Photo: Avi Cohen
Gilad Sharon
Photo: Avi Cohen
Arab Israeli protestors carrying Palestinian flag
Photo: Ohad Avidan Kaynar

Biting the hand that feeds you

Arab Israelis should stop pretending that they are loyal to the State

The repeated terror attacks carried out by Arab terrorists possessing Israeli ID cards highlight the need for a frank and open discussion regarding relations between Arabs and Jews in Israel and the future of these ties.


Several weeks ago, around Independence Day, I saw at the entrance to Tel Aviv University a protest tent erected by Arab students to mark what they refer to as “Nakba Day” – their disaster. Yet there can be no greater contradiction or hypocrisy.


At the gates of the place that more than any other symbolizes Israel’s success and achievements, an institution that is open to all citizens of the country, both Arabs and Jews, these Arab students chose to accept wholeheartedly what the State gives them, while at the same time protest its establishment.


After all, the collapse among Israel’s Arabs did not happen on the day the State was established. Any other date in the course of the War of Independence could have been chosen to mark the fact these people turned into refugees. Yet the Arabs chose our Independence Day specifically. They view our revival as their disaster.


I have yet to see a protest by Arab Israelis where the Israeli flag was being held up, yet many Palestinian flags can always be seen there. This is the stage where we hear the cries about transfer and racism. Well, there is no transfer, everyone is staying at home, although territorial tradeoffs are possible – areas populated by Jews in Judea and Samaria will be annexed to Israel, while areas populated by Arabs will switch sovereignty. The border may be moved West of these communities, and as to racism, even the United Nations recognized the fact that the Jews deserve a state.


Arab leaders in Israel are making false pretenses whereby should Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders, their hostility to the State will disappear and their dual loyalty problem will be resolved. Would we see in such case Arab Israelis proudly waving the Israeli flag? Would they call on their youngsters to join the army and enlist for national service? Of course not.


Be prepared to pay price

Military service can serve as a good indication for identifying those who chose to tie their destiny to that’s of the people of Israel. Those who choose to serve will maintain the status quo. Those who do not serve will only enjoy residency rights. Their right to elect and be elected can be realized in a parliament that reflects their national identity, the way they define it.


This pretention must stop: You shall stop pretending that you are loyal to the State the way it is, and the State will stop pretending that it does not discriminates against you, because it does. It has no choice, as you come out against its essence as a Jewish state and are working to turn it into something else. For example, how can we not discriminate against an elected representative such as Azmi Bishara or Ahmad Tibi, who served as an advisor for Arafat the terrorist, when it comes to sharing sensitive security information?


This juggling act, whereby on the one hand Arab Israelis enjoy the State’s health and welfare services and freedom of expression unlike anywhere else in our region, while on the other hand their representatives condemn and attack Israel at every opportunity, and particularly in enemy states, must end.


You need to choose and be honest with yourselves: Do you wish to enjoy all the good Israel bestows upon you? Then be completely loyal to it. If you cannot do it, be prepared to pay the price. The current situation, whereby you bite the hand that feeds you, is devoid of both pride and honor.


פרסום ראשון: 07.06.08, 16:57
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