Tag Meir and NIF Respond to Racism and Violence

The NIF-convened Tag Meir coalition responded quickly to last Saturday’s terrible arson attack on the Jewish-Arab Hand-in-Hand school in Jerusalem. In addition to the arson, the perpetrators daubed anti-Arab graffiti including “Death to Arabs”, “Kahane was right,” and “down with assimilation”. There were no injuries, but serious damage was caused to one of the classrooms.

The following morning, Tag Meir organised a solidarity visit attended by hundreds of people. Speakers included MKs Erel Margalit (Labour), Nachman Shai (Labour), Rabbi Benny Lau, Rachel Azaria from the Jerusalem Council, and members of the school’s parents’ committee.

The attack was widely condemned across the political spectrum, with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni visiting the site and Education Minister Shai Piron calling it a “violent, criminal and despicable act done to undermine the foundations of Israeli democracy.” NIF is also supporting a large solidarity event being organised by the school, which will be attended by pupils from all five Hand-in-Hand schools around the country, with an emergency grant.

The day after the attack on the Jerusalem school, vandals left burnt books outside a Tel Aviv synagoguealongside graffiti reading: “In a place where the Jewish state bill will be legislated, books will be burned.” Tag Meir organised another solidarity vigil, which was also attended by local worshippers and schoolchildren. Rabbi David Stav, founder and chairman of Tzohar, with which the synagogue is affiliated, said: “We are all entitled to hold different opinions on the challenges facing our society, but anyone who resorts to violence of this nature, and in particular anyone who targets a holy sanctuary, deserves to be condemned in the harshest language.”

Finally, last week, Tag Meir organised a shiva call to the families who were left bereaved following the Har Nof terror attack. Members of the joint Jewish-Arab delegation included Sheikh Abdullah Badir from Kfar Qassem, Ibrahim Muasi, the Deputy Mayor of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, community rabbis from Jerusalem, and students from the Shalom Hartman Institute. “We are all children of Abraham,” said Sheikh Badir to the mourners. Another delegation of Tag Meir visited the family of the murdered Druze police officer Zidan Sayif.

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December 2014