A new campaign by Israeli settlers, employing a Hamas war anthem, is seeking to scare passengers away from using buses in which Jews and Arabs ride together and calls for segregating transportation in the West Bank.
In a video posted online by the Council of Shomron Residents, a citizen-run offshoot of the Samaria Regional Council, the group calls the fact that Israeli and Palestinians ride buses together a “severe security situation.”
The video uses a song by the Hamas terror group which threatens to carry out attacks in Israel, “kill all the Zionists,” rock the foundations of Israel’s security, and “burn” military bases and soldiers, among other unpleasant activities.
The tune became an unexpected tongue-in-cheek hit in Israel over the summer as parodies of the song proliferated on social media, including one remixed to scenes from “The Lion King 2,” and another made to sound like Hasidic wedding music.
The group claims Afikim bus line #86, which runs between the Tel Aviv area and Ariel, is the only public line in the Samaria region, though there are several Palestinian lines running between Jerusalem and West Bank towns.
In March 2013, the Transportation Ministry came under fire after announcing it would introduce special lines for Arab laborers in the West Bank. Critics said the plan amounted to racial segregation, though the ministry defended the lines as reducing overcrowding and assuaging security fears.
In a Facebook post alongside a picture of four buses connected with wires and made to look like a timebomb, the Council of Shomron Residents insist that they are “not against buses for Arabs,” but merely against “the exclusion of settlers and sexual harassment that take place on these bus lines in practice.”
The group said it would demonstrate against Arab laborers riding Israeli buses near Ariel on Thursday.