Jewish-Israelis and Palestinian citizens of Israel have inflicted and received violence over the last 48 hours. Dahlia Scheindlin a political strategist and a policy fellow of The Century Foundation, describes how “lynch mobs are roaming the streets just a few kilometres from [her] house, chanting ‘Death to Arabs”.
The significance of this violence clearly extends well beyond the immediate period, and can be traced back to a political, economic and social system that upholds the principle of ethnic supremacy and reproduces it through national political discourse, mainstream media coverage and the country’s education system. This privilege is also enshrined in law, including the Nation State Law, which was passed by the Knesset in 2018.
Since the early 2000s, the incitement of hatred has emerged as an essential accompaniment to this privilege, which simultaneously reinforces and embodies it. Hatred is not just tolerated, but is actively espoused by the highest state officials, including the incumbent prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has claimed that Palestinian citizens of Israel are an existential threat to the country.