Prime Minister Netanyahu angrily called for calm this evening against the growing violence between Jews and Arabs in Israel, that began a month ago, during Ramadan, when Arabs began randomly and violently attacking Jews and then posting their attacks on social media, while the government failed to take strong enough and visible enough measures against the attackers. Followed by organized Arab attacks, Ramadan riots and lynching of Jews in the streets that the government failed to properly handle in a strong and timely manner. And when the Arab attacks escalated into pogroms against Jews in Lod and other cities, the government once again failed to act quickly enough, visibly enough and strong enough, to bring in enough police to end the Arab violence and defend the lives, homes and property of the Jewish citizens.
“What is happening in Israel’s cities over the past few days is unacceptable. We have seen Arab rioters set fire to synagogues and vehicles and attack police officers. They are attacking peaceful and innocent citizens. This is something that we cannot accept; it is anarchy. Nothing justifies this and I will tell you that nothing justifies the lynching of Jews by Arabs and nothing justifies the lynching of Arabs by Jews.
We will not tolerate this. This violence is not us. We will restore administration and governance in Israel’s cities everywhere, in all cities, in the Jewish-Arab integrated cities, in Jewish cities, everywhere.
I have ordered the police to adopt emergency powers, to reinforce with Border Police units and, of course, to impose curfews where necessary.
I am now going to an emergency meeting in order to give the police additional powers, give more backing for the police, and give them additional forces. I also intend to bring in military forces according to the existing law and we will pass an additional law if necessary. We must tell the police and soldiers that we are sending them to maintain order. We will do everything so that they will have the necessary powers and forces to carry out the mission.
To the citizens of Israel I say that I do not care if your blood is boiling. You cannot take the law into your own hands. You cannot grab an ordinary Arab citizen and try to lynch him – just as we cannot watch Arab citizens do this to Jewish citizens. This will not happen. This is something that I am certain is shared by most citizens of Israel.
We are in a fight on two fronts, on one front against Hamas and we are all united and Hamas is firing missiles and rockets that hurt Jews and Arabs alike. Let us come together and do the task that is necessary for us as citizens of our state – to restore governance, eliminate this anarchy and maintain and restore the security and quiet that we all deserve.”