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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Israeli Arabs not anti-Israel like you (and I) thought they were

In Tuesday's JPost, Caroline Glick surveys the current state of affairs between Israel and its Arab population and reaches the surprising conclusion that with the possible exception of Arab Muslims, most Israeli Arabs support the State of Israel.
While their intimidation efforts have been successful, it is far from clear that their indoctrination efforts have won over the Israeli Arabs. Recently, the government announced its intention to encourage Israeli Arabs who don't serve in the military to perform national service. The organized Israeli Arab leadership has worked studiously to undermine the program.

Yet a poll carried out by University of Haifa last month revealed that 75 percent of Israeli Arabs between the ages of 16 and 22 support voluntary national service. The poll also found that the vast majority of the Arab public is unaware of the national service. 77.4 percent overall and 79.6 percent of youth said they know little or nothing about the program. Moreover, the poll found that once given basic information about conditions in the national service and its goals, not only were Israeli Arab youth supportive of the idea, but so were 71.9 percent of all Arab men and 83.8 percent of all Arab women. In contrast, some 80 percent of members of Arab political parties opposed national service.

Arens believes strongly that the government must launch a serious, directed hearts and minds campaign among Israeli Arabs. The very fact that nearly 80 percent of Israeli Arabs know nothing about the government's national service initiative is proof that the government is neglecting the Arab sector.

Arens contends that the place to direct such a campaign, at least in the short term, is among the Beduin. Israeli Beduin are the most impoverished ethnic group in Israel. Particularly in the South, they lack basic sanitation services. Their education system is appalling. And economic and academic opportunities for advancement are largely absent. Beduin who serve in the army receive no post-army assistance from the government.
What I don't understand is, if the Israeli Arabs are as pro-Israel as Glick depicts them, why do they keep returning the likes of Ahmad Tibi, Taleb a-Sanah and Azmi Bishara (who has fled the country) to the Knesset? Is someone looking to see whose slips they are placing in their ballot envelopes?

Read the whole thing.


At 6:17 AM, Blogger Dan said...

An obvious explanation is that Arabs who are not hostile to Israel vote for mainstream (primarily Jewish) parties, figuring that actually influencing government policy is better than bombastic anti-state grandstanding. That's presumably why Arab representation in the Knesset is considerably smaller than its percentage of the voting population.

At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The moment I hear that we have to "win hearts and minds" is when I know we're on an exercise in futility.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Abu Yossi said...

generally arabs who are anti-israel are the most politically active, vocal, etc. if, say, ahmed tibi is running for re-election, how would an arab candidate run as pro-israel and not be a rallying point for the anger (and all that entails) of the worst elements in his own community? being openly pro-israel within the arab community carries a huge price, not only for the individual, but also for the immediate and extended family. call it lazy or whatever, but it is just more practical on every level to be quietly pro-israel.

i'm not making a judgment call on the rightness or wrongness of the reasons why, but the "honor"-based arab community is what it is, and the revenge/payback element is usually the main deciding factor in issues like this. daily life is lived among crazy and perverted islamists and sooner or later they will deal with you if you get on their radar screen.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Arabs who are hostile to Israel vote for non-Zionist and anti-Zionist parties. I've come to the conclusion most of them should be removed from Israel since integration in the American sense is never going to work in Israel. At the present time, Israel spends millions on costly and redundant security measures due to the presence of Arabs within the country. Much of that could be eliminated if Israel no longer had to watch a million Arabs. What the peace process doesn't address is the fact that even if Israel goes back to the Green Line, the day after Israel will awake to a large Arab population inside the country. The conflict will simply be transferred from the meta-state to the meta-group level.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Nobody said...

national service is not a good indication because many of those israeli arabs who might be ready to take part in it, won't be ready to serve in the army ... at least as long as Israel remains a jewish state which means state symbols, immigration policies and so on ... there are israeli arabs who think that tibi and bishara are idiots, but this does not mean that they are israeli patriots .. if anything they are rooting for binational state ...


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