In 2021, as terrorist groups launched hundreds of rockets into Israel from Gaza, Arab citizens of Israel rioted in a few cities, attacking the homes, synagogues, and persons of their Jewish neighbors. This outburst of violence shocked many Israeli Jews, who had seen abundant evidence that the lot of their Arab compatriots was improving, and that Arabs were increasingly embracing their Israeli identity. Yoni Ben Menachem seeks to put the 2021 riots in context, and argues that they were the product of a systematic program of incitement by the Palestinian Authority (PA)—one that continues today:
[T]he PA and Hamas have turned the Temple Mount issue and the “al-Aqsa is in danger” canard into their main engines for inciting the Israeli Arabs against the state. The incitement is conducted in the Palestinian education system, mosques, official media, and social media.
As the Israeli Arabs see it, what happened in May 2021 was a spontaneous eruption, aimed less at protesting injustice and inequality in Israeli society and more at emphasizing that their national identity is Palestinian rather than Israeli, despite the Israelization phenomenon in the Arab society. They also view the outbreak as highlighting their inseparable affiliation with the Palestinian people and their link to al-Aqsa Mosque. . . . Some members of the Israeli Arab leadership have also helped encourage the violence through rabble-rousing statements in the media.
The PA’s glorification of terrorists also extends to Israeli Arabs involved in terror. Alongside its policy of paying salaries to terrorists serving prison sentences in Israel and stipends to families of those killed or wounded in the Palestinian struggle against Israel, the PA also pays salaries to Israeli Arabs who engage in terror (indeed, they and east Jerusalem Arabs get slightly higher wages than West Bank and Gaza Arabs). The reward incentivizes Israeli Arabs to commit terror attacks. . . . In addition, the PA operates a radio station for Israeli Arabs whose messages fit the narrative of the Palestinian struggle.