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September 05, 2003 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

This Week

Southeastern Michigan

Dahlia Society

Celebrating 51 Years

Lingering Blame

Report issued on Israeli Arab riots,
but closure remains elusive.

GIL SEDAN
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Umm el-Fahm, Israel
he report presented Monday
on the October 2000 riots
in the Israeli Arab sector
was meant to close the file
on those tragic events, but it appears
that closure remains far off.
Officials of the Adalah Legal Center
for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
intend to appeal to Israel Attorney
General Elyakim Rubinstein to imme-
diately start legal proceedings against
policemen involved in the killing of 12
Israeli Arabs and a Palestinian from the
Gaza Strip during the riots. Adalah rep-
resented the bereaved families during
the proceedings of the Orr
Commission, which published its find-
ings Monday.
The appeal signaled that g
the public campaign regard--7,-):
ing the killings has not "g
ended with the commis- t
sion's report.
A
"I will not rest until I can Is
look into the eyes of my
0:
son's killer," said Ibrahim f.
Jabarin, father of victim
Ahmad Jabarin.
Hassan Assali, a
spokesman for the bereaved
families, said the report was
unsatisfactory because it
An unidentified Israeli police o cer signs for a copy of
didn't single out those
the Orr Commission of inquiry at the Supreme Court.
responsible for the killings.
At issue is the October 2000 clashes with the Israeli
The commission's find-
police during which 13 Israeli Arabs were killed.
ings sent shock waves
through the Israeli establish-
ously the problems of Israel's Arabs"
ment, particularly the police. The corn-
and having failed to cope with the riots,
mission charged police with most of
it did not recommend that he be barred
the responsibility for the tragic events.
from future political position. The
The release of the report comes as
relations between Israeli Jews. and Arabs report comes as Barak is believed to be
preparing the ground for a political
have not fully recovered from the riots
comeback.
three years ago, during which Israeli
The internal security minister at the
Arabs rioted in solidarity with the
fledgling Palestinian intifada (uprising), time, Shlomo Ben-Ami, was criticized
for his handling of the police forces and
closing main roads, attacking Jewish
for not taking control of the situation.
drivers and ransacking buildings.
The commission recommended that
Few specific recommendations were
Ben-Ami never again be given the
issued against the political echelons —
internal security portfolio.
Jews and Arabs alike — though the
However, Ben-Ami, a historian who
commission reprimanded most of the
came to politics from Tel Aviv
parties concerned for having con-
University, decided to quit politics long
tributed to the course of events.
The Supreme Arab Monitoring
LINGERING BLAME on page 25

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Committee, an umbrella organization
of Israeli Arab groups and officials, said
the report was tainted by political con-
siderations. The chairman of the moni-
toring committee, Shauki Hatib, said
the Arab public rejected those parts of
the report that dealt with Arab Knesset
members' role in the riots, and
demanded that the Israeli leaders he
considered responsible for the deaths be
put on trial.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak
appointed the commission in
November 2000 in an effort to calm
the Arab public and win its electoral
support in upcoming elections.
Eventually, Barak became one of the 14
people warned by the commission that
they could be harmed by its findings.
However, though the commission
condemned Barak for "not taking seri-

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