الأربعاء , أبريل 17 2024

Violence and crime in the Palestinian Arab community in Israel: characterization and projections

العنف والجريمة في المجتمع العربي الفلسطيني في اسرائيل: توصيف واسقاطات

The Palestinian society in Israel is an indigenous community that lives on its own land where it used to practice its normal life for decades before the establishment of the state of Israel. Since the establishment of Israel, the Palestinian society has undergone many social, cultural, economic, and political changes in all aspects of life. This society has been distinguished for its academic achievements and passion for education, therefore, the rise of violence rates appeared to be strange and inconsistent with the expectations. Violence has spread fiercely to the point where it has become the main concerning issue for most of the Palestinian families; it is more concerning than issues like national peace, equality, racism, unemployment, and so on. There was a point where hardly a day goes by without the society hearing or witnessing a violent event. The recurrence of these violent events is reshaping and changing the character of the society far from what it used to be not longer than a decade ago. Studies show that from the day Israel was established in 1948 until 2000, the percentage of crime in the Palestinian society living in Israel did not exceed 5% (as perpetrators or victims to crimes committed by other Palestinians). However, these figures have been changing dramatically to the extent where in 2019, the percentage of Palestinian victims reached 65% of all crimes in Israel despite this particular society counting less than 20% of the Israeli population.

In this article, we will shed light on the increase in violence and crime in the Palestinian community in Israel and their decline in the Jewish community since the beginning of the year 2000. This will be done through using ‘conspiracy theory’ and the theory of ‘cultural violence’, within a society characterized as deeply divided. We will also try to explain the causes of crime and its spread in the Palestinian communities in Israel while relying on the structural-institutional and socio-cultural variables. By the end of the study, we will project the findings on the Palestinian society, as a minority community, in contrast to the Zionist-Jewish majority and to the state of Israel, as deeply divided society.

Keywords: Violence, Crime, Cultural Violence, Conspiracy Theory.

Nohad ‘ALI, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Chairperson of the multiculturalism Research Center at the Western Galilee and Chairperson of the “Arab society” unit at the Samuel Neaman Institute at the Technicon

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