Daily Israel Report

‘Equality for All’ in IDF Draft Must Include Arabs, Says MK

Why does the demand for “equality” that demands the enlistment of Torah students not include Arabs, asks national MK Ben-Ari.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/15/2012, 2:29 PM

Marzel and Ben Gvir
Marzel and Ben Gvir
Israel news photo: Flash 90

“Why does the demand for ‘equality’ that demands the enlistment of Torah students not include Arabs?” asks National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari during a protest in the predominantly Arab city of Nazareth.

One Arab official told Israel media that the demonstration was a “provocation.”

Police clamped restrictions on the protest, led by MK Ben-Ari and activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel.

It was limited to 80 people, and the police prohibited a stage from being built while insisting that the demonstrators stick to a specific pre-arranged route.

Ben-Gvir asked why the call for equality concentrates only on hareidi religious Jews who study Torah day and night. “Where are the Arabs?” he asked. “Why doesn’t anyone talk about them?”

MK Ben-Ari said, “If there are no obligations, there are no rights. We have become accustomed to Arabs screaming for equality, and when we give them preferences, but when we ask them to abide by building standards, or pay taxes, this sounds funny to some Arabs.”

“We intend to change the ‘disk’ and demand equality for national service for Arabs,” he added.

Israeli media generally have focused only on the hareidi religious factor, and the Kadima party has stated only vague guidelines for enlisting Arabs while stating specific sanctions that should be placed against Jews who do not enlist.