From integration to disintegration: Israel and its Arab citizens

Israel is at a watershed with anti-Zionist Arabs occupying a critical place in the mechanics of a government resting upon a threadbare parliamentary majority that relies on Arab votes. Op-ed.

Dr. Mordechai Nisan ,

Arab rioters, May 10th 2021
Arab rioters, May 10th 2021
Flash90

A devious and seductive process is jeopardizing the national integrity of the Jewish state of Israel. An estranged and enemy community from the start, the domestic Arab population, which since 1949 doubled from nine per-cent to approximately 20 per-cent, has never accepted the legitimacy of the state in which it enjoys citizenship.

The Arabs, who lost the war they initiated prior to and beginning with Israel's founding, do not forget or forgive. They consider Israel a racist state, demand Palestinian Arab refugee "return", and hope the state will wither from within, aided by Arab warfare from without.

Nonetheless, this litany of scorn did not dissuade the Israeli political class from enabling the tremendous strides Arabs enjoy in higher education, professional employment, and political representation while - in the Jewish state - their Palestinian nationalist and Islamic religious identity flourished.

We are witnessing in Israel's case the disheartening historic pattern summed up by Barbara Tuchman: "A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests."


Abbas's Ra'am party refused to sign the government's policy document that bore the emblematic definition of Israel as "a Jewish and democratic state."
Lacking a sense of history, Israelis misconstrue short-term cooperation and co-existence as an evolving contract between the Jews and the Arabs. However, personal Jewish-Arab friendships and relations do not dilute the deepest anti-Israel feelings nor the pro-Palestinian yearnings of the Arab population, as opinion surveys have demonstrated.

Ahmad Tibi, veteran Arab Member of Knesset rubbing shoulders with Jewish parliamentarians, and the darling of the Israeli media, is a voice of arrogance and honesty. Meeting with President Rivlin in September 2019, he declared: "We [Arabs] did not immigrate here [unlike the Jews]. We are the owners of this land." However, contrary to his declaration, since the first Jewish immigrant – Abraham the patriarch of the ancient Hebrew people – arrived 3800 years ago to the land of Israel, the Jews are the owners and native people of the land.

*Arab integration in Israeli society – which the Jewish leadership supports, encourages, and finances – is the contemporary modus operandi and strategy for rupturing, undermining, and dissolving the Jewish state from within. This policy enjoys the legitimacy provided by the values and spirit of citizenship, democracy, equality, minority rights, and affirmative action.

Noteworthy is the fact that Arab citizens serve in every field, including as doctors, pharmacists, medical personnel, judges, university professors, and media personalities. Notorious is also the fact that the Arab share for murder, theft, arson, and drug trafficking, far exceeds their proportion of the Israeli population.

In May, while Hamas fired rockets from Gaza, Arab pogroms erupted terrorizing and targeting Jewish residents in Lod, Ramla, Jaffa, and Akko [Acre], murdering two and wounding many. Arabs bullied Jews; vandalized Jewish dwellings; burned 12 synagogues and torched tens of Jewish cars; blocked roads in the Negev and Galilee; rioted in Jerusalem; and brandished Palestinian flags in provocation to Israel's national flag. Here was the strident voice of the Muslims in the streets, howling the jihad mantra of Allah Akbar.

Now the Naftali Bennett government policy of integration met its Arab partner in the person of Mansour Abbas, leading a four-man caucus in Israel's parliament. Abbas, a senior figure in the southern branch of the Islamic Movement, is a self-declared Palestinian. He calls for recognition of illegal Bedouin villages in the Negev and this conveys an uncomfortable reversal with politics above the law. His composure and language veil an ambiguity regarding the doctrine of war and peace embedded in the Islamic creed.

In his opening Knesset speech on June 13 with the launching of the new government, Mansour Abbas declared that it is necessary to "to deal with the historic injustice that has been our [Arab-Palestinian] fate over the years because of the policy of discrimination." The code language of an "historic injustice" alludes, not only to isolated cases of inequity, but to Israel's founding as an act of injustice against the Palestinian Arab people.

Indeed, Abbas's Ra'am party refused to sign the government's policy document that bore the emblematic definition of Israel as "a Jewish and democratic state."

On June 27, Abbas provided further clarification of his views and strategy in an interview with Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. "We want a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem," then directing his thoughts to "realizing our [Arab] civil, national, and religious rights" in 1949 Israel.. Shrinking Israel's borders and compromising her Jewish ethos are not a prescription for tolerance and peace, but a war plan to destroy the state.

*For all of the Jewish people's "vast historical experience," in the stirring words of Nietzsche, self-deception and a misreading of Israel's national interests have worked demonic wonders on an otherwise intelligent and ancient people.

Apropos Nietzsche, he was meticulously conversant with the loss of will in a democracy as the Achilles heel of civilization.

Israel is at a watershed with anti-Zionist Arabs occupying a critical place in the mechanics of a government resting upon a threadbare parliamentary majority that relies on Arab votes. In 2021, this new chapter in Israel's modern history is a shadowy development and a reason for great concern in the days ahead.

Dr. Mordechai Nisan taught Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His most recent book is The Crack-up of the Israeli Left (2019).



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