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I was very pleased to find in Haaretz, the two opinion articles dealing with the subject of trading territory in Israel populated by Arab citizens of Israel, for the land on which there are large Israeli settlements that lie within Judea & Samaria (“The Territories”).
The idea that we would trade to a Palestinian state lands congruent to it, on which live exclusively Arabs citizens of Israel is one that has been on the table for several years now. When this proposal was first raised it was met by a resounding NO by the Arab citizens of Israel.
Personally I am in favor of such an arrangement and believe that the issue is a valid and important one to be placed in the arena of discussion now. I believe that there is a tremendous need within the community of Arabs living as citizens in Israel to more honestly face whatever positive elements may be part of the motivation for their desire to remain Israeli citizens. That is, IF there is anything positive about living in this Jewish state.
For many years now we the Jewish citizens have been treated year ofter year to an endless parade of militant hate-filled foul mouth official representatives of our Arab community elected to our parliament. I have not heard one positive statement regarding this state from any of them. Why on earth would they want to continue being part of this body politic, is a question they must answer to themselves. It would be wise on their part to provide an answer to us as well.
I have yet to hear any meaningful or substantial objections to this idea by them. The main thrust of the objections so far seem to be that they feel insulted that the Jewish majority would consider such an idea. That it is an insult to their community. They maintain that they have a legal right to Israeli citizenship and intend to hold on to that status and that we, the majority, have no right to take it from them.
Yet, we, the Jewish majority, are entitled to know why Israeli Arabs, who now identify themselves as Palestinians first and foremost (as is their right) would prefer to remain second class citizens and politically identified with the Jewish state which they experience as discriminatory and racist, when they are offered the opportunity to become first class citizens of their own country.
My question is; if things are so bad, if there is such resentment towards the symbols of the state, the flag, the anthem etc why would the Arab community hesitate much less reject the idea of joining with their brothers across the Green Line in the Palestinian State to be. ESPECIALLY if they would remain in their villages, farms and community. They themselves would not move, only a boundary line would mark the difference between where they now live and their future political/national status under this plan.
Everything would essentially remain as it is now, except for those hated symbols of the Jewish state which would be replaced with the symbols of their beloved Palestinian state. I imagine these would be symbols of pride and honor for them.
It seems to me and many other Israeli Jews that our generous social benefits must be a significant if not exclusive motivational factor in their desire to remain second class citizens in the State of Israel.