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Study: Some Arab Citizens of Israel Prefer Hebrew

A leading Islamic scholar in Egypt is concerned about Arabs in Israel using Hebrew, calls on them to resist Judaization and Hebraization.
By Avraham Zuroff
First Publish: 6/11/2009, 7:45 AM / Last Update: 6/13/2009, 8:45 PM

A leading Egyptian expert on Islamic culture is concerned about the growing trend of Arabs living in Israel who pepper their language with Hebrew. “Palestinians inside Israel have always resisted Judaization and Hebraization. They have to insist on preserving their identity and not giving in to Israeli set-ups,” Dr. Mohammed Imara told the Al Arabiya news network. 

Imara, who lectures at Cairo’s Al Azhar Al Sharit Islamic Research Academy, noted that in some Israeli towns, up to 30 percent of Arabs prefer speaking Hebrew over Arabic. About 60 percent prefer Arabic, while 10 percent speak English. “In other towns, it is the other way around and Hebrew is dominant,” he added. He faults the Israeli educational system for the Arabic language’s loss of popularity among Israeli Arabs.

“Even Arabic syllabi are saturated with Jewish and Zionist values. Until the end of the 1970s, Arab students learned about Judaism and Zionism and nothing about Arabs and Palestinians. Now some changes have taken place, but it is still not enough,” he stated.

Imara did note the trend for Israeli Jews to add Arabic to Hebrew. The Arab educator neglected to mention the “educational” programming on Palestinian Authority television urging children to become suicide bombers.

Dr. Imara, a member of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, authored a book which was banned for “inciting murder against Copts.” In his book, Imara quoted a religious scholar who called anyone who doesn’t believe in the prophesies of Mohammed an "infidel" (apostate -ed.) whose life and property should not be spared. Prior to the banning of his book, Imara stated, “I never called for the killing of non-Muslims.”