Hebrew Language Blog

Campaigns against Violence in Israel Posted by on Jun 28, 2021 in News

A poster hanged on a school fence in Tel-Aviv, written in Hebrew and Arabic: human beings are studying here. (Photo taken and used with permission from Ayana).

The on-going unsolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalates every couple of years to a new round of fighting. This year, weeks of rising tension in East Jerusalem culminated in clashes at the holy site Temple Mount at the beginning of May. It soon escalated to a new outbreak of violence in the conflict and a deadly exchange of fire between Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli military. More than 4,300 rockets have been fired by Palestinian militants in a period of two weeks fighting. IDF airstrikes targeted the Gaza Strip multiple times. A ceasefire was announced on May 21.

Unfortunately, this crisis led to great internal disturbances that brewed throughout the country. Arabs and Jews turned on one another with great rage. Widespread protests and riots intensified across Israel, particularly in mixed population cities. Private and public places were torched and vandalized. Stones and firebombs were thrown at houses, shops, schools, hotels, and holy sites. Mobs from both sides, armed with sticks and stones, attacked cars and pedestrians in several cities, at night and in broad daylight. Dozens of attempted lynchings revealed a perilous rupture among Israeli citizens.

The communal violence shocked Israel. It felt the country was on the brick of civil war. Fear and chaos ruled the streets. In the city of Lod, where two men were killed by citizens in two different situations, a curfew was announced. In other cities people kept at homes, as well, after sunset. Neither the police, nor the government managed to calm the public.

Many companies and organizations couldn’t remain indifferent. In an effort to make peace, they published new campaigns promoting coexistence. The Israeli Actors Guild, for example, published a video with the slogan: אַלִּימוּת זוֺ לֺא הַתַּרְבּוּת שֶׁלָּנוּ (violence is not our culture). In the video several actors, Arabs and Jews, approached the viewers in Hebrew and Arabic, asking them to stop the violence. חַיָּיבִים לַעֲצוֹר אֶת הַטֵּרוּף הַזֶּה עַכְשָׁו (we must stop this madness now), they said.

A group of mayors, of Arabic and Jewish cities in the center of Israel, gathered together to promise their citizens that they will do their best to maintain good relationships between their communities and to keep cooperating together. We will fix everything the fanatics broke, they promised. אֲנַחְנוּ לֺא אוֺיְבׅים (we are not enemies), they said in the video:

The medical staff of Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, a large mixed population city in the north of Israel, filmed their own video. In which, senior doctors, Arabs and Jews, claimed: חַיִּים יַחַד וּמַצּׅילׅים חַיִּים בְּיַחַד (we live together and we save lives together).

Twelve of the largest companies in Israel, from the food, clothing, medicine and banking industries, launched a campaign together with a message of peace. They published pictures of their workers. In each picture a couple of workers from the same company: one is Jewish, the other is Arab. They titled the video: חַיִּים יַחַד מִתְפַּרְנְסִים יַחַד (living together, earning living together), and wished: נַחְזוֹר לְכַבֵּד זֶה אֶת זֶה (we will return to respect each other).

The above are only a few of the calls for appeasement that tried in the last couple of months to remind people that responsibility for peace is in our hands. Coexistence (דּוּ-קִיּוּם) depends on us.

Text vocabulary

Violence = אַלִּימוּת (a-li-mut)

Enemy = אוֹיֵב (o-yev)

Enemies = אוֺיְבׅים (oui-vim)

Together = יַחַד, בְּיַחַד (ya-had, be-ya-had)

To stop = לַעֲצוֹר (la-a-tzor)

Madness, craziness = טֵרוּף (te-ruf)

To respect = לְכַבֵּד (le-cha-bed)

Coexistence = דּוּ-קִיּוּם (du-ki-yum)


Keep Calm and Make Peace

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