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U.S. Urges Isreal to Prosecute Acts of Anti-arab Vigilatism

November 28, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The State Department urged Israel on Tuesday to act against any vigilantes seeking to force Israelis to fire Arab employees.

“We have seen reports that vigilante groups are forcing Israeli employers to fire people, Palestinian workers,” said the State Department’s deputy spokesman, Richard Boucher.

“If the reports of outside vigilante actions are true, we would of course be concerned and we would expect the government of Israel to take steps to deal with that,’ Boucher said.

Israeli police on Monday detained three leading Kach activists for questioning about recent incidents of arson and harassment of Jewish store owners who employ Arabs.

On Tuesday, two of the activists, Noam Federman and Tiran Pollak, were ordered held in custody for six days. But a Jerusalem magistrate ordered the third, Baruch Merzel, released.

Security officials reportedly submitted secret evidence to the judge implicating Federman and Pollak in fires of suspicious origin, even though they produced alibis placing them elsewhere at the times in question.

The anti-Arab campaign has been denounced by Knesset members of both left- and right-wing factions. They deplored the racism of the Kach activists and the cowardly response of those Jewish employers who fired their Arab workers.

(JTA correspondent David Landau in Jerusalem contributed to this report.)

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