Photo Credit: Yossi Aloni / Flash 90
An Israel Police patrol car burns in Lod, where synagogues and cars were torched amid riots by the city's Arab residents, May 12, 2021.

Israel Police are beefing up their forces to contend with an Arab march slated for Friday (May 13) in Lod.

The march is intended to mark the one-year anniversary of Arab pogroms against Jews that wracked that city and others with mixed populations during Operation Guardian of the Walls, the 11-day mini-war launched by Hamas against Israel.

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“There will be high operational readiness with additional forces in the city, in order to maintain public order and any attempt to violate the order will be dealt with accordingly,” police said in a statement. Lod police station commander Lt. Gen. Shashi Shlomo said there would be an immediate response to any disturbance.

“On Friday, the Arabs of Lod will mark the anniversary of the “Events of Honor,” the Arab nickname for the 1947 riots,” wrote Yedidya Zuckerman in a tweet. “I find it delusional that the State of Israel allows rioters to celebrate a year of riots. It is delusional that the State of Israel, which knew how to stop buses for demonstrations against Oslo and the (2005) Disengagement (from Gaza), allows buses from Nazareth, Umm al-Fahm and from all over the country to reach Lod,” he wrote.

“In recent days, posters have been published on social media and in the Arab press, promoting the ‘V’aad Ha’Am in Lod’ (People’s Council of Lod) calling on the public to attend the event to mark the ‘anniversary of the Events of Honor,’ which are disturbances perpetrated by Arabs against Jews in the cities involved during Operation Wall Guard.” Religious Zionism party chairman and Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich wrote in a letter to Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev.

“The design and layout of the posters leaves no room for doubt about the nature of the event and especially about the tangible danger of serious incitement within it, and even serious and disturbances and hence, about the fear of violent nationalist events against the Jews of Lod and beyond,” he wrote, according to the Hebrew-language Makor Rishon newspaper.

“I demand that you instruct the Israel Police to prevent the event,” Smotrich added.

On May 12, 2021, a curfew was declared following a 48-hour series of Arab riots against Jews in Lod, a city located near Ben Gurion International Airport in central Israel.

At the time, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally declared a civilian “state of emergency” in the city due to the violence.

Three synagogues, a religious Jewish school for children and dozens of cars were torched by Arab rioters, who did their best to destroy Jewish-owned property.

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said at the time, “We have not seen this kind of violence since October 2000,” referring to the start of the Second Intifada. Similar violence took place in Acco, Ramla, Wadi Ara, Jisr az-Zarqa, Majd al-Krum and Umm al-Fahm.

“Over the years, the Israel Police has known how to prevent buses from leaving for legitimate democratic events, such as protests of deportation in the village of Maimon,” Smotrich said Thursday.

“The most basic obligation of the state is to concern itself with peace among its civilians,” he said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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