Every few years, we see the establishment of a commission here in Israel to look into the grave state of the Arab community. The learned conclusions of such commissions point to “gaps,” “discrimination” and “alienation.”
The recommendations refer to a policy that would defuse this ticking bomb. Here’s a suggestion on where we can start: Allow Arab Israelis to cast their votes and to be elected to the Knesset.
This is the elementary right reserved to citizens in a democratic state, unless we decide to adopt within the Green Line too the sort of apartheid regime that Avigdor Lieberman and the delusional figures of the National Union party wish to perpetuate in the West Bank.
Israel’s Basic Laws grant us the possibility of preventing parties from running for elections in cases where they constitute a danger to the State and its democratic character. In rare cases it was done in the past, on both ends of the political spectrum. Yet we are talking about an unusual step, which requires solid evidence in order to be utilized.
Such evidence does not exist in Balad’s case, and certainly not in the case of United Arab List-Ta’al. Therefore, the High Court of Justice is expected to soon discard the shameful decision made by the Elections Committee.
Most MKs who are members of this committee are certainly familiar with this reality. Yet through their irresponsible conduct they leave it up to the High Court of Justice to worry about democracy, and to be hit by the criticism later on. Until that time, these Knesset members hope to elicit a few more votes in the name of their “patriotism,” as Labor Party Secretary-General Eitan Cabel characterized it the other day.
The drumbeats of the operation in Gaza and the sound of the upcoming elections are driving them crazy, and to hell with everything else. We can only pity a country that boasts such elected representatives.