The tension and violence of the last two months have managed, once again, to unravel the delicate fabric linking Arabs and Jews in Israeli society. The sights and sounds in the streets of Israel’s cities and towns were not like those of the riots during the second intifada, but in many ways the rift today is suggestive of what happened 14 years ago.
This time, a new element joined the conflicts in the streets: the social networks. Arab citizens have lost their jobs because of posts expressing joy at the deaths of Israeli soldiers. Others posted warnings for Jews against visiting Arab towns. Politicians also played a role in enflaming the sides' passions. The climax came July 21, when Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called for a boycott of Arab businesses that identified with the residents of the Gaza Strip. His calls for a boycott did not go unheard.