The Arabs of Israel
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The Arab citizens of Israel are not fighting for political rights, which they already enjoy -- or there would not be so many Arab political parties or Arab Members of Parliament in the Knesset. Many Israeli Arabs, however, have lost faith in their representatives, particularly those who are trying to incite them against Israel.
Israel's Arab citizens are clearly not listening to the bad advice they have been getting from some of their leaders, including Arab members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, who keep inciting them against Israel.
These leaders and parliamentarians -- who say they want the Arab citizens to boycott national service and any attempt by the government to fully incorporate them into Israeli society -- have been waging a campaign against the Israeli government's plan to recruit Arab citizens for (civilian) national service as an alternative to military service.
The plan seeks to solve many problems -- especially in the area of work -- facing the Arab citizens who do not serve in the Israel Defense Force.
Yet despite the campaign against national service, a report released this week revealed that there has been a 76% increase in the number of Arab volunteers since September 2011.
According to the report, published by the Administration for Civil-National Service, some 3,000 Arabs have volunteered over the past two years to carry out national service in the Arab sector in Israel. Last year, the number of Arab volunteers stood at 1,700.
Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett said in response that he was aware that some leaders of the Arab community were strongly opposed to the idea of national service for Arab youths.
"There are some who do not want to see the Arab and Jewish sectors live in fine and healthy coexistence," Bennett remarked. "But we won't let them win."
The Arab volunteers are sent to hospitals, schools and even fire stations in their own communities.
The report coincides with increased efforts by some Arab parliamentarians to encourage their constituents to seek separation from, rather than integration with, Israel.
One Knesset member, Jamal Zahalka, recently proposed a law demanding that Israel recognize its Arab citizens as a "national Arab minority."
The proposed law actually calls for self-rule for Israel's 1.4 million Arabs, turning Arab cities and villages into autonomous areas in the country.
Even some Arab Knesset members have come out against Zahalka's draft law, arguing that it would actually hinder efforts to achieve equality between Jews and Arabs.
Zahalka's proposed law is an attempt to politicize the case of the Arab Israelis instead of addressing social, economic and cultural problems facing the Arab sector.
If Zahalka and other Arab Israelis want to express their national identity, they can do so in a future Palestinian state. There, they would feel more comfortable about their national identity without even being considered a minority.
Today, however, it is hard to find an Arab Israeli who would be happy to move to a Palestinian state that is controlled by the PLO or Hamas, which is the reason most Arab Israelis are opposed to the idea of land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians. According to this idea, some Arab villages inside Israel would be placed under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.
The Arab citizens of Israel are not fighting for political rights, which they already enjoy -- otherwise, there would not be so many Arab political parties, or Arab Members of Parliament in the Knesset. Rather, they are fighting for better services and equality. They want more jobs in the public and private sectors and equal distribution of public funds.
Any attempt to politicize the case of the Arab Israelis will only cause damage to Arab citizens, most of whom remain loyal to Israel.
The sharp rise in the number of Arab volunteers for national service is an encouraging development that shows many Arab citizens have lost faith in their representatives, particularly those who are trying to incite them against Israel.
Reader comments on this item
|As usual, a good paper from Khaled Abu Toameh [48 words]||Yosef ben Israel||Jun 20, 2013 20:06|
|Well... [87 words]||Phillip Slepian||Jun 20, 2013 14:44|
Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.
by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.
by Burak Bekdil
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said: "All Israelis are legitimate targets." What would the Palestinian death toll have been if Mr. Netanyahu's spokesman declared all Palestinians as legitimate targets?
Underdog-nation romanticism tells us Israel should not respond when under rocket attack because it is capable of intercepting the rockets.
That there are fewer Israeli casualties does not mean Hamas does not want to kill; it just means, for the moment, Hamas cannot kill.
by Soeren Kern
Austria figures prominently in a map produced by the IS that outlines the group's five-year plan for expanding its caliphate into Europe, and has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria.
"The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist." — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.
"Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria." — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.
"We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions." — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.