Arabs in Israel

Traditionally Israeli Arabs have stayed out of terrorist activities. I can't speak for all the reasons this has been the case but mostly I suspect it's because they are scared of leaving Israel. Israel is a deeply biased society that treats its Arab citizens badly. They are discriminated against on every level. Each year a report from someone or another is released illustrating yet again that Arab citizens receive less government funding per capita than Jewish citizens, they are discriminated against in employment, discriminated against in house, get a worse education, etc. That Israel is party to such discrimination is a deep and lasting mark of shame on Israel. Something Israel needs to answer for to the world.

Yet, Israel provides Palestinians a material quality of life far higher than they can get any where else in the Arab world. More even than that Arab citizens are just that, citizens. They have the right to vote, form parties, etc. Legally speaking (in theory anyway) there is no difference between an Arab and Jewish Israeli. None of this excuses Israel's treatment of its own citizens. But in the middle of a bloody awful war of attrition most Israelis are not willing to overly concern themselves with the details of everyday Arab life in Israel. That all having been said the relationship of Jew to Arab in Israel has been predicated on Israeli Arabs not involving themselves in terror or more generally becoming a fifth column. That relationship now appears to possibly be breaking down.

My main concern is not so much that many Arab Israelis will start becoming part of terrorist attacks as much as many Jewish groups latching onto the growing figures as an excuse to make the lot of Israeli Arab citizens much worse. Collective punishment, in lieu of any other effective mechanism, is Israeli government policy. The threats to strip Israeli Arabs of their citizenship is a potent one and its possible abuses are obvious. Israel is going to have to find a way to be a state of all of its citizens. Discrimination against any of its citizens must stop.

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