Tag Meir Coalition Responds to Hate

10 July 2014

The NIF-convened Tag Meir coalition, the leading organization responding to hate crimes in Israel, has taken the lead in responding to the disturbing increase in racism and incitement.

A demonstration is scheduled for tonight, July 10, in Haifa under the banner: “Jews and Arabs stop the escalation.”

Following the news that a number of suspects were arrested for the brutal murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, and with the help of an emergency grant from NIF, they organized a moving condolence visit to the family home in Shuafat. Around 400 people, brought by buses from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, paid a condolence call. After the visitors lined up to greet the family, there were brief speeches from Tag Meir director Gadi Gvaryahu and representatives of the local community. Because so many people wanted to visit the home, Tag Meir had to limit the number of places, and set up a special webpage where people could send in their condolence letters.

Although the Khdeir family refused condolence visits from several high-ranking Israeli officials, they welcomed Tag Meir to their home.

Additionally, in the midst of demonstrations calling for revenge and attacks on Arabs, Tag Meir organized a rally in downtown Jerusalem attended by thousands of people under the banner “We mourn, we don’t take revenge.” Speakers at the event included opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor), MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), Jerusalem council member Rachel Azaria, and leading Orthodox Rabbi Benny Lau. Gevaryahu said: “It’s the largest event we’ve ever had. Every side needs to experience the anguish of the other side. Then, maybe, there’ll be a chance for coexistence. Right now, people just see their own sorrow and don’t care one bit about the sorrow of the other.”

A few days after Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah were kidnapped, Tag Meir also organized an interfaith prayer vigil at the site of their disappearance. NIF/SHATIL has been intensively supporting their critical work, and expects Tag Meir to play a critically important role in remedying the outbursts of hate and violence in Israel.