Israeli Affairs (Issue no. 77)

a worrisome and pressing concern among Palestinians in Israel:

  • Editor: Raif Zureik, Nabil al-Saleh, Honaida Ghanem
  • Preparation: Mahmoud Fataftah, Asad Ghanem, Jasmin Habib and Amir Locker-Biletzki, Khaled Abu Asbe, Jamal Zahalka, Weam Baloum, Suha Arraf, Lev , Grinberg, Sami Miaari, Reda Jaber
  • Number of Pages: 130
  • ISBN: 978_9950_03_029_9
  • Date of update: Monday, 20 April 2020
  • Price: $0.00

A new issue of Qadaya Israeliya
A special issue on Violence and Crime among Palestinians in Israel

Ramallah: The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) has recently released Issue 77 of Qadaya Israeliya (Israeli Affairs). Titled “Palestinians in Israel: Violence, Crime and Organised Crime”, this issue monitors the scale and reflections of violence and crime in Israel, provides an analysis of the relevant socio-political and educational context, and unveils the role the confused relationship with the Police and state institutions play in nurturing this phenomenon.

In his contribution, “Violence within the Palestinian Community in Israel: Towards a Theoretical and Practical Treatment”, Asad Ghanim is of the view that a theoretical background is a first step towards offering an integrated treatment and contributing to devising comprehensive solutions. If implemented, these may control escalating violence and probably take our community back to “a normal state” of violence and crime.

“Organised Crime within the Palestinian Community in Israel” by Suha Arraf investigates organised crime as a special phenomenon. Organised crime has it owns distinctive features that differ from ordinary crime and violence in general. According to Arraf, “[w]hen speaking about organised crime, we are faced by a hierarchical and complex socioeconomic construct, which has a an administrative system and organisational structure. In addition to seeking material gains, members of organised crime gangs attempt to penetrate into the social and economic fabric and maintain a socioeconomic status.”

Sami Miari analyses models of crime within various religious and ethnic groups in Israel. In his article, “Explaining Crime within the Palestinian Community in Israel: Socioeconomic vs. Cultural Factors”, Miari places a special focus on the difference between crime rates among the Israeli-Jewish majority and Palestinian minority, as well as peculiar characteristics that impact models of crime within the Palestinian community.

In “School Violence in the Arab Education System: Its Causes, Prevention and Tackling”, Khaled Abu Asabah examines the phenomenon of school violence which, as in other areas, is increasingly escalating. Abu Asabah also examinesrelevant social, economic, political and psychological factors. Violence risk factors need to be investigated. To ensure violence prevention, strategies will be developed to cope with the underlying factors of violence.

Ridha Jaber’s “Violence and Crime within the Palestinian Community in Israel: Social and Political Contexts” attempts to deconstruct three complex systems, each providing a main source to help understand and explain the recent surge of violence and crime within the Palestinian community in Israel. These include the social system; regime of the state and state institutions, particularly law enforcement agencies; and Palestinian individuals’ relationship with one another and with their milieu.

In another context, “Settler Disunity: Examining Israel’s Political Stalemate”, an article by Lev Grinberg, analyses Israel’s electoral deadlock through the lens of its settler-colonial project. It looks at how the ruling elite’s secular but supremacist national identity disintegrated over time, giving rise to a number of antagonistic communities, which have increasingly become harder to bring together into a viable coalition.

On the latest developments to liquidate the question of Palestine, Jamal Zahalka explores “How Israel Reads the Deal of the Century”. Zahalka monitors the risks posed by translating, investing and exploiting the Deal of the Century politically, on the ground, and in the war on narrative. The latter is no less fierce than a real war. According to Zahalka, Israel’s translation of the Deal of the Century is the most important because Israel seizes control of the land and is effectively making use of the place to make gains.

This issue of Qadaya Israeliya also features “Communism Stands and Sings: Nationalism and Singing in Ron’s Choir”, a contribution by Jasmin Habib and Amir Locker-Biletzki. This article sheds light on the music of Israeli communists in the 1950s and attempts to answer the question: ‘How has the national identity of communists reflected on their music and poetry?’
In his study of “Brazilian-Israeli Relations”, Mahmoud al-Fataftah explores Israel’s relations with one of South America’s most significant countries, namely, Brazil. Al-Fataftah reviews the positions and changes to both states’ relations from the 1940s until the Brazilian far right came to power and allied with Israel’s right wing.

“From the Archive” presents a translation [into Arabic] of a 1977 plan developed by Gush Emunim for settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territory. “Library” provides a preview of most recent Israeli publications.

This issue is being published in the aftermath of a third round of elections in Israel and against the backdrop of the coronavirus (COVID 19) crisis. No one knows how both crises will come to an end. Although the COVID 19 crisis is hard, real and serious, the majority believe it will be transient. This is not the case of political trends and crises in Israel, however. Apparently, the political crisis involves an inability to form a government and putting Netanyahu on trial. Essentially, the question concerns the position, status and legitimacy of the presence of Palestinians in Israel, the scope of political action allowed to Palestinians, and the future and identity of Israel. While the government deadlock may be instantaneous, political stalemate does not appear as such. Still, we opted for postponing a focus on these topics as relevant discussions lag behind unfolding events. Once there is a clearer picture, an investigation would be meaningful and feasible.

The main theme of this issue revolves around a worrisome and pressing concern among Palestinians in Israel: violence in general, and organised crime in particular. The latter poses a real risk because it attempts to reshape community concepts, reorganise economic and social forces, and rearrange spaces of influence and control within the Palestinian community in Israel. Organised crime is not just a haphazard accumulation of incidents of murder or assaults. Rather, these acts are being transformed and exercised as part of a social and economic system, shifting from a construct that seeks to impose its values and tools on society at large.

Compared to a low rate in the Jewish community, organised crime is on the rise among Palestinians in Israel. This suggests that something structural has to do with the police and policing priorities, rather than police capacities. Palestinians in Israel face a major dilemma. On one hand, they are convinced that organised crime cannot be confronted without a crucial decision from the police. On the other, there is a growing conviction that the state and police are not the solution, but the problem in the first place. The state has an interest in maintaining organised crime as long as it affects Palestinian citizens only. There are sufficient reasons to believe that the police are taking advantage of and employing organised crime as a means to control and manipulate the Palestinian community.

This issue brings together many experts and a range of views. Providing an in-depth review, we seek to grasp this phenomenon from several angles, including the economy, role of schools, and education system as a model. Articles include reviews of the tools and techniques of struggle, which the Palestinian leadership in Israel use to counter crime and assess this experience. At any rate, it can be argued that addressing organised crime in Israel is indicative of a major problem, which reflects the complex situation of Palestinians in Israel. Though convinced that the Israeli police already oppress and alienate them, Palestinians are compelled to call for police protection against organised crime. An examination of this complexity in explicit detail provides an excellent entry point to realising the nature of Israel and nature of political action among Palestinians in Israel.

Monday, September 27, 2021


The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) is an independent research centre specialising in Israeli affairs, based in Ramallah, Palestine. MADAR was established in 2000 by a group of Palestinian intellectuals and academics, including the late poet Mahmoud Darwish, Dr. Lily Feidy, Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Dr. Ahmad Harb, Mr. Walid Al-Ahmad and Mr. Akram Haniyyeh. The centre was registered as a not-for-profit organisation with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, and obtained a research centre’s operational licensing from the Palestinian Ministry of Information.