/ Jimmy's Corner: Pretty smart questions!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006 

Pretty smart questions!

In a very great debate I participated it lately I was asked a number of very smart questions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. The questions are meant show that Israel is taking a more tolerant attitude towards Arabs while Arabs are taking a less tolerant one. I thought I should submit the questions and how I answered them on my blog. Just read the questions and the answers and you might have an idea or a thought about them, participate and add your comments.

How many Arabs in the Knesset and the Israeli Supreme Court?
and how many Jews in any Arab government?

There are ten Israeli Arabs sitting as members of the 16th Knesset (there are a total of 120 seats), and there is currently an Arab judge (Justice Salim Jubran) sitting in the Israeli Supreme Court. (source Wikipedia).
Does this mean that Israel is really taking a more tolerant democratic attitude towards the Israeli Arabs? Well, from the same source I thought I should add this:

Discrimination

According to the 2004 U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied territories, the Israeli government "did little to reduce institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against the country's Arab citizens."[15]

Examples of what the State Department report found include the following:

* According to the report, Muslims enjoy full freedom of religion and government "did not affect the rights of Muslims to practice their faith" according to "Legislation enacted in 1961 afforded the Muslim courts exclusive jurisdiction to rule in matters of personal status concerning Muslims. Secular courts have primacy over questions of inheritance, but parties, by mutual agreement, may bring cases to religious courts. Muslims, since 2001, also have the right to bring matters such as alimony and property division associated with divorce cases to civil courts in family-status matters."

* "According to a 2003 Haifa University study, a tendency existed to impose heavier prison terms to Arab citizens than to Jewish citizens. Human rights advocates claimed that Arab citizens were more likely to be convicted of murder and to have been denied bail."

* "government spending on children was proportionally lower in predominantly Arab areas than in Jewish areas. ... According to the Government's February 2002 report to the U.N., government investment per Arab pupil was approximately 60 percent of investment per Jewish pupil. ... According to Human Rights Watch, during the year, the Government provided 1 teacher for every 16 Jewish primary school children compared to 1 teacher for every 19.7 Arab children."

* "The Orr Commission of Inquiry's report ... stated that the 'Government handling of the Arab sector has been primarily neglectful and discriminatory,' that the Government 'did not show sufficient sensitivity to the needs of the Arab population, and did not take enough action to allocate state resources in an equal manner.' As a result, 'serious distress prevailed in the Arab sector in various areas. Evidence of distress included poverty, unemployment, a shortage of land, serious problems in the education system, and substantially defective infrastructure.'"

* "In November, the Israeli-Arab advocacy NGO Sikkuy's annual report stated that 45 percent of Arab families were poor, in contrast to 15 percent of Jewish families, and that the rate of infant mortality in the Arab sector was 8 out of 1,000 births--twice that of the Jewish population."

* "According to a report by Mossawa, racist violence against Arab citizens has increased, and the Government has not done enough to prevent this problem. The annual report cited 17 acts of violence by Jewish citizens against Arab citizens. ... A Haifa University poll released in June revealed that over 63 percent of Jews believed that the Government should encourage Israeli Arabs to emigrate."

* "Approximately 93 percent of land in the country was public domain, including that owned by the state and some 12.5 percent owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). All public land by law may only be leased, not sold. The JNF's statutes prohibit the sale or lease of land to non-Jews. In October, civil rights groups petitioned the High Court of Justice claiming that a bid announcement by the Israel Land Administration (ILA) involving JNF land was discriminatory in that it banned Arabs from bidding."

* "Israeli-Arab advocacy organizations have challenged the Government's policy of demolishing illegal buildings in the Arab sector, and claimed that the Government was more restrictive in issuing building permits in Arab communities than in Jewish communities, thereby not accommodating natural growth. In February, security forces demolished several homes allegedly built without authorization in the Arab village of Beineh."

* "In June, the Supreme Court ruled that omitting Arab towns from specific government social and economic plans is discriminatory. This judgment builds on previous assessments of disadvantages suffered by Arab Israelis."

* "Israeli-Arab organizations have challenged as discriminatory the 1996 "Master Plan for the Northern Areas of Israel," which listed as priority goals increasing the Galilee's Jewish population and blocking the territorial contiguity of Arab towns."

* "Israeli Arabs were underrepresented in the student bodies and faculties of most universities and in higher professional and business ranks. The Bureau of Statistics noted that the median number of school years for the Jewish population is 3 years more than for the Arab population. Well educated Arabs often were unable to find jobs commensurate with their level of education. According to Sikkuy, Arab citizens held approximately 60 to 70 of the country's 5,000 university faculty positions."

* "Israeli Arabs were not required to perform mandatory military service and, in practice, only a small percentage of Israeli Arabs served in the military. Those who did not serve in the army had less access than other citizens to social and economic benefits for which military service was a prerequisite or an advantage, such as housing, new-household subsidies, and employment, especially government or security-related industrial employment. Regarding the latter, for security reasons, Israeli Arabs generally were restricted from working in companies with defense contracts or in security-related fields. In December, the Ivri Committee on National Service issued official recommendations to the Government that Israel Arabs not be compelled to perform national or "civic" service, but be afforded an opportunity to perform such service". (source Wikipedia)
As for how many Jews in any Arab government, there sounds to be a missing fact that early Israeli government worked on inviting and importing all Easter Jews to come to Israel to make the Israeli population of the new born country go bigger quickly. Consequently, after the establishment of Israel most of the Arab Jews imigrated to Israel, considering themselves Israelis and even working for the Musad. Read about the story of Jews migrating to Israel and you would know why there are no Jew members in Arab governments, simply because there are no Jews. Most of them migrated to Israel and are Israelis... Should Arab goverments (who are already corrupt enough) call Israelis of eastern origins to come have positions in countries they don't live in? Its like calling Bin Laden to have position in the Congress.

Same story with Palestinian Jews. After the establishment of Israel they were considered and considerd themselves as Israelis. Look at Wikipedia your own source of info.

Since the creation of Israel, this encompassing of native Palestinian Jews has practically ceased among Israelis, as native Palestinian Jews are now simply identified - and most identify themselves - as "Israelis"... (source Wikipedia)
That was the way I answered... what about you?

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