Israeli Arabs: We Do Not Want to Live in Palestinian State
It is much easier for Palestinians to accuse Israel of racism than to admit they do not want to be part of a Palestinian state.
"This is an imaginary proposal that relates to the Arabs as if they were chess pieces that could be moved around according to the wish of the players." — Ahmed Tibi, Member of Knesset.
If the Arab Knesset members are so worried about becoming citizens of a Palestinian state, they should be working toward integration into, and not separation from, Israel, and listening more to their constituents rather than the voices of Fatah and Hamas.
Renewed talk of land swaps between Israel and a future Palestinian state has left many Israeli Arabs worried about losing their status as citizens of Israel.
According to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv, Israel has proposed to the Americans transferring Israeli Arab communities to the Palestinian Authority as part of a land swap that would place Jewish settlements in the West Bank under Israeli sovereignty.
The proposal means that some 300,000 Israeli Arabs would be allowed to stay in their villages in the "triangle" area along the border with the West Bank. However, these citizens would find themselves living under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state.
The new-old proposal has been strongly rejected by leaders of the Israeli Arabs, who expressed outrage over the idea.
It was hard this week to find even one Israeli Arab who publicly supported the proposal.
"This is an imaginary proposal that relates to the Arabs as if they were chess pieces that could be moved around according to the wish of the players," said Ahmed Tibi, an Arab member of the Knesset.
Another Arab Knesset member, Afu Ighbarriyeh, said, "Citizens of a democratic state are not tools or hostages in the hands of their government."
Both Tibi and Ighbarriyeh are from towns in the triangle area; Taybeh and Umm al-Fahm.
But what the Arab Knesset members are not saying openly is that they do not want to wake up in the morning and discover that they are citizens of a Palestinian state. It is much easier for them to accuse Israel of racism than to admit that they do not want to be part of a Palestinian state.
Member of Knesset Ahmed Tibi yells from the Knesset podium. (Image source: Knesset TV YouTube channel)
A public opinion poll conducted by the Arab Center for Applied Social Research in November 2007 found that more than 70% of Israeli Arabs are opposed to any proposal to annex towns and villages in the triangle area to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for the annexation of the settlements to Israel.
Another poll by Professor Sammy Smooha of the University of Haifa showed that three-quarters of Israeli Arabs believe Arab representatives should deal with daily issues and not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The poll also showed that over the past ten years, Israeli Arabs have become more extreme in their views toward Israel and its Jewish majority.
Professor Smooha said that Israeli Arabs are interested in receiving the benefits that the state provides them – stability, democracy, services and so on. The Arab leadership is more critical of Israel than the Arab public, which is "much more pragmatic than their leaders," he explained.
The Knesset has 120 members, 12 of whom are Arabs. Some of the Arab parliamentarians have over the past two decades acted and spoken in a way that has caused damage to the interests of the 1.5 million Arab citizens of Israel.
They are first and foremost responsible for radicalizing a large number of Israeli Arabs and turning them against the state.
These parliamentarians have, in fact, spent more time defending the interests of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip than those of their voters.
A Knesset member who openly identifies with Fatah or Hamas or Hezbollah is responsible for the situation that many Israeli Jews today see Israeli Arabs as a "fifth column" and an "enemy from within."
These Knesset members are fully aware that they would lose most of their privileges under most Arab regimes -- the real reason why they are strongly opposed to the latest proposal.
The Palestinians have their own parliament in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But this parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council, has been paralyzed since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
In most Arab countries, parliament members who dare to criticize their rulers often find themselves sitting at home or behind bars.
If the Arab Knesset members are so worried about becoming citizens of a Palestinian state, they should be working toward integration into, and not separation from, Israel. The Arab parliamentarians need to listen more to what their constituents are telling them and not to the voices of Fatah and Hamas.
Reader comments on this item
|Stop complaining [41 words]||Val Baily||Oct 20, 2014 23:06|
|Arabs' Self Deceit [56 words]||Charles Emelogu||Jan 8, 2014 06:20|
|Reason Why [36 words]||Jeff||Jan 7, 2014 16:13|
|Palestinians [187 words]||Gershon Priewer||Jan 7, 2014 14:05|
|Israeli Arabs: We do not want to live in a Palestinian State [12 words]||Daniel S.||Jan 7, 2014 12:26|
|↔ Reply to Daniel S. [58 words]||Ora Hall||Jan 8, 2014 16:43|
|Mr. Toameh (as usual) hits the nail on the head [46 words]||Gerald Tanny||Jan 7, 2014 09:28|
|I don't blame anyone for not wanting to live under Hamas or Fatah [64 words]||Steve Rosen||Jan 6, 2014 17:52|
|Forked tongue [57 words]||Brian Lux||Jan 6, 2014 13:26|
|↔ Reply to Brian Lux [173 words]||Ora Hall||Jan 8, 2014 17:03|
|Re: "Israeli Arabs Do Not Want to Live in Palestinian State" [146 words]||Jen Schiller||Jan 6, 2014 11:51|
|The conflict and the solution [42 words]||Sergio molcho||Jan 6, 2014 09:58|
|Real bone of contention for Arab MKs [55 words]||Lynne T.||Jan 6, 2014 09:41|
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 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