As a follow-up to an earlier post about the Israeli army calling on Christian Palestinians in Israel to enlist, Palestinian Israelis in Tel Aviv held protests against these efforts. The protest was a mix of politicians and activists mainly from the National Democratic Assembly (NDA), which is an Arab political party in Israel.
Hanin Zoabi, a member of the NDA in the Knesset (MK), has been very vocal on the issue and has equated the conscription move as further Israeli oppression and discrimination against Palestinians. While the protest itself, which included waving Palestinian flags, was an unusual occurrence in the heart of Tel Aviv, a less surprising part of the demonstrations was shouts of “die, die you Arabs!” from passersby. Epithets like “go back to Gaza” and “be happy that you are not in Syria” were also hurled at demonstrators.
Yariv Levin, a member of the right-wing Likud party, is the sponsor of the bill to enlist the Christian Arab population. Levin has said that “Christians are natural allies, a counterbalance against the Muslims who want to destroy the state from within.” Clearly, in Israeli, Levin is not alone in his racism against Palestinians.
The controversial bill clearly aims to further divide the Palestinians of Israel, while deepening existing cleavages between Palestinian and Jewish Israelis.