.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Israeli Arabs' self-inflicted misery

Many people complain about the discrimination that Arabs in Israel suffer. But how much of that discrimination is from Zionist intolerance, and how much from how that community decides to act itself towards its country?

The Jerusalem Post interviews a "moderate" Israeli-Arab Islamic leader:
Israeli Arabs will never agree to do national service for the State of Israel because it would call into question their loyalty to the Palestinian cause, the founder of Israel's Islamic Movement, Sheikh Abdullah Nimr Darwish, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

"Any type of national service, no matter what it is, would be perceived by the Palestinian people as military service," said Darwish, speaking at his home in Kafr Kasim.

"He [the Israeli Arab who volunteers for National Service] would be seen as an enemy to the Palestinian people.

"To prove his loyalty to the Palestinian cause, he would be forced to join the Palestinian resistance movement against Israel. I do not allow my young people to enlist in organizations that fight for the Palestinian cause. But do not expect me to allow them to join the Israeli cause," added Darwish, who heads what is considered to be the more moderate southern wing of the Islamic Movement, created in the late 1990s.
If an easily-identifiable group decides to identify with a nation's enemies, what nation would treat them equally?

Even with the existence of a hostile, anti-state minority, Israel tries to bend over backwards to accommodate them, although Kadima at least seems to be a bit impatient:
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter christened the first Kadima chapter in the none-Jewish sector Sunday, in the northern city of Shfaram.

"Even if they (heads of the Israeli-Arab community) choose not to celebrate our 60th anniversary, they will celebrate our 70th and 80th anniversaries, simply because we and the Muslim and Druze and Circassian and Christian citizens have no other country. It is as much theirs as it is ours," said Dichter.

When asked when he thought about the Israeli-Arab sector commemorating the "Nakba" – meaning the "catastrophe" of the establishment of State of Israel – every year, Dichter repeated his early statement, saying that the continuance use of such terminology is not in the sector's best interest.

"Anyone crying over the Nakba year after year can't be surprised if they end up with one… the Nakba won't give anyone better education or create new jobs."

Kadima, he added, rejects any kind of radicalism: "Any talk of transferring Israeli-Arab citizens to the Palestinian Authority is nothing but pure nonsense."
Contrast this with something else that happened this weekend:
President Shimon Peres and Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger met with Druse leaders in the western Galilee Sunday as part of the Id al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) celebrations.

Peres said that the state of Israel was proud of the Druse's contribution.

"Among Druse there is 0% draft dodging and 100% dedication to Israel's security," the president said. He said that 54% volunteered for combat duty.

Metzger said that "we are not just brothers in arms, we are brothers in peace and coexistence and love. I come to you with a request that you allow every person to live among you in peace. If a Druse comes to Tel Aviv to live, I will accept him with a blessing. If a Jew comes to Peki'in, accept him in a similar way."

Metzger was referring to a violent incident staged by residents of the Druse village of Peki'in against Jewish residents there.
It sure seems strange that the chief rabbis and president of a "racist state" celebrate a major Muslim holiday with some of its non-Jewish citizens.

Can the difference between how the the Druze and Israeli Arabs are treated have more to do with how they themselves act (despite the Peki'in incidents that chased 9 Jewish families from the town) and not as much to do with the supposed Israeli "racism"?

UPDATE: Treppenwitz has a great post on this same topic.