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Avigdor Lieberman Photo: Gil Yohanan
Avigdor Lieberman Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
 

Be careful what you wish for

What would happen should Arabs heed Lieberman's call, join IDF en masse?

B. Michael
Published: 02.07.09, 16:38 / Israel Opinion

There is something blissful about the growing support for Avigdor Lieberman's party, Yisrael Beiteinu. There is something appropriate about it. Something right. Something we deserve. Because we can no longer deny that Lieberman is the State of Israel's most accurate depiction.

 

This is exactly what Israel looks like. These are its values, its voice, and its hopes.

 

A Lieberman state does not deserve to have a well-groomed, polite, coherent and false face. It needs to get the face it deserves. To look just the way it is. Just the way we are. Because evil, just like justice, must be seen, not only be done.

 

Nonetheless, here is a small note to cool the excitement. Many Lieberman supporters seriously take their leader's foolish words about "loyalty," "citizenship," and "enlistment." They poke each other slyly and are certain that if only they demand that the Arabs pledge allegiance to the State and join the army, the Arabs will blatantly refuse, thereby enabling us to kick them out of here.

 

I regret to say this, but experience taught us that this matter is not completely failure-proof. We would do well to be reminded of the fact that someone already came up with this brilliant idea once upon a time. On July 9, 1954 the State of Israel issued an order for the army enlistment of "minority groups," which applied to about 4,500 Palestinians. Back then too, there were those who hoped that imposing an army service duty on the Arabs would prompt them to quickly depart.

 

Yet then, the most terrible thing happened: About 90% of those Palestinian youths quickly and joyfully reported to the army's induction offices. They were willing, and even excited, to serve in the army.

 

This caused a great scare among top defense establishment officials. "Oy vey," they said, while staring at each other with a horrified look, "what shall we do now?" And the enlistment of Arabs, which barely got underway, was annulled for generations to come.

 

Therefore, and if the rumors about the Palestinians fully developing their Jewish sense of humor are correct, it is very likely that after the realization of Lieberman's vision regarding citizenship and loyalty, we shall also see the materialization of the following scenario: A million and a half "loyalty pledges" signed in Arabic will be stuffed into the drawers of the "Loyalty Ministry" (which Lieberman will surely establish,) while tens of thousands of proud Palestinian soldiers will go ahead and join the Israeli army.

 

Personally, I will view this as a true sign of the coming of the Messiah. Yet I suspect that this is not precisely the intentions of Lieberman and his tens of thousands of followers.

 

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