Yesterday, the Boston Globe decided to observe Israel’s 60th birthday by discussing what it’s like to be an Arab living in Israel. And to no one’s great surprise who reads the Glob, it’s full of complaints about how tough things are for them, and how a Palestinian state just might make it all better.
The one thing I find missing from the story is context. It dwells on the challenges Arab Israelis face, and has a little bit of a fantasy about a Palestinian state, but that’s where it stops. I thought it might be educational to expand on the article, and look at some other circumstances these Israeli Arabs might find themselves.
Being a Palestinian in another Arab nation: they’re denied citizenship, as well as a great deal of other rights (employment and land-ownership restrictions come to mind as among the most common.) Palestinians are held in “refugee camps” (which often resemble towns and cities than traditional notions of camps) and deliberately kept in a deprived state to they can continue to be used as clubs against Israel whenever they feel the need to justify their Jew-hating, genocidal instincts.
That’s just a generalization. For more specifics, look at Lebanon: they are the puppets and human shields (willing or not) of Hezbollah. The camps are supposed to be weapons-free zones, but much like we’ve discovered here in the US, that merely means that anyone who chooses to ignore the rules ends up literally having the literal power of life and death over those who do abide by them. In Lebanon, the army has had to “invade” at least one camp in one recent years in an attempt to root out the terrorists, and Hezbollah is thisclose to overthrowing the government — all in the name of “helping” the Palestinians, of course.
(Lebanon’s situation is probably worthy of another posting, but I digress.)
In Jordan, Palestinians are a smidgen better, but many Jordanians have memories of Black September, when Yassir Arafat led an insurrection against his Jordanian hosts in a clash that led to thousands of deaths.
I don’t think there’s a single Arab nation that has embraced their Palestinian brethren, offering them citizenship and a chance to start anew. Instead, they keep them as perpetual victims, sentencing generation after generation to wait in abject deprivation until the Arab nations can keep their promise made in 1948 to “drive the Jews into the sea” and give the land to the Palestinians. If fact, the Arab League has banned any member nation from offering Palestinians citizenship.
Being a Palestinian living under Palestinian rule. This is probably the truest representation of how the mythical “Palestinian state” might look.
There are two competing models of Palestinian self-governance. In the West Bank, Palestinians live under the rule of Fatah, the corrupt, kleptocratic terrorists run the show. In the Gaza Strip, the radical Islamist terrorists of Hamas run the show. So, the choices are between the greedy, nationalist, brutal terrorists and the religious, nationalist, even more brutal terrorists — both of whom have been duly elected in free and fair elections by the Palestinian people.
And just for the hell of it, let’s look at one other set of circumstances:
Being a Jew in an Arab nation.
Well, according to the CIA World Factbook, there are some “tiny communities” in three cities in Syria, but Israel’s other neighbors — Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt — are utterly Judenfrei. In Iran, the Jewish community is pretty much a hostage to the government.
So to go back to the Glob’s original point: yeah, it seems kind of rough to be an Arab in Israel. But they at least have citizenship, can participate and be elected to government, and in general enjoy far more rights as citizens than they can in Palestinian-controlled territories or any of their brethren nations.
Gee, I wonder why the Glob didn’t look into any of these things?