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NIF grantee FakeReporter reported recently that some residents of Ma’aleh Adumim, a settlement just north of Jerusalem, had formed a WhatsApp group to encourage segregation between Jews and Arabs. Such separation is already enforced by racist volunteer patrols harassing Arabs from East Jerusalem who live in the city, and business owners who refuse to serve them.
FakeReporter CEO Achiya Schatz told Army Radio earlier this month that the volunteers in the patrols operate under the auspices of Lehava, an anti-miscegenation organization supported by Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit political party. Through incitement on WhatsApp and social media, Lehava’s racist patrols are encouraging Israeli Jews to boycott businesses in the local mall where Arabs are employed. The leaders of the group have become a political force in the city. Schatz is concerned that what is happening in Ma’aleh Adumim could be replicated in cities throughout Israel.
An official statement from the WhatsApp group’s administrators said: “We are very careful about businesses that allow a connection between our cousins [a euphemism for Arabs] and Israeli girls and demand that they be brought to justice.”