Radicalization of Israeli Arabs is a real threat

This is not an isolated incident:

Tel Aviv district Court on Thursday convicted Ashraf Keisi, a 28-year-old Israeli Arab from Baka al-Gharbiya of five counts of murder and dozens of attempted murders for his part in a suicide attack at a Tel Aviv club, the “Stage”, in February 2005, which killed five people and injured fifty more…

“There is no dispute over the fact that he drove the terrorist and even assisted in choosing the site,” the judges wrote in the ruling. “Not only did he not thwart the attack, as he easily could have done, but he associated with [terrorists]…and had a significant part in the attack.” — Jerusalem Post

I spoke to a former member of the Israel Police’s Yamam counter-terrorism unit. During the early part of the second intifada, there was a flood of suicide bombings and attempts. Most of the bombers were intercepted before reaching their targets, but of course some got through, causing much death and destruction.

In more than a few cases, the bomber was taken to his final destination by an Israeli Arab citizen, with Israeli license plates on his vehicle (cars registered in the territories have distinctive plates which might arouse suspicion).

The growing radicalization of the Israeli Arab population is as dangerous to Israel as the Iranian nuclear program, although not as exciting. The solution does not lie either in appeasement of their demands, which will never be enough to satisfy them, or in expelling them, which would be both immoral and impossible.

In my opinion the only solution is for Israel to thoroughly defeat her external enemies — Hamas, Hezbollah, and perhaps Syria and Iran — so that there will not be external sources for subversion and financing of internal rebellion.

Israel also needs to be careful to ensure that law abiding Arab citizens of Israel have their civil rights protected and are treated fairly. This does not include meeting demands for what I’ve called ‘national aspirations’, which are entirely different from civil rights.

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