Israel's leftist media attempted to portray statements Sunday by Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett about the high rate of crime in the Arab sector as racist – but Bennett received unexpected support Monday from an Arab leader.
Sakhnin Mayor Mazen Ghanaim, the Head of the High Monitoring Committee of Arabs in Israel, said that he, too, demands that police take action against crime in the Arab sector.
"The current situation is unbearable," Ghanaim said, according to the NRG news site. "Seventeen people from the Arab sector have been killed since the beginning of the year from illegal weapons. We are seeing thefts, torching of vehicles and widespread crime in the Arab cities. I am not talking about a feeling that the authorities have given up on enforcement in the Arab cities. I regret to say that I am talking about facts."
Ghanaim said that 70 people are murdered with illegal weapons annually in the Arab sector.
He admitted that there has been some improvement in the way the state deals with crime in the Arab sector in the last two years, but said it was not enough.
Meanwhile, the media continued to portray Bennett negatively for his comments.
The Jewish Home party leader responded Monday on Facebook, saying that he finally understands why Arab crime is not being taken care of: "Because in Israel 2015, you can't even talk about the problem without the media and the left huffing and puffing and turning you into a 'fascist racist.'"
He said the same in an interview on Army Radio Monday morning, in which he explained that "political correctness" was preventing public dialogue about problems like Arab crime.
Most of what he said was drowned out by interviewer Niv Raskin, who interrupted him at virtually every sentence.