened in the last few months to make Arab-on-Arab crime so intense, Odeh replied: “It’s not in the last few months, it’s been two decades. The specific jump in the last few months is because of a war between two well-known criminal organizations. This is behind the unusual jump of this year, the 30-40 more than last year.”

In other words, while Israeli opposition leaders have been blaming the rise in Arab murders on National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, this Arab MK who is anything but a Ben Gvir ally, has a much firmer grasp on reality, namely that the reason behind the rise in Arab murders is Arabs.

“Israeli Arab citizens have lost their traditional structure,” Odeh continued. “The clans and the village leaders who could tell the young people ‘Don’t hit back’ and that’s it, and they reach a compromise, are gone.”


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