Israeli Arabs and Palestinian nationalism

Israel will need to face the question of how to respond to the growing Palestinian nationalism of her Arab citizens soon:

The Balad movement held a rally in support of former Knesset Member Azmi Bishara [see my previous posts here and here], who is under investigation for suspected collaboration with the enemy during the Second Lebanon War last summer…

“What is Bishara accused of? Collaborating with the enemy? Hizbullah isn’t our enemy, the Israeli occupation is the enemy. [PM Ehud] Olmert, [security service head Yuval] Diskin and [right-wing MK Avigdor] Lieberman the immigrant will not succeed in removing us from our land,” Hadash [Communist party] Secretary-General Ayman Auda said. — YNet

Another speaker was the head of the “Islamic Movement in Israel”, Sheikh Raed Salah. Salah, who recently incited Arabs to riot over the repairs to the Mughrabi Gate near the Temple mount, said that Israel was trying to expel Arab citizens from the state:

If the options before us are either to be kicked out or to die on this land – we will take the second option. We may be killed and jailed and we will not leave this land. At the end of the day, we will win…

As I’ve written before, there is a difference between guaranteeing equal rights to a minority and satisfying its nationalistic aspirations, especially when this nationalism directly contradicts the defining character of the state.

Israel is not going to kick the Arab minority out. But there are 22 Arab nations, 23 if you count the anarchic Palestinian state in Gaza. There is one Jewish state. Arab citizens of Israel will have to decide if they want to live as a minority in the Jewish state, where they may continue to demand equal rights (but not nationhood) or if they want to move to Palestine or another Arab nation. The option of continuing to live in Israel while fighting for its replacement by yet another an Arab state cannot be provided to them.

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One Response to “Israeli Arabs and Palestinian nationalism”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    Bishara does not come from nowhere. He was cultivated by the Israeli Jewish Left for years. His “Palestinianism’ was promoted and songs of Hallel were sung to him by the Meretz crowd.
    What happened to him is the product in part of an Israeli Jewish majority not knowing how to rule as a majority. We see this everywhere, in illegal Arab building not restrained, in turncoat Knesset members speaking the most vile anti- Israeli remarks abroad, in ‘Israeli Arabs’ inciting towards violence on the ‘Temple Mount.’
    All the benefits in economic social health terms which the Israeli( Palestinian) Arabs have from being Israelis are discounted by them when they work to undermine the State.
    If the Arab minority in Israel wishes to remain part of the State(and not be somehow negotiated to belonging politically to an Arab political entity) they have to change their fundamental attitude towards the Jewish state.
    As this seems unlikely the Jewish majority has to think of options for future negotiation in which the Arab minority will belong politically to another sovereignty , perhaps the Jordanian.