Gil Nahushtan
Arab in National Service program
Gil Nahushtan

National Service recruiter denounced as 'traitor'

Arab woman who successfully enlisted 360 Arab youths to National Service subjected to harassment, social isolation by community

From the Arab villages in the north to the Bedouin towns in the south, she searched high and low in her quest to enlist Arab youths to National Service.


She stood steadfast in the face of the media and protests outside her home, until the responses from the Arab population brought an end to her activities. Now, this National Civil Service Administration employee is demanding that the National Insurance Institute recognize her emotional state. "I began working as a strong and patriotic woman," she said, "and I left crushed to pieces."


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The 30-year-old woman, who lives with her husband and children in the Galilee, began to encourage the enlistment of Israeli Arabs to National Service several months ago .


"I thought this was a good way of integrating into Israeli society, and that it is important to contribute to our community."


She was praised at work and director of the National-Civil Service Administration Sar-Shalom Jerbi said she "did good work."


However, a few months later, the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee declared it was against such enlistment. "They called me and my friends 'traitors,'" she recalls. "In one case they physically attacked me and I went to the hospital."


Despite it all, she did not give up and continued convincing youths to enlist. "I am a proud Arab and I don't see the contradiction between that and being loyal to the State of Israel.


"I am proud of the 360 Arab youths who I brought to National Service and despite the nightmare I experienced, I am still encouraging all Arab youngsters to enlist to National Service."


In spite of her good intentions, the harassment did not cease. "Every week, protesters stood near my house and yelled, "traitor, get out," she recalls. "My husband's business is collapsing and my children have been humiliated."


As a result of the incidents, she hired Attorney Eli Malul from Afula, an expert on the National Insurance Institute and labor laws, to insure that the NII recognizes her.


"My client was emotionally harmed by the difficult chain of events she endured at her place of employment," wrote Malul to the NII. "She is suffering from stress, depression and fits of rage. I request to determine that there is a direct connection between her emotional state and her work."



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פרסום ראשון: 03.11.13, 12:30
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