Press Releases 

Racist militia active in Carmiel, supported by the municipality and with the approval of the police

In a letter to the Attorney General, the Gush Shalom movement asked to disband immediately the so-called "City Guard" at Carmiel in the Galilee, which is actually a racist extreme right militia, and to launch an investigation against Deputy Mayor Oren Milstein who founded this body, as well as against police officials who helped in its establishment and operation.

The "City Guard" includes about 150 "volunteers" who turn up daily from 20.00 to 24.00 at the entrances to Carmiel and "check" incomers. The official site of the Carmiel Municipality defines the City Guard's objectives as "increasing awareness, prevention of crime, apprehending drunk drivers, searching for drugs" and other legitimate and praiseworthy aims. However, Carmiel Deputy Mayor Oren Milstein [not to be confused with his namesake, a researcher in San Diego], who was elected to the municipal council on the basis of a fiery anti-Arab campaign, candidly revealed the City Guard's true aims.

Milstein has recently published an interview in the ultra-right-wing publication "Be'Sheva", where he said: "Carmiel is a Jewish city, plain and simple. It was founded for the purpose of Judaizing the Galilee. In my opinion it is not proper for Arab families to live here. In recent years, there are attempts by our [Arab] neighbors in the Western Galilee villages to migrate into Carmiel, and we must not ignore this phenomenon. "

According to Milstein, since being appointed deputy mayor two years ago, he had been striving "to do something real in order to change the situation". To this end he founded the City Guard, in cooperation with the Carmiel police. Milstein proudly told the extreme right paper that members of the " City Guard" are "monitoring every evening the entrances to the city and demand the I.D. of anyone seeking to enter the city. Thus, they reduce the number of neighbors seeking to just enter the city for no special reason."

Link to full interview (in Hebrew):

In their letter to Attorney General Weinstein, Uri Avnery and Adam Keller wrote on behalf of Gush Shalom that "the aims and activities of the Carmiel City Guard, as described candidly by its founder, are manifestly racist and illegal. There is no doubt that all citizens of Israel - regardless of religion, race or nationality - have the inalienable right to move freely all over the country, enter any city and village, any public place, as they see fit and, and "for no special reason". They need not ask permission nor give an account of themselves to anyone - certainly not to a militia of despicable racists in Carmiel.

Gush Shalom said that the fact of this abominable body being established by an Israeli deputy mayor, with the full support of the police, is yet another serious warning sign in the growing list of blatant racist manifestations in the Israeli public life. The racists' aim – in the government, in the municipality of Carmiel and throughout the country - is to drive out the Arabs, because they are Arabs. In practice, the immediate and direct result of their activities is to drive the state of Israel out of the community of democratic peoples and turn it into a pariah and outcast country. "

Contact: Adam Keller 054-2340749