In November 2016, a wave of wildfires broke out in central and northern Israel. Hundreds of homes were destroyed. Thousands of Israelis had to be evacuated.
Instead of focusing on disaster relief, some politicians were quick to scapegoat Israel’s Arab minority and claim that the fires were deliberate acts of arson. Some went as far as to label the fires, “acts of terrorism” and a “new Intifada,” despite the lack of proof to support that theory.
In the midst of all this, Jews and Arabs came together to put out these fires and to double down on equality and justice.
NIF partnered with our grantee Mossawa: The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel to produce a photography exhibit called “Human Warmth,” which documents the success of Arab-Jewish solidarity in the face of the wildfires and the incitement.
The photo exhibit is now on display at the Knesset.
Extremism, like wildfires, can be a destructive force. But it can also create opportunities to promote an inclusive vision for society and to take steps to make that vision a reality.