How can Zionists in Israel expect Arabs to declare their love for a Jewish state when this is taking place?
Civil rights groups in Israel have expressed outrage at the announcement last week that a special undercover unit of the police has been infiltrating and collecting intelligence on Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority by disguising its officers as Arabs.
It is the first public admission that the Israeli police are using methods against the country’s 1.3 million Arab citizens that were adopted long ago in the occupied territories, where soldiers are regularly sent on missions disguised as Palestinians.
According to David Cohen, the national police commissioner, the unit was established two years ago after an assessment that there was “no intelligence infrastructure to deal with the Arab community.” He said that, in addition, undercover agents had been operating in East Jerusalem for several years to track potential terrorists.
Israel’s Arab leaders denounced the move as confirmation that the Arab minority was still regarded by the police as “an enemy” — a criticism made by a state commission of inquiry after police shot dead 13 unarmed Arab demonstrators inside Israel and wounded hundreds more at the start of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000.
In a letter of protest to Israeli officials this week, Adalah, a legal rights group, warned that the unit’s creation violated the constitutional rights of the Arab minority and risked introducing “racial profiling” into Israeli policing.
Although the police claim that only Arab criminals are being targeted, Arab leaders believe the unit is an expansion of police efforts to collect information on political activists, escalating what they term a “climate of fear” being fostered by the rightwing government of Benjamin Netanyahu.