Sunday, March 29, 2009

"... where they enjoy exactly the same rights as Jews"

Guess what I hate most in the picture below:


No, it's not Olmert. Well, yes, it's also him. He started two pointless wars killing 2,500 people, mostly noncombatants, and destroying productive infrastructure in a clear drive to collectively punish the Palestinians.

But Olmert will go, and discrimination against Arabs won't. While both Hebrew and Arabic are official languages in Israel, the "officialness" of the former is not equal to that of the latter. That's why the words, "Prime Minister's Office" are displayed in Hebrew but not in Arabic. To add insult to injury, they're translated into English, a foreign language. The right of English speakers to know where Olmert speaks from is put above the right of Israeli Arabs to feel part of the country.

Israeli Jews have the chutzpah to suggest Israeli Arabs should take loyalty oaths, and to decry their disaffection with the country. How about Israel being loyal to the people who were living there before Tel Aviv was founded, and giving them the treatment Canada gives to the Québécois, or that Belgium accords to the Flemish.

The claim that Arabs enjoy the same rights as Jews in Israel is pure nonsense. They have rights with the same names, but with a very different status.

40 comments:

pecto said...

Did you know Israeli gentiles can't have dual citizenship? If you're not Jewish, you must give up your previous citizenship to become Israeli. This is likely why few if any East Jerusalemites accepted the offer to become Israeli after 1967, if that was even for real.

andrew r said...

The heck? That was me.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

No, I didn't know -- but it doesn't surprise me in the least.

What about Israelis who go to live abroad? If they are Arab, do their descendants enjoy the right to Israeli citizenship?

andrew r said...

That bit I found out in Citizenship and the State by Uri Davis, which has a comparative look of Israel and the neighboring Arab states (and not the 'Israel produces more medical journals' kind of comparison). And sure enough, it's confirmed by Israel's Nationality Law.
http://www.geocities.com/savepalestinenow/israellaws/israellawchrono.htm

That's a good question. And it looks like art. 11 of the Nationality Law answers it. Staying abroad for seven years causes you and your children to lose nationality. We already know Jews have an open-ended right to be Israeli so the great-grandchildren of an Israeli Jew could be naturalized on their own power. The same wouldn't apply to an Arab.

andrew r said...

Hmm... might've made a mistake. Art. 11 applies to those naturalized under Art. 5, not art. 2 (olim) and art. 3 (gentiles who were Palestinian citizens). Given that art. 3 refers to the Registration of Inhabitants Law which raises its own ambiguity, I may need to pick up Davis again to see how Israeli gentiles were given citizenship (and he did say not every Israeli Arab had citizenship until the 80's).

Anonymous said...

http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0190/9001020.htm

'No Israeli nationality applies to all citizens, as does a US nationality in the United States.

Zionist uses of the term "nation," "national, " and "nationality" are indeed difficult to understand and to explain because they derive from concepts that are unfamiliar to Americans. Moreover, their true meanings are deliberately obscured by usually incorrect translations from Hebrew into English.

The prime example of deception, from which the others flow, is the accepted translation of Israel's Law of Citizenship as "Nationality " Law. In the original Hebrew text, the word is ezrahut, the correct translation is "citizenship."

It would not occur to the average English peaking observer to object to translating ezrahut as "nationality" because "citizenship" and "nationality" are interchangeable terms in the United States, as well as in most democratic societies. In Israel, however, they are two separate and very different statuses. Citizenship (ezrahut) may be held by Arabs as well as Jews while nationality (le'um), which bestows significantly greater rights than citizenship, may be claimed by Jews alone.

To refer to "Arab nationals," as this law does, is a deceptive translation of ezrahut, because Arabs or others who are not Jews cannot be "nationals" of Israel. Only Jews can be "nationals." Their nationality rights are granted by the Law of Return. No Israeli nationality applies to all citizens, as does a US nationality in the United States or French nationality in France, for example. In Israel, there is only a Jewish nationality. That non-Jews cannot qualify for nationality rights in the state of Israel was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1972 in a statement that there is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people.'

http://www.mediamonitors.net/mazin6.html

Levi9909 said...

I've often wondered this about the law of return. if a grandchild of mine took out israeli citizenship on the grounds that they have a jewish grandparent, would their children count as israeli under the law of return? they might count as being as israeli as israeli arabs and they might, in the words of the moderate/left candidate, Tzipi Livni, have to seek their national aspirations elsewhere. but i really don't know what the situation. i think israel is a perpetual state of population transfer whereby outsiders really do have more rights than those who are born there. I think that even applies to Jews that were born there.

Anonymous said...

"two pointless wars killing 2,500 people, mostly noncombatants, and destroying productive infrastructure in a clear drive to collectively punish the Palestinians."

Huh? What two wars to collectively punish the Palestinians? The Second Lebanon War was fought against, erm, the Lebanese Shiite terror cult Hezbollah. And most of the people killed were not civilians but armed terrorists. That's according to the UN's official report as well to the IDF. Does HB really take the casualty stats provided by Hamas and Hezbollah at face value? LOL

"While both Hebrew and Arabic are official languages in Israel, the "officialness" of the former is not equal to that of the latter."

Well obviously. Hebrew is the first language of Israel since it's the language of Israeli Jews and Israel is, you might know, a majority Jewish state. Arabic is an official language but it is obviously secondary in status to Hebrew. DUH.

Anonymous said...

"In Israel, however, they are two separate and very different statuses. Citizenship (ezrahut) may be held by Arabs as well as Jews while nationality (le'um), which bestows significantly greater rights than citizenship, may be claimed by Jews alone."

Care to elaborate on the "significantly greater rights" enjoyed by Jews in Israel? But of course you can't because this is complete hokum. Every Israeli passport holder regardless of religion and ethnicity is equal in the eyes of the law. The rules for acquiring citizenship are of course different for Jews since the whole point of Israel is to get Jews to go to their homeland, but once you are an Israeli citizen their is ZERO difference between Israeli Arab or Israeli Jew.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

once you are an Israeli citizen their is ZERO difference between Israeli Arab or Israeli Jew

The problem is, my dear Anonymous, that Israeli officials, from house demolishers to airport inspectors, enjoy ample discretionary powers that allow them to exercise discrimination against the Arabs even if this is not encoded in a piece of legislation.

For instance, if you're a Bedouin who illegally built a house in the Negev, your house will be demolished. If, on the other hand, you're a Jew who illegally built a house in Ofra, your house won't be demolished. Of course, there's no law stating "Arab houses will be demolished and Jewish houses won't." It's the officials who carry out the discrimination through their arbitrary decisions. See here.

Anonymous said...

"It's the officials who carry out the discrimination through their arbitrary decisions."

This happens in every democracy in a myriad of situations. And Israeli Arab citizens, like all citizens of Isrel, can take the State to Court where they often win. For exampl, the Israeli courts have blocked hundred of housing demolitions and significantly altered other Israeli policies. There is NO evidence to argue that there is systemic descrimination against Israeli Arabs in any area, including the issuance of housing permits and demolitions. In fact, Israel issues proportionally more housing permits to its Arab citizens than to its Jewish citizens (makes sense: they have bigger families and need to expand their houses more.) This is why the Jewish Land Fund is so concerned that they've begun purchasing land and building houses on it for Jewish immigrants. Look at the statistics. You don't know what you're talking about.

andrew r said...

Why do some people feel compelled to cover for Israel?

According to the Absentees Property Law, an Arab who possessed Palestinian citizenship and fled for an Arab state can't be Israeli. But Jews from these same countries can be. Israel systematically stripped 0.75 million people and their descendants of citizenship, so it could have a certain ethnic majority.

Even if Israeli citizens were technically equal before the law, there is a whole category of people called 'absentees' who have their property confiscated by the state.

But the Absentee Property Law extends the classification to Israeli citizens:

(iii) was a Palestinian citizen and left his ordinary place of residence in Palestine

* (a) for a place outside Palestine before the 27th Av, 5708 (1st September, 1948); or
* (b) for a place in Palestine held at the time by forces which sought to prevent the establishment of the State of Israel or which fought against it after its establishment;

Thus we have the present-absentee designation, Israelis who can vote but can't live in their own house or conduct their own rural way of life.

That's one example of how Israel enshrines inequality in plain black and white.

Now spend some time reading Uri Davis' site and remember, you can think we're stupid, just don't talk to us like we are.
http://www.uridavis.info/

http://www.geocities.com/savepalestinenow/israellaws/fulltext/absenteepropertylaw.htm

Anonymous said...

Andrew R. you are arguing about the citizenship status of the descendents of Arab refugees from 1948. This has nothing to do with the equality of Israeli citizens under the law.

You write: "Even if Israeli citizens were technically equal before the law, there is a whole category of people called 'absentees' who have their property confiscated by the state."

Again, you miss the point. The absentees are NOT citizens. If they were they'd have equal protection. But Israel, for very good reasons, refuses to grant any descendent of Arab refugees. On the other hand. as the Jewish State Israel has an obligation to provide citizenship upon demand for any Jew from anywhere in the world so that they can return home.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Again, you miss the point. The absentees are NOT citizens. If they were they'd have equal protection.

Crap! Pure and absolute crap!

The Arabs of Iqrit and Birim, who are Israeli citizens, are "present absentees." They were expelled in the 1946 war by the IDF, which gave them a written promise that they would be allowed back after the war ended.

The promise was never delivered, and the villagers took to the case to the High Court, which denied them the right of return to their villages on the grounds that this would encourage other Palestinian refugees to make similar claims.

Here we have a case of the State failing to abide by its written commitments to the Arabs. Tell me of a single case of Jews similarly harmed by the State of Israel.

Anonymous said...

Yusuf, screaming in desperation:

"Crap! Pure and absolute crap!"

Haha, you just proved my point, Moin Crappiste. Those Arabs you mention are NOT, and have never been nor will never hopefully be, "citizens".

If they were citizens, they'd be subject to all the benefits and blessings offered by the State of Israel.

Instead, they are considered as refugees by their so-called "Arab brothers", simply because they are the descendants of Arab refugees.

You find me a single recognized Israeli citizen who does not have equal rights, and I as a Jew will gladly burn my passport in front of him/her. But it will never happen because it's just an antisemitic canard.

Seriously, just find me one and I'll burn my Israeli passport in public and tell every passing person how I'm a disillusioned Jew. My email address is berlin9000 at hotmail. Com'on. I dare you...

Anonymous said...

"Here we have a case of the State failing to abide by its written commitments to the Arabs. Tell me of a single case of Jews similarly harmed by the State of Israel."

This is so obvious it's almost funny. What you are complaining about is the treatment of non-citzens in their citiznship application process. Obviously, Arabs are not treated the same as Jews in the immigration procedures to the State of Israel. Neither are Germans. Or Poles. Or Japanese.

The whole point is a JEWISH STATE. That is what Israel was meant to be. That is what it always was, what it is, and what it always will be.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Alberto Yusuf, there are more than 1 million Arab passport holders in the State of Israel. Clearly, they are not as squeamish as you are about being associated with the Jewish State...

andrew r said...

Anon, try reading the whole thing I quoted, like, the highlighted part? The absentee designation is extended to refugees AND Israeli citizens alike!

And it's already been explained further up this thread that Israeli Jews can have dual citizenship, but non-Jews can't.

This is just a little prima facie evidence that Israelis aren't equal before the law.

You say that once an Israeli citizen is a citizen they are treated equal, but if some Israelis can't be the citizen of another country once they are Israeli, that's not equal treatment now, is it.

andrew r said...

Also Anon, you are missing the point re: the refugee absentees in that they were citizens of the British Mandate Palestine and were stripped of that citizenship by Israel, while Jews weren't. And if you read UNGA 181, the partition that the Jewish Agency supposedly agreed to, that resolution did not authorize a mass de-nationalization.

So yes, Israel treated the refugees unequally as citizens by denationalizing them to begin with.

andrew r said...

I even read it so you don't have to

"Chapter 3: Citizenship, International Conventions and Financial Obligations

1. Citizenship Palestinian citizens residing in Palestine outside the City of Jerusalem, as well as Arabs and Jews who, not holding Palestinian citizenship, reside in Palestine outside the City of Jerusalem shall, upon the recognition of independence, become citizens of the State in which they are resident and enjoy full civil and political rights."

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

This is the partition that Zionist historiography says only one side agreed to.

andrew r said...

One more thing anon. Whenever someone twigs that mentioning Israel has over a million Arab citizens is supposed to shut us up, put us at a loss for words, turn us into blithering idiots, I can only think they just gave an excellent argument for a bi-national state. If Arabs were such a hive mind intent on driving the Jews into the sea, one million would be too many anyway. And since Israel will not finalize its borders, it actually has an equal Jewish and Arab population anyway.

And that's before considering the identity politics of Israeli Jews from the Arab world.

Anonymous said...

"So yes, Israel treated the refugees unequally as citizens by denationalizing them to begin with."

You are a funny dude. "Denationalized"? But they were NEVER citizens in the first place of the State of Israel (or any other state for that matter)! You cannot denationalize non-citizens. It is technically and logically impossible.

"And it's already been explained further up this thread that Israeli Jews can have dual citizenship, but non-Jews can't."

This is simply factually incorrect. You just don't know what you're talkng about. Of course, Israeli Arabs can be dual citizens. Just not of Arab states which are refuse to make peace with Israel. But then again Israeli Jews cannot be so either. So once again, there is pure equality before the law in israel regardless of religion, ethnicity or anything else. I recommend you delve into this more deeply. if you do you will see that there your anti-Israel prejudice is 100% unfounded. There is simply no basis to impute any descrimination between citizens of the Jewish State.

Anonymous said...

"bi-national state"

HA HA HA

There are two dozen Arab States, hundreds of Christian and Moslem ones, yet the world's only Jewish State is supposed to dissolve itself to become "binational"? When Saudi Arabia becomes "binational" I'm sure Israel will do the same.

This is a bad joke.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

There is simply no basis to impute any descrimination between citizens of the Jewish State.

As I said before, the discrimination is not encoded in any piece of legislation; it is carried out by the officials through their ample discretionary powers.

Case in point, the military service. There's NO law, absolutely NO law, saying that the Arabs won't serve. The law simply says that the military authority of every city town & village has the right to draft people into the Army. By mere coincidence, they draft only the Jews and the tiny Druse community. Christian and Muslim Arabs are not drafted. That's discrimination based on religion in the Jewish state.

In another example, no law says that an ISRAELI Arab's luggage will be checked for far longer time than that of an Israli Jew at the country's airports. However, in practice the ISRAELI Arab's luggage will be marked with a sticker (with the number 5 on it) and the Jew's will be marked with a different sticker (with the number 2 on it), and the Arab's luggage will be scanned much more thoroughly than the Jew's. See here.

====

Re the "present absentees": please do check the facts. The ISRAELI Arab citizens of Iqrit and Birim were expelled by the IDF and given a written promise that they would be allowed back. They're ISRAELI Arabs. The High Court has denied them the right to return to their demolished villages. There's no comparable case of Jewish villagers within Israel who were expelled and not allowed to return to their lands.

Anonymous said...

Let me demolish your follies one by one:

1) Christian and Moslem Israelis can and do serve in the IDF. The Bedouins from the Negev have a long tradition of IDF service stretching back to the 1950s. The fact is that most Israeli Arabs (with the exception of the Bedouin and the Druze) don't want to serve in the IDF -- and they are not compelled to for obvious reasons.

2) Israeli border police at Ben Gurion airport do not tag luggage based on ethnicity. They do so based on how you look. They have created sophisticated profiles of terrorists, drug dealers and other criminals and they use them to check people. El Al is acknowledged to be the safest airline in the world to fly and there has never been an attack in Ben Gurion airport. If this happens to inconvenience a few Israeli Arabs that is fine by me: the profiling saves lives.

3) FACT: The residents of Iqrit and Birim were never citizens of the State of Israel. They were refugees from the 1948 War of Independence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iqrit
Hence you cannot say that they were descriminated against as Israeli Arabs. Once they left Israel they lost all the rights that the millions of Israeli Arabs who stayed currently enjoy.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Once they left Israel they lost all the rights that the millions of Israeli Arabs who stayed currently enjoy.

They never left Israel. They are scattered across Israel. Their leader, Dr. Deeb Daoud, lives and works as a physician in Haifa.

I can't debate with an ignoramus like you, unless you change your sloppy research habits.

Anonymous said...

"They never left Israel. They are scattered across Israel."

That's a myth which was debunked long ago. Most of them live in Lebanon.

The inhabitants who were smart and lucky enough to remain in Israel and become citizens enjoy full rights and protection under the law. This is a fact.

You can run from this debate Alberto, but the truth will chase you down.

andrew r said...

But they were NEVER citizens in the first place of the State of Israel (or any other state for that matter)! You cannot denationalize non-citizens. It is technically and logically impossible.

Let's spell it out:

-Jews and Arabs were citizens of the British Mandate.

-That citizenship was abolished.

-It was replaced with Israeli for Jews and nothing for Arabs who were expelled by the Zionists.

-Hence, Israel denationalized the Arabs it should have granted citizenship.

Of course, Israeli Arabs can be dual citizens.

Give me a sodding break, the Nationality Law linked in my second post says plainly, you must reside in Israel for three years and give up your old nationality if you can not immigrate as an oleh.

yet the world's only Jewish State is supposed to dissolve itself to become "binational"?

Cry me a river, there aren't any Zoroastrian states, either, and if establishing one involved ethnic cleansing that wouldn't be any better than the Zionist state. Israel is a Jewish state only if you conceptually remove the physically present non-Jewish population that makes up half the country. It's already a bi-national state in fact, it's just legalized to give Jews more rights to live on the land than non-Jews.

And my position against Israel is not a prejudice, it's informed against the various dodges and lies of those who defend a social engineering project that designates human chaff for expulsion, which asks for my solidarity on racial grounds. Even as you smugly defend keeping out the Palestinian refugees you assert why Zionism should be opposed.

andrew r said...

You can run from this debate Alberto, but the truth will chase you down.

I'd say you've been running away with the debate and he had to chase it down. How many times did you deliberately not read that Israeli citizens are present absentees?

Anonymous said...

"How many times did you deliberately not read that Israeli citizens are present absentees?"

So what if they're present absentees, they still enjoy equal rights under the law. Your point is immaterial. The fact is that Israeli Arabs enjoy full rights like a minority in any democracy.

Anonymous said...

andrew,

I was referring to Israeli Arabs being dual citizens -- i.e. they can move to America, become a US citizen and still retain their Israeli citizenship.

As for your silly comparison between Jews and Zaroastrians (kind of like comparing a central protagonist to an extra) all I can say is learn your history and you will see precisely why it's so necessary and just that the Jews have a state.

Anonymous said...

"Jews and Arabs were citizens of the British Mandate."
-That citizenship was abolished.
-It was replaced with Israeli for Jews and nothing for Arabs who were expelled by the Zionists.
-Hence, Israel denationalized the Arabs it should have granted citizenship."

No, this is just wrong. Israel granted citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Arabs who remained within Israel's borders. It did not grant citizenship to refugees who fled to other countries. And it is very clear why they were not given citizenship and allowed to return to Israel. It is a pity that their Arab brothers refused to integrate them into their societies and instead kept them for 60 years in refugee camps and used them as political pawns. But this is not Israel's responsibility.

Anonymous said...

"Even as you smugly defend keeping out the Palestinian refugees you assert why Zionism should be opposed."

It's people like you who believe that Israel's existence is a crime and that the Jewish People have no right to a state of their own that show exactly why Israel needs to exist, why it must be strong, well-armed and wary of its many enemies.

andrew r said...

Now you admit that Israeli citizens are classified as absentees. Next time maybe you'll admit that their property was confiscated by the state as per the Absentees Property Law.

I've got some people in mind for checking the dual nationality but I'm not going to run off and e-mail them right this second.

And it is very clear why they were not given citizenship and allowed to return to Israel.

Is it very clear how they became refugees in the first place?

the Jewish People have no right to a state of their own

Oh yea, my favorite straw argument.

If part of Germany was carved off and designated for the Jewish people, you wouldn't find me protesting one bit.

Nevermind that you and Israel can't tell me what the Jewish people are. According to Israel's legal definition of a Jew, I'm not Jewish, but I am the child of a Jew, whatever that means (half-breed, perhaps?). And I had a bar mitzvah.

Anonymous said...

"Nevermind that you and Israel can't tell me what the Jewish people are. According to Israel's legal definition of a Jew, I'm not Jewish, but I am the child of a Jew, whatever that means (half-breed, perhaps?). And I had a bar mitzvah."

I doubt highly you are a Jew for a number of reasons but most of all because it seems that you do not feel like a Jew.

In case your father never explained it to you, the Jews are not a religion, nor an ethnicity, nor a race, nor a nationality. They are all of these things combined and more. Jewish identity is probably the most complex identity in the world.

The Jews themselves do not see themselves as a religion or a race, but as a "people." The Talmudic definition goes something like this: there are "Peoples of Space" (ie. groups defined by territory like the British or the Arabs, etc) and there are "Peoples of Time" (ie. groups defined by history and beliefs like the Christians or the Moslems.) The Talmud teaches that alone among nations the Jews are both a People of Time and Space. This is why alot of gentiles get confused about what makes a Jew: the fact is that Jewish identity is malleable -- part belief, part birth, part values, part traditions, etc.

andrew r said...

Okay. That doesn't explain why the Jewish state tells me I don't belong to my own religion, but my hide is still good enough to be an oleh.

But I know the answer anyway. It's because Zionism secularizes the Jewish identity into a biological construct and views people with Jewish ethnicity through a utilitarian lens.

Anyway, when you get a gold dome for a roof and a dunce cap over your head, you can excommunicate anti-Zionist Jews. Until then, you'll just have to put up with the cognitive dissonance they bring you.

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

"That doesn't explain why the Jewish state tells me I don't belong to my own religion, but my hide is still good enough to be an oleh."

Not true. The Law of Return was relaxed in the early 1990s to include people who have only one Jewish grandparent. If your father is Jewish and you did a Bar Mitzvah they would let you in.

Zionism did not "secularize" Jewish identity at all. It was in fact the product of secular European Jewish identity from before the Holocaust. The Jews are not reductive to Judaism as a religion. If anything Judaism was just a way of keeping the Olim together in Diaspora.

Neither is Israeli Jewish identity a "biological construct" -- the citizenship laws are based on halakah (ie. if your mother is Jewish so are you) -- this is hardly "biological" since it only requires one side of the family to be Jewish. Moreover, it is always possible to convert or to adopt a child who will then grow up Jewish. The "biological construct" is what the Nazis did. The State of Israel does nothing similar.

I have problems with the way Israel treats Jewish oleh as well as with their definition of a Jew (I think the country has gotten too religious) but overall I think they've done a pretty good job in capturing the nuances and making room for the exceptions in order to bring as many self-identifying Jews as possible to Israel (without opening the door to "Jews for Jesus", people pretending to be Jews, etc.)

If I were you, I'd go visit Israel. See who you are related to. It's a great place.

andrew r said...

the citizenship laws are based on halakah (ie. if your mother is Jewish so are you) -- this is hardly "biological" since it only requires one side of the family to be Jewish.

When it's the community you belong to, it's halacha. When it's the difference between the state granting you a stipend to immigrate or calling you a demographic threat, it's something else.

What makes no sense to me at all, is that you think Israel is getting too religious. Um, didn't we get the idea to establish it from the first five books?

If I were you, I'd go visit Israel. See who you are related to. It's a great place.

Just don't be too disappointed when I don't waver.

Anonymous said...

andrew r.

Fair question.

Well, first of all it wasnt just the first five books of Moses (Torah) but from the entire Tanakh, including the Books of the Kings and Prophets.

However, you misunderstand the Jewish connection to these books as "religious" in the same sense a Moslem worships the Koran or a Christian reveres the New Testament.

The primary purpose of Hebrew scripture is to document and preserve the history of the Jewish People from primordial times until the Persian Exile. The Torah and Tanakh proves our historical connection to the Land of Israel. This has nothing to do with God or religion. Herzl never went to synagogue and almost certainly did not believe in God. He simply wanted to restor his people to the land of their forefathers.

Many of us would say that the haredim (orthodox) in Israel pose a huge demographic threat to the country as well...

Dr. Health said...

Israeli Jews have the chutzpah to suggest Israeli Arabs should take loyalty oaths, and to decry their disaffection with the country.