The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) of the Reform Movement in Israel just released a report that found that 77% of all indictments for incitement to racism and violence in the past seven years have been leveled against Arab Israelis. The report highlighted the vast discrepancy in how law enforcement treats Jews and Arabs when it comes to deterring incitement. In particular, it showed law enforcement’s reluctance to indict rabbis for incitement. IRAC was able to utilize freedom of information legislation to obtain data related to incidents of incitement from the Ministry of Justice between 2014 and 2021 for use in their report.
IRAC also found that Arab Israelis were indicted much faster than their Jewish counterparts. In 51% of cases involving Arabs, indictments were served within a month. However, in 42% of cases involving the indictment of a Jewish Israelis, it took between one and two years before indictments were served. In another 21% of cases, that time increased to between two and six years.
IRAC’s report also found that almost 100% of indictments against Arab Israelis resulted in a conviction (there have been only two acquittals in seven years). Whereas for Jewish Israelis, the conviction rate stands at only 66%. Furthermore, 99% of Arab citizens received prison sentences after being found guilty, while more than half of Jewish citizens convicted of incitement (54%) did not receive prison sentences.
The authors of the report wrote, “There is a persistent thunderous silence about the wild and unrestrained incitement from rabbis, who claim [their incitement] is based on halacha [Jewish law].” The report points out this thinking is not applied to Muslim clerics.