Presentation on theme: "Arabs in the Jewish State. This country is Jewish and democratic: Democratic towards Jews, and Jewish towards Arabs. … IS THAT SO? - MK Ahmad Tibi, Ha."— Presentation transcript:
This country is Jewish and democratic: Democratic towards Jews, and Jewish towards Arabs. … IS THAT SO? - MK Ahmad Tibi, Ha aretz, 22.12.2009.
Contents 1. Does Discrimination Against the Israeli-Arab Population Exist? 2. Arab Public Opinion: Residential Preference 3. On Jewish Democracy 4. The October 2000 Riots 5. The Arab Vision Documents 6. Arab MKs and Israel s Character 7. Arab Public Opinion and Israel s Character 8. Participation in the Second Intifada 9. Participation in Recent Terrorist Attacks 10. Recent Nationalistic Hostilities
Like minorities in many Western democracies, the Israeli-Arab community often voices complaint over the socio- economic discrepancies existing between itself and the Jewish majority in Israel. To examine whether this is the result of methodological discrimination, as many in the Arab community claim, we must first analyze the nature of these differences.
Does Discrimination Against the Israeli-Arab Population Exist? Economic Discrimination Affirmative action in the allocation of state supplements to municipal and regional budgets For every shekel invested per resident of a Jewish municipality or regional council, a resident of an Arab municipality or regional council will receive 1.77 shekels. This difference is growing each year. - Central Bureau of Statistics Failure to meet taxation requirements The rate of Property Tax collection among the Arab sector is 18.6% while the same rate for Jews in equivalent economic brackets is 53.7%. - Rafiq Hajj, Doctoral dissertation Ben Gurion University, 2009
Economic Discrimination continued Lower overall participation in the workforce The percentage of those working in the Jewish sector is nearly 20% more than those working in the Arab sector (58.5% compared to 39.6% in 2006) largely as a result of the lack of women entering the workforce (19.1% compared to 56.2% in the Jewish sector). Payment of lower overall Income Tax rates In 2006, 18.9% of the total income of Jewish citizens went towards Income Tax while the same figure among the Arab population stood at 12.7%. Moreover, 12.05% of the Jewish citizens incomes consisted of government stipends and aid compared to 20% among the Arab population. Finally, in the last decade the percentage of the Arab sector s labor income has continued to drop (from 74% in 1992 to 66.9% in 2006). - Dan Shiftan, Palestinians in Israel: The Arab Minority s Struggle Against the Jewish State, 2011
Economic Discrimination continued While it is impossible to measure the precise number and income of individuals employed under the table – especially relevant because many receive unemployment benefits or stipends – it is possible to determine a further economic discrepancy between Jews and Arabs when examining monetary offenses that result in further unreported income. Out of the total Israeli population, the Arab sector is responsible for 30% of auto thefts, 50% of agricultural thefts and 55% of activities supporting the illegal workers trade (transporting, employing, providing shelter). 2,500 cases involving Arab use and possession of illegal weapons were reported in 2005 alone. Finally, the Arab sector has almost absolute control over the trade and smuggling of narcotics, according to police. - Dan Shiftan, Palestinians in Israel: The Arab Minority s Struggle Against the Jewish State, 2011
Land Policy Discrimination The disproportional division of National Priority Areas In 2009, the government decided to allocate 40% of land defined National Priority Areas – communities granted additional aid, various economic perquisites and incentives – to the Arab sector. Half of privately owned land belongs to Arab citizens. Only 8% of Israel s land is privatized. It is therefore significant that a minority consisting of one fifth of the population should own approximately 50% of all privatized land. Does Discrimination Against the Israeli- Arab Population Exist? continued
Now that we have seen what discrimination exists in favor of the Israeli-Arab community, we may undertake the task of uncovering what the Arab public feels concerning its desire to live in the Jewish state, despite allegations of racial favoritism.
31% dissatisfied with their standard of living 35% would prefer to become citizens of Israel following a two-state solution; 30% would prefer to become citizens of Palestine The Palestinians of East Jerusalem: What Do They Really Want? Survey conducted by Pechter Middle East Polls in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, January 2011 Over 60% would be concerned with losing Israeli benefits if their neighborhood were to become a part of Palestine Arabs of east Jerusalem: 39% believe their neighbors would become citizens of Israel following a two-state solution; 31% would become citizens of Palestine 31% are dissatisfied with their standard of living Arab Public Opinion: Residential Preference
Arab Public Opinion continued General Israeli-Arab population: 63.5% - Fear the annexation of the Triangle [of Arab villages adjacent to the Green Line] to the state of Palestine 14.2% - Agree to the annexation of the Triangle to the state of Palestine Jewish-Arab Relations Index of 2004 – Sami Samooha Shfaram Um el-Fahem
So, does this ideal of democratic governance, in which the Arab minority enjoys equal rights to those of the remainder of the population, conflict with the ideal of the Jewish people maintaining their sovereignty in Israel?
On Jewish Democracy Although the objections to Israel s twofold identity are many and varied, they do nevertheless have one thing in common: They all presuppose that the state is Jewish in the religious sense of the word … however, if we were to define Israel s Jewishness as essentially national or cultural rather than religious - thus returning to Herzl s original Zionist vision - we would discover that many (if not all) of these objections are rendered null and void, and that, in the final analysis, a Jewish state is not at all at odds with the liberal-democratic ideal. - Amnon Rubenstein, The Curious Case of Jewish Democracy, in Azure, no. 41, (Summer, 2010). Former MK Azmi Bishara votes in the General Elections
What then is the source of the growing rift between the Jews and the Arabs in Israel if not racial discrimination?
The October 2000 Riots In response to the first days of the Second Intifada, Israeli Arabs, adhering to their leadership s instructions, began a strike in solidarity with Palestinians in Jerusalem and the PA, sparking riots throughout northern Israel. Throughout the events (October 1-9) police came under direct gunfire and Molotov cocktail attacks. Demonstrators hurled rocks, burned tires, cars, shops, banks, synagogues and a bus. Residents living within close proximity to forests also set alight were evacuated. Route 65, a main artery connecting northern and central Israel was blocked, cutting off many Jewish communities. Thirteen people, including a Jewish citizen, were killed in the violence.
Riots in Umm El-Fahem and Jaffa The events of October reiterate that any action taken by the state that isolates its largest minority is a reaction to nationalistic hostility, rather than the result of perceived discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.
The Arab Vision Documents The Future Vision for Palestinian Arabs in Israel Israel is the outcome of a colonialist action which was initiated by the Jewish-Zionist elites... [it] was established by colonial states... it continues conflicting with its neighbors incessantly... and implementing a colonialist policy... Israel cannot be defined as a democratic state. It can be defined as an ethnocratic state... the state must acknowledge responsibility for the Nakba... [it] should recognize the Palestinian Arabs as an indigenous national group that has a right to choose its representatives directly. (Palestinian Arabs in Israel and their Relationship with the State - p.9) The Democratic Constitution While eliminating the Right of Return for Jews (p.6), the document calls to legislate the Right of Return for the Palestinian refugees, (p.3) thereby eliminating the Jewish majority in Israel. The Haifa Declaration We believe that exploiting the Holocaust and its results so as to provide legitimacy for the Jews right to establish their state at the cost of the Palestinian Nation belittles universal values … (p. 12) From 2006-2007 The Arab High Monitoring Committee, Arab municipal leaders, Adalah and Madah al-Carmel published three significant position papers:
The Arab Vision Documents continued Several major conclusions can be drawn: The Israeli-Arab leadership rejects the possibility of a Jewish and democratic state. The Israeli-Arab leadership desires a state for all its citizens in place of Israel in its current form and wishes to exercise the Arab Right of Return. The Israeli legislature must adhere to an Arab constitution separate from existing Basic Laws. A separate Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as its capital will be established alongside the multinational Arab/Israeli state. The necessity for the founding of an additional state stems from the belief that the Jews and Palestinians are unable to coexist.
The official state civics textbook To Be Citizens in Israel, stresses mainly individualist and liberal values, while minimizing national and collective ones. Especially subversive is the chapter on the conflict between Arabs and Jews, written by Dr. As ad Ghanem, who was also the main drafter of The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel. Ghanem advances the same opinions in the book. In the part about the War of Independence he ignores the Arab attacks beforehand, their refusal to accept the UN Partition Plan, and the war they began hours after Israel s Declaration of Independence. The book portrays the Jews, and only the Jews, as those to blame for causing the Arab refugee problem.
Arab MKs and Israel s Character A candidates list shall not participate in elections to the Knesset if its objects or actions, expressly or by implication, include one of the following: (1) negation of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people … - Amendment to Section 7A; Basic Law: The Knesset (Amendment No. 9) Prior to the General Elections, the Supreme Court will usually rule that Arab parties that have expressed extremist views are nonetheless able to put forward their lists for candidacy.
Jamal Zahlka (Balad) Zahalka slams Arabs who volunteer for National Service, saying that the phenomenon is the result of the Arab leadership s failure to explain its objection. Young women are seduced into joining the project. It blurs the identity of our youth. (http://news.walla.co.il/?w=/9/1830053 6.6.2011)http://news.walla.co.il/?w=/9/1830053 Zahalka is quoted as warning Arab youth against being drafted into National Service, insisting that any Arab who volunteers for national service will be considered leprous and the Arab society will vomit him out. ( http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=79897 27.10. 2007 ) http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=79897 Zahalka causes an uproar after saying Defense Minister Ehud Barak listens to classical music while murdering Palestinian children. (Erev Hadash, Channel 23, 1.1.2010)
Azmi Bishara (Balad) Hizbullah has won, and for the first time since 1967 we know the taste of victory. (following Israel s 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon) Ma ariv, 06.06.2000. 2007 – Bishara flees Israel and resigns from the Knesset after police question him on suspicion of aiding and passing information to the enemy during wartime (the Second Lebanon War), contacts with a foreign agent and receiving large sums of money transferred from abroad.
Hanin Zoabi (Balad) Zoabi supports a nuclear Iran: The policy of Iran is more useful to the Palestinian issue and more standing against occupation than a lot of the Arab countries. This is our interest … I m not afraid from the nuclear Iranians. I m more afraid from the Israeli nuclear [sic]. (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.as px/130704 31.3.2009)http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.as px/130704 Zoabi calls for a third Intifada: I hope [the Palestinians] will start a large popular struggle that is political and strategic, similar to the First Intifada … Tahrir Square in Egypt must be the new model for Arab youth – I would like them to initiate a popular struggle against the siege, because occupiers cannot expect to live normal lives. (http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=216499 13.4.2011)http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=216499 May 31, 2010 – Zoabi participates in the Free Gaza Flotilla aboard its most hostile vessel, the Mavi Marmara.
Ahmad Tibi (Ra am Ta al) We believe that the Jewish character of Israel should be cancelled … and therefore we certainly support the term state for all its citizens. (http://tchelet.org.il/article.php?id=217 Al Hasharon, 9.4.1999, pp.57-59.) I certainly oppose Zionism and the Jewish character of the State. (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L- 3221829,00.html 28.2.06)
September 2006 - Bishara, along with Zahalka and Wasil Taha (Balad), visit Damascus – shortly after the Second Lebanon War. During their trip the Knesset members praised Syria for supporting the Palestinians and Lebanon, and warned Assad against an imminent Israeli- American strike against his country. Former MK Azmi Bishara meets with Syrian President Bashar Al- Assad
May 2011 - MKs Ahmad Tibi, Taleb A Sana and Muhammad Barakei (second left) meet with Hamas officials. April 2010 - MKs Ahmad Tibi (second right) and Taleb A'Sana (right) meet with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Arab Public Opinion: Israel s Character Jewish-Arab Relations Index of 2004 – Sami Samooha 17% Arabs will abstain from a struggle for regime change. 23.8% Arabs have the right to support the armed struggle of the Palestinians. 89.8% Israel will be a bi-national state. 30.4% Israel has the right to be the state of the Jewish People 13.8% Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state.
Participation in the Second Intifada … You have a different role than ours, an important role in bringing down governments and making governments succeed... If you want to help us, do it by providing supplies … Do not forget that you have Israeli citizenship, and this is your advantage and ours, and [it is] by means of this that you will be able to protect us … You, Arab citizen of Israel, can do much rationally and on the political level without chasing illusions and demagogy. - Abu Mazen to Heads of the Popular Councils, November 22, 2002. Mahmoud Abbas (then PA prime minister) criticized the direct involvement of Israeli Arabs during the Intifada, arguing that they minimized chances of convincing Israel to absorb Palestinian refugees in the future:
The scene of a suicide bombing in Haifa, March 5, 2003. A local Arab resident was jailed for life after being convicted of helping to plan the attack. * 17 killed The scene of a terrorist attack in a Haifa restaurant, March 31, 2002. The bomber was an Israeli Arab living in Jenin. * 16 killed Suicide Bombings
Participation in Recent Terrorist Attacks Three hundred and seventy-four Palestinians with permanent Israeli residency were arrested in Jerusalem on suspicion of participating in a terrorist attack against Israelis between 2001 and late September 2008. One of several hit-and-run terrorist attacks involving tractors driven by Israeli Arabs in Jerusalem during the summer of 2008. The scene of a terrorist attack at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem after an Israeli Arab slaughtered eight students (6.3.2008). The only place in which terrorist attacks have not significantly dropped is Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Periphery. This arena acts as a Palestinian arena, despite the fact that its residents carry blue [Israeli] I.D. cards. - Yuval Diskin, Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) chief. (18.1.2011)
Israeli Arabs demonstrate during Operation Cast Lead. Demonstrations against Operation Cast Lead – December 2008-January 2009 Riots in Silwan – 2010 Nakba Demonstrations – May 2011 Israeli Arabs protest on Land Day. Examples of Recent Nationalistic Hostilities
Demonstrations on Israeli Campuses Operation Cast Lead: Arab students protest outside the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Jan. 2008). Left: Arab Student Union members demonstrate at Haifa University (31.10.08). Right: Hadash members protest against Operation Cast Lead in January, 2009 at Haifa University. What begins as a legitimate protest often turns into a forum for incitement against the Jewish state, and at times personal attacks against its Jewish population. In blood and in spirit, we will redeem you oh Palestine, is a chant frequently recited, according to student witnesses.
The Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS) was founded to ensure the continuation of Israel as a viable Jewish and democratic state. Our mission at the IZS is to present creative, implementable programs to the Israeli public and policy makers. For more information: http://www.izs.org.il/eng/? http://www.izs.org.il/eng/?