Yoaz Hendel

They want to finish us off

Anti-Israel rally on Land Day further shatters local peace dreams

In recent years, Land Day has turned into the official way of shattering the dreams of peace fans in the Middle East. It’s a day where the masks come off, and instead of hummus spiced up with talk about partnership, we discover the rift between the Jewish state and its Arab citizens, or at the least the louder ones amongst them.


Some people wish to delude themselves, as though the bloody conflict around here is a matter of territory – a logical dispute between two peoples over land, construction freezes, and a few east Jerusalem neighborhoods. As if once we embark on negotiations and resolve these differences, we shall see the dawn of a new Middle East here: Arabs and Jews will live alongside each other in their respective tranquil states.


Yet then come the people who are supposed to share this (tranquil) state with us and remind us that they have no intention of this ever happening; they remind us that they root for the people we view as enemies.


It’s important to say this clearly: Those who hold up photographs of Hezbollah leader Nasrallah and of the group’s former military commander Mugniyah in fact hold up their dream of terminating the Jewish state.


Neglect and bias

The displays we saw Tuesday in the Arab rally in Sakhnin, the anti-Israel zeal, the Islamic Movement’s incitement, and mostly the growing lack of solidarity among Arab citizens with their own state have many reasons. All of them, necessarily, have to do with the Jewish establishment.


Based on the familiar blame-the-Jews reflex, we’re supposed to see here now the words neglect, discrimination, and prejudice – the historic story about the sin that gave rise to Land Day.


Well, it’s all true: We neglected the enforcement of the law in Arab communities, we created discrimination when we exempted them of their duties as citizens, and we showed bias for many years when we allowed their youth to be raised by people who wish to detach them from the state they live in. The contract between the state and its citizens is simple: You get rights and fulfill your duties.


The situation faced by Arab Israelis is no more complex than that of other minorities who did fulfill their duties over the course of history. The people who exempt the Arabs and allow them to engage in “democratic displays” of solidarity with the enemy ultimately hurt their right to live a normal life here, and mostly hurt our shared future in this land.


פרסום ראשון: 04.02.10, 14:13
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