Urgently Needed: "Fill the Vacuum" for Israeli Arabs So The Extremists Will Not
Radicals are are making every effort to drag Israel's Arab citizens toward a confrontation with the Israeli establishment. If If Israel does not build a kindergarten or school in Nazareth, someone else will -- either secular extremists or Muslim fundamentalists.
Some of the leaders of the Israeli Arabs have caused tremendous damage to relations between Jews and Arabs inside Israel.
These leaders are responsible for the fact that a growing number of Jews today view Arab citizens as a "fifth column" and an "enemy from within."
The Arab members of Knesset should be fighting for equality and better services for their constituents, and not spending most of their time defending Fatah and Hamas and issuing fiery statements against Israel.
Participating in a flotilla aid ship to the Gaza Strip does not help improve the living conditions of Israeli Arabs. Nor does participating in Fatah rallies held in Ramallah and other parts of the West Bank.
Some of the Arab Knesset members have obviously forgotten that they were elected by Arab citizens of Israel and not by Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
There is nothing wrong, of course, with expressing solidarity with the Palestinians there. After all, Israeli Arabs see themselves as part of the Palestinian people.
But there is a feeling among Israeli Arabs that at least half of their representatives in the Knesset care more about their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank and Gaza Strip than their constituents.
Israeli Arabs would like to see their representatives fighting to solve the many problems they are facing, such as poverty and unemployment. They would like to see Arab parliamentarians struggling for improved infrastructure and more government funds for Arab municipalities.
Israel, also, can play a role in undermining the radicals among its Arab community. The best way to weaken the radicals is by embracing the Arab citizens rather than alienating them.
Embracing Israeli Arabs would boost their confidence in Israel and drive them away from radicals who are making every effort to drag Israel's Arab citizens toward a confrontation with the Israeli establishment.
If Israel does not build a kindergarten or school in Nazareth, someone else will. And in this case, the someone else could be secular extremists or Muslim fundamentalists. If Israel does not build a community center in Baka Al-Gharbiyya, the Islamic Movement will do so.
Israel needs to start working on repairing the damage that has been caused to relations between Jews and Arabs inside the country. The PLO and Hamas have damaged relations not only between Jews and Palestinians, but also between Arabs and Jews living inside Israel.
In recent years, Israeli governments have taken a number of decisions aimed at rebuilding mutual confidence between Arab and Jewish citizens.
These decisions include allocating additional public funding to Arab municipalities, and investment in infrastructure in Arab villages and towns, as well as incorporating Israeli Arabs in jobs in the public and private sectors.
When the Arab citizens see that their state cares about them and does not relate to them as an enemy, they will keep a distance from the radicals. The radical leaders of the Arab community find fertile soil among disgruntled Israeli Arabs, especially young people who are looking for a better life and paying jobs.
The overwhelming majority of Israeli Arabs remains loyal to the state even though they do not identify with its national anthem. Peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs inside Israel is not a lost cause.
Reader comments on this item
|Extremists filling the vacuum [197 words]||Judy Abeles Eliasov||Apr 3, 2012 09:48|
Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz