Ex-Shin Bet head: Don’t stain Arabs as terrorists

January 9, 2016  

Former Israeli Security Agency (ISA) head MK Ya’akov Peri (Yesh Atid) spoke on Saturday about the previous day’s elimination of Israeli Arab terrorist Nashat Milhem, who murdered three people in Tel Aviv a week earlier.

Trying to separate terror and the Arab public, he said, “in the phenomenon of Jewish terror I make sure to say that just as one must not generalize all residents of the settlements in Judea and Samaria, in the same way one must not generalize that among Arab Israelis.”

“The number of Arab Israelis who are directly involved in terror is small and negligible, and I hope it won’t grow,” added Peri.

Belying Peri’s statements, residents of Milhem’s hometown of Arara in the north where he was found revealed that “many people knew” he was hiding out there, apparently aided by his family, and chose not to inform the police. Milhem is said to have walked around the town openly while carrying a weapon.

After saying that only a small number of Arab Israelis are involved in terror, Peri admitted that “radical Islam is penetrating into the vacuums, which the government and its neglect of the Arab Israelis and the Bedouin sector are not succeeding in compartmentalizing.”

Peri’s blame of the government for the rise of radical Islam echoes statements by Jewish Home chairperson Naftali Bennett, who last Sunday said he does not blame Arab terror on the Arab public but rather on the government, emphasizing “I turn the accusing finger on us.”

Peri and Bennett’s statements would seem to be proven false by a poll last November. The poll found 57% of Israeli Arabs feel the radical Islamic Movement in Israel that is funded by Hamas represents them faithfully, and 18.2% of Arab Muslim citizens of Israel said they are not ashamed of Islamic State (ISIS), and do not view it as a terrorist organization.

“The Israeli police are afraid to enter neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, in the Bedouin diaspora, and it is caused by a lack of resources and a poor order of preferences,” added Peri on Saturday. “A change in the order of preferences among the police and the security services is required.”

His comment comes just days after hundreds of armed Hamas terrorists marched in the northeast Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem early last week, firing in the air with automatic weapons during the funeral of a terrorist attended by thousands waving knives and machetes.

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