Saturday, January 26, 2008

'THE LAST OF THE ISRAELI ARABS'

By DesertPeace ∙ January 26, 2008

(Ben Heine © Cartoons)
“I am an Israeli Arab”…. those words were said to me about ten years ago by my very dearest and closest friend. My response was…. “If that’s the case then I am a Jewish Palestinian”. My statement seemed to make as much sense (or not) as his did…. but things have changed.

Today one does not hear the term ‘Israeli Arab’ as often as one did ten years ago…. today there is a stronger identification with the Palestinian people and with Palestine itself.

One might ask why that is… there are many reasons. Firstly is the second class status that the Israeli Arab has endured while maintaining Israeli citizenship. He has been treated no differently than Palestinians living in the occupied areas. His villages suffered during Israel’s war with Lebanon last year but compensation for damaged property or lost wages have not yet come to light.Also keep in mind that ‘Arab Israeli’ villages and neighbourhoods are in many cases walled in or surrounded by electrified fences. This is to let the locals know that they are not viewed any differently from the Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank. They are seen as a threat to Israeli society…. which is interesting if you are aware of the following seen in THIS video produced by my Brother Haitham.

Or we have THIS short video showing the true colours of a racist Israel soldier… After watching both of these videos, one has to ask who is a threat to whom…. the answer is obvious.

Then we come to still another section of the ‘Israeli Arab’, the Bedouins…

Bedouins living in the Negev, another area within Israel are constantly suffering under the yolk of zionist tyranny. For the most part, these Bedouins serve in the Israeli army, giving their all to the Jewish state. In return they return to their homes only to see their entire village bulldozed to make way for an Israeli road or an irrigation system. They are denied medical care in many of their villages and worse yet, many have been moved close to nuclear facilities where the radiation is slowly killing them off. THIS link has much information about the plight of the Negev Bedouin population. Needless to say. fewer of these Bedouins find themselves identifying themselves as Israelis, they are Palestinians.

Last, but not least, let’s not overlook the treatment given to representatives elected to the Israeli Knesset by the Arab electorate. Does the name Azmi Bishara ring a bell? Did we forget the hounding he received from the government, the forced exile he is still under to escape punishment for crimes he did not commit… he is but one example, but the most recent one.

Despite all of the above, there is a small section of Palestinians that one can rightfully refer to as Israeli Arabs. They are a small band of collaborators led by one Mahmoud Abbas, the former President of Palestine. Again, despite the above, despite the present siege of Gaza, they still see themselves as leaders of the Palestinian people. Tomorrow they will be meeting with representatives of the Israeli government to ‘discuss’ the events in Gaza. It’s too damn late for those discussions. What is needed are immediate actions to end the siege and to restore calm to the million and a half people whose very lives are at stake at the moment.

A convoy arrived this morning at Gaza to deliver essential materials…. the following was the only bit of news I could find so far on this action… Israeli forces turn away aid convoy at Erez Crossing

So bottom line is that the concept of an Israeli Arab is nothing but a myth, unless you are a member of Abbas’ cabinet.

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