More dangerous than an Iranian bomb

Some Jewish students protested that the national anthem, Hatikvah, was not sung at the recent graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Law at Haifa University, as is customary (a Hebrew news item is here).

“Even at kindergarten graduations they sing Hatikvah,” a student said. “We were asked to stand to release balloons, but not to sing the national anthem,” he added.

The University has only said they are investigating the matter, but students suggest that the increased enrollment of Arab students is the reason. Many Arab citizens of Israel find the national anthem, the flag, and indeed the idea that Israel is a “Jewish state” objectionable.

These attitudes are reflected in the statements and actions of Arab members of the Knesset. Some, like Haneen Zouabi, are simply anti-state. In other countries, their actions might result in prosecution for treason. We could call Zouabi an ‘extremist’, but unfortunately her extremism is shared by a majority of Israeli Arabs (most prefer to call themselves ‘Palestinian citizens of Israel’ today):

According to a new survey by Haifa University, nearly two thirds of the Arab citizens of Israel believe Jews are a foreign imprint on the Middle East and are destined to be replaced by Palestinians. A similar number believes that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state. The 2010 Arab Jewish Relations Survey, compiled by Professor Sami Smoocha in collaboration with the Jewish-Arab Center at the University of Haifa, presents what its authors describe as a worrying decline in relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel over the past decade…

Among Arabs, 71 percent said they blamed Jews for the hardships suffered by Palestinians during and after the ‘Nakba’ in 1948. The survey also found that the percentage of Arabs taking part in ‘Nakba Day’ commemorations rose from 13 percent in 2003 to 36 percent in 2010. In addition, 38 percent of Arabs polled in the survey said they did not believe that millions of Jews had been victims in the Holocaust.

Arabs constitute about 20% of Israeli citizens. Note that this does not include residents of Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan (residents of the latter two had the option to accept Israeli citizenship but most declined).

Advocates for Israeli Arabs often claim that they do not have full civil rights. Although there are some benefits that they do not receive (for example, veterans’ benefits, since most do not serve in the army), they have full rights to vote and elect people like Zouabi to the Knesset, to employment and government-supported education, etc. It’s often pointed out that there is massive tax evasion in the Arab community, as well as mismanagement and corruption by local officials in Arab towns.

The question, however, is not one of civil rights. Even if every bit of ‘discrimination’ were removed from Israeli society — and I hate to use this word, reminiscent as it is of the civil rights movement in America which in no way resembles the situation in Israel — there would still be the ‘problem’ that Israel is a Jewish state with a Jewish flag and national anthem, as well as a Law of Return for Jews and not for Arabs.

There is simply no solution for Palestinian Arab nationalism within a Jewish state. And since nationalist feelings are growing, the conflict will get worse, not better.

There are those who are prepared to give up the idea of a Jewish state in favor of some kind of ‘democratic’ or binational state. There is no such successful state in the Middle East. The only officially multinational state in the region, Lebanon, has been a disaster — in my opinion because of Arab culture and Muslim ideology.

These options are even less practical for Israel, and I believe that their proponents are either disingenuous or incredibly naive. Such a state would be unstable, resulting either in another Arab state or a bloody civil war (or both). Even if it could be viable, it would be a tragedy, signifying the end of Zionism, and probably the end of the Jews as a distinct people.

Israel’s Jews need to face this issue head on. In the long run, this issue is potentially more dangerous to Jewish survival than an Iranian bomb.

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3 Responses to “More dangerous than an Iranian bomb”

  1. Lise Rosenthal says:

    Yes, just ask Brigitte Gabriel what a success the “binational state” of Lebanon is for non-Muslims!

  2. Robman says:

    And this article sums up precisely why I for one am against annexation of J&S.

    I am well aware of the problem described above. The last thing Israel needs is to double this population of recalcitrant, resentful quasi-citizens. The ones Israel would “acquire” by means of annexing J&S, as suggested more and more by commentators on the right such as Yoram Ettinger and Ted Belman, would be even worse, steeped as they are in PA propaganda, having it force-fed to them directly every day.

    If J&S were annexed, and Israel did NOT grant them citizenship, then the “apartheid” club would be used to beat Israel in the court of world opinion even worse than today.

    If J&S were annexed, and Israel grants them citizenship, well….SEE ABOVE (and then multiply political-cultural effects by a factor of 3).

    Also, if Israel annexes J&S absent some major, horrendous provocation – and there are many voices in Israel today talking about just such a “pre-emptive” annexation – then if you thought the world reaction to the Gaza flotilla incident last year was bad, that’ll be Disneyland compared to what would happen in this case. Sure, the IDF would win the shootout with “Dayton’s Army”, but the UN, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, AFP, BBC, NYT, etc., etc., would raise the most incredible stink imaginable, likely leading to a Chapter 7 UNSCR that would involve embargoes, sanctions, and so on. Exactly the “Rhodesia treatment” trap the Israel-basher crowd dreams about daily.

    I still think the Iranian bomb is more dangerous, though.

    Why? Well, if we had leadership here (in the U.S.) with a minimum of objectivity, guts, and integrity (we might get that in 2012, you never know), then Jordan can become “Palestine”, and all these disgruntled Palestinians in Israel will have someplace to go so they can stop whining.

    Whereas stopping Iran from getting a bomb involves a nasty, bloody war…and if they are not stopped before the mullahcracy can assemble an arsenal of say, 30 warheads on their IRBMs, then we get a regional holocaust that destroys Israel and the rest of the region, with perhaps 100 million dead in the first month alone. I’m not pulling those figures out of a hat, by the way…that was the kind of stuff I studied in grad school…I’ve looked at this problem in great detail. Really, that is what will happen, folks.

    I still say the Iranian bomb is worse….

  3. Shalom Freedman says:

    I would agree with Robman that a nuclear threat from Iran, or from another source is a far more horrific danger to Israel than the Arab fifth column within. But I would agree too with the position that the likelier danger is the one from within. Why? Because it is already here and happening. Because the twenty percent Arab minority is working in a number of different ways already within Israel to undermine the Jewish state. But it is not only Raed Salah and his Northern Movement , radical Islamization of the Arab population that is the danger. It is not only the openly disloyal Arab members of the Knesset. There is an imbalance demographically and the Arab population is much younger than the Jewish population especially if one excludes the largely non- productive and non- contributing to the State Haredi population. More and more Arabs are moving into the ages of responsibility while more and more Jews are going to collect their pensions. There are other aspects of the problems related to the Arab minority. The Bedouin in the Negev, the illegal building on state lands, the disproportionately large numbers of Arabs involved in all crimes of violence, the alliance between the anti- Israel Arabs and the radical Left etc.
    No matter which way it is looked at the future of Israel is one in which there will be for the Jewish state , difficulty and struggle.