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Conservatives Go After Arab Israelis

Posted on May 27, 2009

With extremists such as Avigdor Lieberman on the rise in Israeli politics, the Arabs who make up about one-fifth of the country’s population are newly vulnerable.

Feeling their power, Israel’s conservative parliamentarians are drafting laws that appear to target Arab citizens, causing both allies and civil libertarians to cringe. One measure would create a loyalty oath, while another would punish any “call to negate Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state” with a year in jail.


MK Haim Oron (Meretz) attacked the proposal, saying “this insane government, what exactly are you doing? Creating a thought police? Have you run off the rails?”

Oron said that even though he disagrees with those who do not support Israel’s identity as a Jewish, democratic state, there is no reason to make it a criminal issue.

Civil rights activists have cautioned that this and other legislation threatens to curb the rights of Arab citizens.

Its approval on a preliminary reading showed how Israeli support for laws seen as targetting Israeli Arabs has grown since a right-wing government was sworn in after a February election.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 31, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

My error in phrasing. I knew they had made peace with Egypt.

Right now it is the Palestinians playing the Jews in Germany in the early to middle 1930’s in Germany. (Segregated into ghettos that are surrounded by a hostile force and keep them tied up and starving.) The extremists in Israel have their own Lebensraum and it was bad in Germany and for Germany when the Germans did it (for a Heligstat)and it is just as bad now for Israel and Israelis and their “Holy State.”

To me this is a national version of what happens when someone suffers torture and violence and if they don’t get therapy they will become that which was done to them. The wrong lessons learned. They are in need of national therapy as are all the nations around them. If not the whole world.

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By Sepharad, May 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt, The Israelis DID make peace with the Egyptians, as well as Jordan.

Hard to say what the Israelis would/will do if the Arabs insist on pushing them out of their homeland. I don’t think they will walk calmly into their deaths the cyclon $$“showers” as they did at the killing camps. At least I hope not. After the Munich attacks that killed 11 Israeli athletes while the rest of the Olympians were sunbathing then continued the games even as their holier, Golda Meier said “If they won’t share the world with us, we won’t share it with them.”

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By Night-Gaunt, May 29, 2009 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

I dare say that if any general or gov’t official in Israel at that time thought that would actually happen then the Sampson Option would be enacted and it would be another sad chapter in human history. A bookend so-to-speak of what has been going on there at least since 1948.

Israel could kill many Muslims with the estimated 200-400 warheads they probably have in stock. They may have other weapons of their own devising that could also kill many innocent people on all sides.

I think part of the problem is that the USA makes it too easy for Israel not to make peace like with Egypt with the other nations so that things can calm down.

If only the USA would stop the flow of money and tell Israel they need to solve their own problems maybe it might help for peace if it isn’t too late.

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By Sepharad, May 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, Jordanians are Palestinians in the same sense that Israeli Arabs are Palestinians—all were living in Palestine when the British gave a Hashemite king 78% of Palestine in exchange for his role in helping them defeat the Ottoman Turks. When the British later partitioned what was left of Palestine, allocating some to the Jews and some to the Arabs, the Jordanian king offered all the Arabs in the Jewish area full citizenship in Jordan along with the rest of the former Arabs of Palestine already living in Jordan. During the war to destroy Israel after it became an independent nation state, Jordan seized the West Bank and Egypt took Gaza. From then until the 1967 war, the Palestinians on the West Bank were essentially governed by the King of Jordan as were the rest of their brothers already living in Jordan. After the ‘67 war, Israel occupied areas from which they had been attacked—the West Bank, Gaza, the Sinai and the Golan Heights. (After making the peace treaty with Egypt, Israel returned the Sinai and the Gaza strip. but Egypt then as now didn’t want Gaza.

No one will drive the Palestinians into the sea—at their back they have 78% of Palestine (not counting the West Bank)and millions of Arabs, billions of Moslems.

I don’t think the King of Jordan would be happy to receive the Palestinian refugees—the last time he brought Palestinian refugees in, their militants (PLO) immediately began attacking from Jordanian soil. Not wishing to go to war with Israel, King Hussein turned his fierce and loyal Bedouin troops on the Palestinians and drove many of them along with the PLO away, mostly to Lebanon and Arafat all the way to Tunisia. But it is conceivable that he might be willing to give a portion of the East Bank area of the Jordan River to the Palestinians as long as it was separate from Jordan. This, combined with most of the West Bank, would give the Palestinians a a sufficiently large area for their state. Why would he consider it? To help stabilize the region AND his own country. 

In the long run, I fear that the Islamists will do to the Middle East what the skinheads hve done in their cultures: degrade and polarize and continue radicalizing more and more Moslems and in the end the Jews will be pushed from their very small coastal plain and desert into the sea ... but they will go neither easily nor alone.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 29, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Nice, but what would the Palestinians and Jordanians say about that arrangement? Remember the right of return only applies to Jews. Palestinians (Muslim and Christian) are losing by attrition including moving people out by the Israelis who then seize the land as their own by right. Then refuse their return to live in the shrinking lands of Palestine.

Personally I think that it is just a matter of time for when the Palestinians will be driven to the East Bank Jordan or into the sea by the Israelis.

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By Sepharad, May 29, 2009 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Sorry—missed two errors in my 12:22 previous post.

Paragraph 2, number 2), meant the right of return would turn Israel into a Moslem majority state.

Paragraph 4, mean that a small buffer zone should be retained by Israel on the edge of the West Bank but that the Palestinians should have a large hunk of the East Bank from Jordan, which is also part of former Palestine and already an Arab state.

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By Sepharad, May 29, 2009 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind has made all the arguments and distinctions that I would make. Most important because it’s usually misunderstood by people is that there is NO distinction between a predominantly Jewish state and a Zionist state. I personally would die for the continued survival of a predominantly Jewish state of Israel, and I am not unusual among secular Jews, including the Peace Now/Meretz (farthest left non-pacifist peace party dedicated to the Jewish state and the side-by-side Palestinian state. Of course I hope what I am doing to help Israel survive yet maintain most of our values will not require anything as extreme as dying; I love my family (and yes, horses) too much.

The basic problem we have with Netanyahu is that his father was a historian, Bibi absorbed all that history, and is determined to not usher in the next Holocaust, which underlies all of his thinking and policies. I see the same existential risks that he does but disagree extremely with his methods. There are only two points on which I am in agreement: 1) that a stable economic system and genuine education, not just madrassas, are vital to a successful Paletinian state (as are an army and police) and 2) that there can be no right of return, which would turn Israel into a majority state. Like many countries including the US, Israel needs an immigration quota system. Also essentially agree with Oz and Meretz that Israel should pay the Palestinians who remain refugees (now in the third generation) resettle, build their houses, and apologize to them by acknowledging their grandparents’ pain at being displaced during the war that followed Israel’s independence.

The loyalty oath is ridiculous even for Lieberman, as any fool knows that the real traitors would take the oath in a heartbeat while other people might object on any number of grounds. Treason itself is a different matter, as Inherit noted.

Although I expect to be pilloried for it on this site, to be perfectly honest I don’t think Israel should destroy whatever nuclear weaponry they have because that is the ONLY deterrent they have to prevent Iran from supplying Hezbollah and Hamas (and any other Islamist enemies of Israel) with tactical nuclear weapons. Also, while I still think Israel should not allow new settlements or outposts, given the current situation, I no longer believe that all of Judea and Samaria should be a Palestinian state but some retained by Israel and a much larger portion of old Palestine on the EAST bank. The issue of wells should also be decided fairly. (Obviously, what I believe or want has nothing to do with what will happen. Just want to stay honest—or what would the point be to posting at all?)

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By Inherit The Wind, May 29, 2009 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, May 29 at 12:11 am #

You don’t make a distinction, Inherit, between the state and the people.  I do.  I am in favor of destroying the Israeli state and forming a non-Zionist state for the predominantly Jewish population.  One that can live in concert with a Palestinian state.  The present state can’t; it is bent on ethnic cleansing, violence and oppression.

This seems contradictory.  I think if the Israeli people do something similar to what the American people did in 2008, namely CLEARLY rejecting Bush and Republicanism (let’s put aside for the moment whether Obama is fulfilling or breaking his promise of change), the Israeli state can move toward your ideal. BTW, what you advocate in this paragraph is nearly the same as what I advocate:  a predominantly Jewish state where the non-Jewish minorities have full citizenship rights including being President or Prime Minister, and live peacefully side-by-side with a Palestinian nation.

Only the “Right to Return” law would differ Jews from non-Jews.  But is this really so odd? 

The United States has ALWAYS set up regulations and quotas of who can come to the US and from where.  A colleague of mine is a Canadian citizen.  But under US immigration law he is STILL treated as an Indian, not a Canadian, because that was where he was born and must wait for both permanent resident status and consequently citizenship.  Refugees from the Soviet Bloc in the 80’s had NO problem getting “refugee” status but Black refugees from Haiti, or Latino refugees from “tame” dictatorships were declared “economic refugees” and sent back—to certain death.

ALL nations reserve the right to control immigration and set limits and quotas on the origins of those immigrants.  Israel is no different.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

It all depends on whether the courts have been corrupted by the same fascism that permeates the gov’t of Israel. The very same for the USA.

When the weapons fly, more things will happen under the cover of that. Like mass execution or forced removal of all Palestinians and the abduction of some people here who are a problem to the cabal running the USA. Maybe other bad things too like the de-funding of SS, Medicare and Medicaid due to “costs.”

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By Folktruther, May 28, 2009 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

You don’t make a distinction, Inherit, between the state and the people.  I do.  I am in favor of destroying the Israeli state and forming a non-Zionist state for the predominantly Jewish population.  One that can live in concert with a Palestinian state.  The present state can’t; it is bent on ethnic cleansing, violence and oppression.

I am also in favor of destroying the American powerstate, not only the govenement, but the corporations and the non-profit organs that the ruling class uses to rule.  That doesn’t mean, of course,  that I am in favor of destroying the American people, anymore than I am in favor of destroying the Israeli people.  But the powerstructures of these powerstaes have reached the end of their lifetime and new political forms are needed.

I don’t intentionally distort what you say, or what anyone says.  But Karl Marx and Ayn Rand have diferent perspectives, and we are coming from differnt ideological places.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 28, 2009 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, May 28 at 2:12 pm #

I’m in favor of treason, Inherit, when the powerstate that one is ruled by is despotic, barbaric and irrational.  I am in favor of the defeat of Israeli and American imperialism.  If this is treason, lets make the most of it.

Sometimes I cannot figure out if you are DELIBERATELY misunderstanding me or not.

Avigdor Lieberman is pushing for this law to force loyalty oaths, looking to tar all Arab Israelis as ipso fact traitors.  We BOTH agree this is an abomination. 

But OTOH, if there are Arab Israelis that are working to destroy the State of Israel by non-legal means, then they can be and should prosecuted for treason.  This is not the same as freedom of speech, which needs to be tolerant, even of highly offensive and inflammatory speech.

But for Arab Israelis to justify treason, requires that every legal avenue for them to have their legal rights has been exhausted.

Hopefully the Israeli courts WILL rule this new law illegal—they have ruled in favor of Arab Israeli citizens and Palestinians in the past.

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By mike112769, May 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

America won’t slap this down for one reason: if it plays well in Israel, it will play well in America.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 28, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Israel is going down a dark path and it is being assisted by its Sugar Daddy USA. Pronouncements against something but do nothing substantial against it means they actually supported it. They just wanted to give the appearance of being against it. A typical tactic that still fools people in the USA today. A bad habit of a people propagandized so heavily, constantly and for such a long term have no idea it is being done to them or that they are so deeply affected by it.

Such things are happening in Israel too. A smaller version of us it seems. A little more obvious but the effects and outcomes are the same. When will we hear that Israel has taken a punitive unprovoked attack on Iran over its nuclear research sites? Iran may not hit Israel directly but if it makes a nation wide effort to blockade and interfere with Israel’s survival it could easily escalate to nuclear weapons. All from Israel to Iran that is. Then what?

Oil shoots up maybe to $200-500 dollars a barrel. Sever shortages occur as many oil tankers are hit by Iran to kill the Jewish state and its sword of its military but to no avail since Israel will strike back. The USA will get involved and cause even more destruction. Iran will strike over seas US targets because they expect the US to be involved one way or another. So do I. So much for listening to Washington warned about “do not have intangling alliances…”

While internally Lieberman and those like him will purge the population of Arabs and have their own final solution to finish off their Palestinian ‘problem.’ Then the new Israeli state will be ready to send its own Storm Troopers out. They will spread the Mogen David till it becomes as hated as the Stars and Stripes, Swastika and Hammer and Sickle are to many peoples around the world. In the end this belligerence will bring down Israel, a sad thing really. It will bring us down too eventually. I believe every group should have their own nation-state. Size doesn’t matter.

And you thought things were too interesting and exciting now!

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By Folktruther, May 28, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

It’s about time, Inherit. And this intimidation of the Israeli Palestinians pales in comparison with blowing up the homes, destroying the economy, stealing the land, and killing and torturing Palestian kids.  But politically what actually detonates a change is often trivial compared to the underlying historial causes.  Nobody knows why.

I’m in favor of treason, Inherit, when the powerstate that one is ruled by is despotic, barbaric and irrational.  I am in favor of the defeat of Israeli and American imperialism.  If this is treason, lets make the most of it.

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By Spiritgirl, May 28, 2009 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

Once again tyranny of the majority by a tiny minority!  It is time for all countries of good will to divest from Israel until they calm down, come to the negotiation table and are willing to be fair and equitable to everyone!

This is exactly what happens when you allow the bully to go unchecked!  Exactly what part of this whole fiasco doesn’t remind the Israeli’s of what Hitler did them before WWII started!!  DIVEST FROM ISRAEL NOW!!!

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By Robert, May 28, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

“Israel Vows Continued Settlement Building as Obama, Abbas Meet

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits the White House today for his first meeting with President Obama since Obama’s inauguration. Ahead of Abbas’s arrival, the Obama administration renewed calls for Israel to stop settlement construction in the Occupied Territories. But Israeli officials, meanwhile, said they’ll continue expanding settlements to accommodate so-called “natural growth” amongst settler communities.

Israeli Figures Attribute Settlement Growth to Migration

Israel says it needs to keep building to meet the housing needs of growing settler families. But recent Israeli government statistics show a large percentage of settlement growth was caused by settlers moving in from outside the territories. Despite its call for a settlement freeze, the Obama administration has still refused to demand Israel dismantle any of the large settlements that carve up the West Bank and that the World Court has deemed illegal. In Ramallah, independent Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti called on the US to exert meaningful pressure on the Israeli government.

Mustafa Barghouti: “I believe that the Palestinian president should demand American immediate, clear-cut pressure on Israel. Without American pressure on Israel, there can be no progress for peace and there can be great threat to the idea of peace based on two-state solution.”

Report: Israel Taking Vast Majority of West Bank Water

A new World Bank study says Israel is now drawing four times as much water as Palestinians from a critical shared aquifer in the Occupied West Bank. Palestinians are taking just one-fifth of the water supply amidst a fifth consecutive drought this year.”

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By Jim Yell, May 28, 2009 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the Israeli right passes a law to make negarive speach a crime than for the first time in my life I will totally lose sympathy for what has until now been a largely admirable state in the middle east.

This was something that Bush/Cheney tried to encourage in America. It is wrong anywhere.

The minute this passes into law I will write my congress representitive and call for the end of support for Israel.

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By Ed Harges, May 28, 2009 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

ITW writes:

“Everywhere in the world you get assholes who think the way is to shut down all dissent and lock up anyone who questions you.  From the Bushites, to the Taliban, to Likud, it’s a universal affliction on all mankind.”

True: but in Israel, unlike America, the very definition of the state is guaranteed to run into conflict with essential democratic principles. Defining the state a priori in terms of a privileged ethnicity - to which a large portion of the nominal “citizens” don’t belong - guarantees that as the state matures, it will either forsake this principle and become a truer democracy, or forsake democratic principles and approach ever nearer to fascism tout simple.

In the US, one of the founding constitutional principles that had to go, because it could not coexist with democracy, was the “three-fifths clause”, which in effect institutionalized racially-based slavery as part of the definition of the country.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 28, 2009 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

True treason is treason and should be treated as such. I have no sympathy at all for traitors.

But you cannot root out treason with loyalty oaths and stripping native-born citizens of their rights.  You root out treason with a scalpel, not a chain saw or a sledge hammer.

I actually agree with Fadel on one thing: The government members proposing this are NOT “conservatives”.  They are fascists.

They shame Israel and all Jews and I would support our government VEHEMENTLY opposing these actions and and laying harsh sanctions on Israel until they are repealed.  Yes. For this cut off weapons and funding, and even trade.  If it continues, cut off the right to visit Israel—THAT will get the attention of folks here.

Everywhere in the world you get assholes who think the way is to shut down all dissent and lock up anyone who questions you.  From the Bushites, to the Taliban, to Likud, it’s a universal affliction on all mankind.

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By photoshock, May 28, 2009 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

The Arab Israelis who are now being discriminated against and targeted for discrimination, should rise up and peacefully demonstrate the fact that though they are Arabs they are still citizens of the rogue state of Israel. Israelis of conscience too, should also join them in this extremely important fight for the soul of Israel.
The extremists of the nation of Israel, have forgotten the discriminatory laws of Nazi Germany and have now started to institute the same laws and regulations, ‘in a democracy’ which are anathema to the ideals of democracy. This is not just about the Israeli-Arab population, it is about the soul of true democracy in the Middle East.
Should these laws pass, and pass they will, then America should cut every cent of aid and assistance off to the state of Israel. This would be the only way to get the attention of the government of Israel,
so that they will stop this madness of continuing the expansion of the settlements, discriminatory laws against their own citizens and the apartheid that the government of Israel has created for the citizens of Palestine.
I am not hopeful that the government of Israel will listen to reason and stop in the direction they are going, but money talks, especially to a country that is almost completely funded by the government of the U.S. We cannot allow the passage of these laws, they are at least discriminatory and at worst the beginning of the end of the state of Israel as a democracy. Avigdor Lieberman, the head of the party that has started all this trouble, should be removed from office as a racist and a bigot, I am surprised that the people of Israel, did not see through the mask of piety that he put forth. But even in America we were deceived and befuddled by the seemingly pious attitude of Duhhhhhhhhbya and his cohorts, who though using the language of faith, did not even believe the words that they were saying.
The soul of Israel, as a nation of recompense, is now and now more than ever at stake, because of the bigotry and ethnic cleansing that is about to take place.  No nation should be allowed to complete what these idiots and bigots are about to do.

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By Clonakilty32, May 28, 2009 at 3:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bastards!  Right wing conservative fundamentalism. It doesn’t take much to imagine how oppressive and discriminatory life could be here in America if Right wing idealists come to power and form a theocracy to govern.

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By Sepharad, May 27, 2009 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

I agree with the Meretz MK who suggested the government was going off the rails, as anyone should be able to say anything. On the other hand, true disloyalty (such as that of ex-MK Bishara, who fled Israel in ‘07 for Lebanon rather than face charges for assisting Hezbollah) should be punished. Hezbollah has hung some of the six Lebanese accused of being spies for Israel (others have escaped to Israel), but I don’t think Israel should execute Bishara for his collaboration—just put him in jail for whatever time is called for by the law.

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By diamond, May 27, 2009 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

So when do they have to start wearing a yellow crescent on their clothes?

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By Ed Harges, May 27, 2009 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

This is just more evidence that the ideological syphilis known as Zionism has brought Israel to the terminal stages of outright insanity and grotesque deformity.

And the US has been copulating recklessly with this diseased creature for decades. It’s probably too late for penicillin.

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By Folktruther, May 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

The worst of it is, Fadel, is that the Israeli population appears to be capitulating to this racism.
Even Uri Averny, who led a peace movment for long time courageously has gone to the right, and is now suspect. Some Israeli Jews are still holding out but they are increasingly isolated.

the Palestinians badly need some encouraging news.  And better weapons.

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

The word “conservatives” is too good and benign term to describe such types of Israelis. They are the fascist-thieves, remnants of the Nazi cancer, transplapted from Europe to a land they terrorized, occupied and permanently stole with the cowardly world looking, and the hated colonialist powers helping, supporting and cheer-leading.

One year prison term for those who say what I say here is relatively a light term and inconsequential for the Palestinian populations who have been in a big prison for over 60 years. However, those fascists’ thought is more consequential to the civilized people of the world (if any) who should remember the cancer implanted among the natives over sixty years ago!

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