The Acre riots were similar to the confrontations in other mixed Jewish-Arab towns such as Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Lod. While leftist dreamers speak of peaceful coexistence, the people on the ground don’t want each other. More specifically, a small percentage of people on each side is strongly anti-another.
Democracy is a fiction: mobs are led in whatever direction by a handful of passionate activists. The voting herd abrogates a responsibility it is unsuited for. It supports the most absurd wars, accepts government robbery through inflation, and submits to whatever decisions lobbying groups impose on it with the power of state. It does not matter that 95 percent of Israeli Arabs would live with Jews peacefully; the other five percent do all the fighting.
The government’s task is to suppress the hotheads efficiently. This is how America dealt with communist radicals and black criminals. Nothing encourages anti-social behavior as much as the lack of serious punishment. Jews, of all people, should know this lesson: throughout the centuries, mobs attacked us when they felt confident that the government would not intervene. Even mild police opposition stopped pogroms immediately. This approach worked in Israel for decades: ruled with an iron fist, Arabs were nice to Jews. The post-1990 relaxation provoked them to revolt.
Unsurprisingly, Haifa police was not prepared for the clashes. The Arab who provoked them, whether intentionally or through utmost stupidity, acted alone or on behalf of a very small circle of conspirators. Only a single Arab proceeded to incite the mob from mosque loudspeakers, which doesn’t suggest a big organization. Normally, large-scale Arab riots are launched officially by mosque preachers or by the Islamic Movement’s leaders.
The police, accordingly, had no advance warning. But none was needed. A few policemen firing in the air would have dispersed the crowd, especially if it were announced that the alleged Arab victim was alive and regrettably well. Firing plastic bullets at the crowd would have done even better. But it took the police two hours to arrive in any numbers whatsoever, even though the roads were empty and enough policemen were placed on stand-by during Yom Kippur. The very absence of police provoked the Arabs to push on with their violence.
It became still worse when the arriving contingents refused to fire at the maraudering crowd. The policemen did not want to fall into the jaws of the leftist courts and be prosecuted for firing at the Arabs, who “only” vandalized Jewish property because they could find no Jews on the streets. The Arabs sensibly took the police inaction for tacit sanction, and proceeded.
The Jewish response was odd. The Ben Gurion neighborhood of Acre is not a particularly young community, but there still were armed Jews there; many had taken Yom Kippur leave from the army. Yet, no firearms were fired at the obviously dangerous Arab crowd. Instead, Jews crouched in their homes as they used to do during ghetto pogroms. To all purposes, the Arabs scored a victory.
When the Arab violence subsided, Jews took revenge on isolated Arab homes and businesses in the area. While driving Arab settlers out of the homogeneous Jewish neighborhood might be a decent idea, it had nothing to do with defense or meaningful revenge. The perpetrators, residents of Acre Arab neighborhoods, went unscathed.
Still, it was a shame for government officials to call on both sides to end violence, and to condemn both. In a Jewish state, Jews and Arabs are not equal by definition. Olmert may apologize to Hamas’ Islamic Movement any number of times he wishes, but it is not wrong for Arabs to suffer inequality in the Jewish state. They can enjoy equality in Jordan and Lebanon, if any would be granted. So long as Arabs remain legal residents of this country, they must have personal and property rights; in this and only in this regard are they equal to Jews. But there is no political equality because the state is a Jewish one. Moreover, there is no equal right to violence.
In a Jewish state, Jews can rightly be upset about Arabs swarming their neighborhoods, and may oppose the Arab settlers without major damage to their limb or property. The Arabs have no such right because in our state Jews can settle wherever they wish.
There is no equality of right to violence between Jews who want the land and Arabs who want the land free of Jews. Any confrontation takes place on the background of the major wars and countless pogroms which Arabs have perpetrated against Jews. If Arabs demand rights for the descendants of the 1948 refugees, they will have to recognize liabilities for the descendants of the 1948 perpetrators. The family of every Arab in the state of Israel is traceable to those who killed and maimed Jews. In that war, really a peasant war, Jews lost 2 percent of their population killed and almost 10 percent were wounded; that’s about ten times the US losses in WWII. Palestinian Arabs were killing and mutilating Jews when the state of Israel was not yet even planned, in the mid-nineteenth century. Today’s violence is rooted in the Arab violence of the past hundred fifty years.
Leftists love cutting the roots off. Rootless Jews, bereft of Judaism, became Zionists. The Arab war on Jews, devoid of its roots, became mob violence, for which both sides share the blame. Extirpating the roots is endemic to leftism because it allows for clean experiments. Leftism is about rational planning of such inherently irrational things as economies, societies, or foreign affairs. But how you can account rationally for the centuries of Jewish struggle for survival? How you can build a blank-slate Jewish-Arab society when the slate is really red with Jewish blood spilled by Arabs? Ignore for a moment the staggering immorality of abandoning the dead Jews’ cries for revenge or forgiving the blood which is not our own. Any Jewish-Arab solution which discounts history is doomed—but if we properly account for that history, no solution is possible.
Fools say that past should not determine the future. It does. There is no future but the one built upon the past.
Equality is another name for blindness.