J Street is horrified by the continued unrest in Jerusalem that last night culminated in violent confrontations between far-right Israelis, Palestinians residents of Jerusalem and Israeli police. The videos of extremists chanting “death to Arabs” and attacking Palestinians in their neighborhoods — as well as non-violent demonstrators — showed just how brazen far-right extremists have become. We similarly condemn the rash of disgusting attacks by Palestinian residents on religious Jewish residents that have recently been posted on social media.
The violence is being actively encouraged by far-right hate-mongers such as recently elected Kahanist Member of Knesset Itamir Ben-Gvir, whose place in the parliament was secured by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political maneuvering. The Israeli right has become more and more complicit in the extremism causing this constant unrest. Their tacit support for violence must stop now.
The Netanyahu government has failed to condemn the violence and has not taken adequate measures to lower the temperature and calm the atmosphere. We call on the country’s political leadership and the leaders of both communities to demonstrate the meaningful leadership necessary at this sensitive time.
No one, Israeli or Palestinian, should have to live in fear of extremist violence on a daily basis. We call on all Israeli, Palestinian and American leadership to condemn this violence, and to commit to protecting the safety and rights of all people in Jerusalem and throughout the country.