Netanyahu Invites Ra’am, Hadash, to Address Violence in Arab Neighborhoods

By Matis Glenn

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu adresses the Israeli parliament during a “40 signatures” debate, at the plenum hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, on May 29, 2023. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In a speech at the Knesset plenum on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called on the government’s Arab parties to help the government address violence in their constituents’ areas.

“I want your help,” Netanyahu said, during the “40 signatures” debate. “I heard the genuine cries of the Arab members of the Knesset,” he continued, and added that he sincerely cares about the situation. “I’m not saying this just to fulfill my obligation.”

The Prime Minister acknowledged that Israeli operations have not been successful in stemming the rising tide of violence in Arab society. “I worked with my own governments to establish nine police stations in Arab communities. It changed the balance sheet, but let’s be honest – it didn’t tip the balance. There’s a real problem.” he said.

After formally inviting the Arab MKs to his office, Netanyahu said “We will have to act on many fronts and I want your help and cooperation.”

The Ra’am party responded to the invitation, but was lukewarm. “What is more important is not the speech and whether there will be a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu or not, but the important thing is that they start working and take direct responsibility and start dealing with crime,” the party said in a statement, according to Maariv.

Despite Netanyahu’s conciliatory tone, admission of fault and overtures to cooperate on the issue, MK Aida Touma-Suleiman took the opportunity to criticize Netanyahu. “On your watch, we reached a peak in the number of murders, since the beginning of the year only 2% of murders have been solved. That means hundreds of murderers are still circulating around us.”

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