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Herzog: We cannot continue to live with Arab sector murders

CM 02/09/2021

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President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday said that the country must immediately end the wave of murders in the Israeli-Arab sector.
Speaking from the Israel Bar Association in Tel Aviv, he said, “we cannot continue to live like this.”
Herzog said we must engage in “an uncompromising struggle” against the wave of murders of Israeli-Arab citizens carried out by “terror groups against civilians which are acting like military groups” and “deciding who shall live and who shall die.”

The president went on to list off and name several individual recently murdered Israeli-Arabs and briefly told some of their stories. 
A protest against the rising crime and violence in the Arab sector in Israel, Jaffa, Saturday, February 6, 2021. (credit: SASSONI AVSHALOM)A protest against the rising crime and violence in the Arab sector in Israel, Jaffa, Saturday, February 6, 2021. (credit: SASSONI AVSHALOM)
Echoing Herzog, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut said, “Violence in the Israeli-Arab sector is a society-wide problem, which all of us, each branch of government within its own realm, are obligated to end and must do everything to eradicate it.”
Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar also said, “violence in the Arab sector has gone from the sidelines to the center” of that sector.
He warned that violent groups in the Israeli-Arab sector were threatening to “take over resources in the Arab sector which could weaken” efforts to fix broader problems in the sector.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit said, “These are very hard and unprecedented days in which we are dealing with harm to the Arab sector which harms all civilians. With no security or public order, we cannot promote any of our other democratic values” properly.
Mandelblit said that law enforcement has recently doubled its efforts to go after violent crime in the Arab sector both on a criminal and economic basis.
Regarding the legal establishment, Herzog said, “We must be careful of how criticism of the legal establishment is voiced.”
He said that we have had an unprecedented loss of faith between the different branches of the government in recent years. 
At the same time, he said that the judicial branch must be open to improving, noting he knew that Sa’ar was very committed to reaching the right balance between constructive criticism and respecting the judicial branch.
Next, he said that, “The legal establishment is at the heart of the country. The rule of law is one of the organizing principles of Israel. Jews pray” that the judicial branch will succeed in its work, and added that the independence of the judicial branch is a boon for Israel’s international image and against international legal challenges.
Similarly, Hayut said, “the legal establishment fills an essential role in maintaining the social fabric which holds all of us together. Without an independent, neutral and impartial legal establishment, there is no way to resolve disputes with respect and dignity. Without an agreed-on method for resolving disputes, we would wreck the underlying basis of our society and state.”
The Supreme Court president still admitted that there were areas where the judicial establishment could and needed to improve.
Sa’ar said it was important that the political class drop threats against the judicial establishment, such as past threats from certain officials who said they would use a D-9 bulldozer to attack the Supreme Court building.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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