On Monday, 20 members of the Tag Meir Forum paid a solidarity visit to 50 residents of Beit Iksa. Last week, the residents of Beit Iksa woke up to find that vandals had sprayed 16 cars in the village. The racist graffiti included, “Death to Arabs,” “Revenge,” and “Arabs Out.”
1,900 people live in the village of Beit Iksa including many who are Jerusalem residents. Beit Iksa is located northwest of Jerusalem, outside of the Jerusalem’s municipal borders and within the West Bank. There is a permanent checkpoint that controls the only entrance to Beit Iksa.
Their hosts picked up Tag Meir activists from the Beit Iksa checkpoint and brought them to the Beit Iksa council building where the meeting took place. One of the residents said in the meeting, “Ten years, and no Israelis come to visit, apart from soldiers and border police.” Given the restrictions they face, Beit Iksa has become a community isolated from both Israelis and other Palestinians.
The Tag Meir Forum is a coalition of over 50 organizations united to fight extremist ideology in the Jewish community, particularly violent and racist acts called “Price Tag” attacks (Tag Mechir). “Price Tag” attacks are launched by extremists as a way to exact a price against any perceived harm done to the settlement enterprise. Tag Meir was created to provide urgent responses to marginalized communities who face these hate crimes.
Recent activities by the organization include a clean-up day at the Muslim cemetery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Vandals destroyed five headstones and sprayed the cemetery with graffiti. Jews, Muslims, and Christians came together to denounce the vandalism and to clean up the cemetery.
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir