I want to describe a personal experience.
For a resident of Zichron Yaakov these have been most complex days. It all began with a call from the crèche of my younger son to come and get him, and the next moment a call from my sister urging me to come to help with the garden hose trying to fight the flames threatening her house, not far from mine, which luckily ended as for the majority of the residents of our town in damage to backyards and gardens only, due to the resourcefulness and joint assistance of the residents as well as the fire brigade and rescue services.Once again in times of crisis, communal solidarity and mutual aid came to the fore. I personally witnessed the complex situation, where recriminations against Arabs were expressed in an undignified manner. My attempts to quench these unworthy attacks and generalities, seemed to have the opposite effect. Remarks such as: “Wait and see if your house is on fire will you be saying the same things…” When I tried to quote behavior in similar situations in the past, I was accused of using inappropriate comparisons, although I did not intend to compare situations, but rather explain that such expressions could lead to incitement and disaster.
A pamphlet published by the Israeli educational psychology services in summer 2014 on how to deal with crisis situations, states that in situations of anxiety and uncertainty caused by a major threat, there is a tendency not to distinguish between right and wrong, to make accusations against persons in responsible positions, and the more serious the threat, radicalization of expression develops and accusations are made against sectors of the population, especially of minorities. In the past we have witnessed how expressions of this nature have led to actions. Recently, in Israel, radical conflicts have developed in debates and in the media to the detriment of various groups in the community.