Where are the moderate Israeli Arabs?

It is hard to believe that there was no public condemnation from Israeli Arabs regarding Palestinian terrorism in the recent weeks.  Any rational human, society or group with an ounce of respect for the human rights of others would have protested in outcry of the victims, the murdered and injured Israelis, instead they are not only hold demonstrations in support of the attackers, but praise these horrific unfolding events.  Whenever anything befalls the Israeli Arabs there are many that will shout ‘racism’, ‘discrimination’ or anything that will persuade the world of media that they are an oppressed minority. These people that have claimed to suffer such heinous treatments are now silent when people sharing the same nationality are shot in front of their children, thrashed with stones and slashed with knives.  Throughout this article I will express views as to whether Netanyahu had legitimate cause to state that ”Arabs are flocking to the polls” and to express concern about the large amount of Arab voters.

Reflecting upon the scrutiny that Benjamin Netanyahu faced during the last elections due to his controversial statement ” Arabs are flocking to the polls ” ; Netanyahu was in fact expressing a  worry that Israeli Arabs do not actually support the Jewish state and its majority of inhabitants.  If they were to have a key influence and impact on the politics of Israel this could cause many problems. We can see that in hindsight perhaps that Netanhyahu was right, if we look collectively at the lack of outcry when innocent civilians are being murdered every day. At the time Israeli political analysts and commenters doubted a victory for Benjamin Netanyahu and that Israeli voters were leaning towards a change in government. Due to Netanyahu’s statement that received condemnation from both Europe and America Israeli Arabs and the Left wing parties had someone to accuse of racism and incitement.  Instead of doing a little Introspection, they immediately embarked  in  a dance of condemnation, and immediately and furiously accused Likud and similarly all of the Right wing parties of harboring  fascist and racist views towards Israeli Arabs.

Personally like many others at the time,  I found this statement offensive and problematic. But in recent days with the rising fear of terrorism in the street of Israel  it is time to turn towards the elected representatives of Israeli Arabs, The Joint Arab List (the third largest party in the Knesset).  Without a doubt the party that receives the highest turnout among Israeli Arabs. Let’s try to examine what the members of this party did in recent months during the constant turmoil.

Let’s look at Basel Ghattas, the Knesset member who was in a humanitarian flotilla to Gaza, that somehow the entire humanitarian aid flotilla becomes to be missiles that return to southern Israel.  It Ghattas asked almost ten times in a radio interview if he can condemn the murder of couple Naama and Eitam Henkin by terrorists when their children was in the car with them and saw how their parents were murdered in cold blood, and miraculously were not killed alongside their parents . Knesset member refused to say even one bad word about the Killers, even four little orphans cannot make to an Arab Knesset member to say a word of condemnation. In addition; the Arab Knesset member argued repeatedly that the Israeli Arab terrorist was “murdered” when police tried to prevent her from carrying out an attack in Afula, of course this is not the truth, the police retaliated in this manner as she refused to drop the knife she was carrying.

The second Member of Knesset is Jamal Zahalka, the man who claims multiple times that he is an atheist with no major affiliations towards Islam, the same Zahalka was revealed as  a radical atheist Muslim and religious fanatic who just cannot stand the presence of Jewish feet on the Temple Mount. The supposed Atheist cried out angrily that Temple Mount is ‘ours!’ and claimed that the Jews have no business there. Mr Zahalka what is this “ours” you talk about? The man that claims to be an atheist is laying claim to a holy site he should feel no connection to. There is no ”ours” about it.

Finally, the leader of the wolf pack- MK Dr. Ahmed Tibi, the Israeli Knesset member who was an adviser and a good friend of the great killer, Yasser Arafat, and does not hide his opinion that terrorism against Israel is not only necessity but it’s also a duty. Also when we are confident that Dr.Tibi cannot surprise us anymore, he continues to do just that.

When he published the photograph of the terrorist who tried to stab a 15 year old Jewish boy in Jerusalem, on the terrorist’s picture appears the false inscription that according to Ahmad Tibi the young terrorist just attacked by settlers and when he escaped from them to the brutal police for protection and help, they shot him to death. Tibi also refuses to acknowledge or even recognize any of the Jewish history in Israel.

So what Arab public representatives do we have in the Knesset?

Knesset members receive huge salaries, more than 40 thousand NIS per month from the Israeli public with the vast population being Jewish.  The Arab Knesset members simply cannot tolerate Jewish feet on the Temple Mount, without trying to understand the importance of the Temple Mount for Jews. Arab Knesset members simply cannot condemn the murder of Jews by terrorists even though these Jews pay their wages. Previously in this article I spoke about the infamous MK Hanin Zaobi. The list of cities that have suffered terror attacks is growing by the day, to add insult to injury many places have seen protests from Arab Israelis in favor of these attacks,  Lod, near Kfar Saba, Ramla, Sakhnin , Nazareth, etc., and even Jaffa which is often praised as a symbol of coexistence has been home to such protests.  The heinous and barbaric attacks have occurred in a variety of cities spread across the country, Kiryat Gat, Be’er Sheva, Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Maale Adumim, and Jerusalem have all been engulfed  in  terrorism.

Even if the status quo of Temple Mount has been broken, which in reality is false, does it really warrant such horrific acts of terror, the stabbing of innocent Jewish children?  The Arab Knesset members should be ashamed for not trying to subside and discourage terror, especially those that claim atheism; it is hard to believe that these attacks are simply sparked from a broken status quo on Temple Mount. The torching of Joseph’s Tomb shows that certain Muslims show no regard for sacred places.

A year ago during my studies at Tel Aviv University I met an Israeli Arab girl, she was angry as she believed that the Arab party in the Knesset doesn’t help the Arab population of Israel. Problems such as unemployment, education, poverty etc , she personally believed are ignored and  instead the political party focuses mostly on the incitement against Jews and intensification of relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. I do not doubt that there are Arabs who just want to live in peace, but at this moment in time we do not see them or hear them and until this silence comes to an end and the murder and violence towards Jews  on the streets of Israel will stop  and only then it will be possible for any critics to argue that the statement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not legitimate and that Israeli Arabs truly do care about the welfare of Israel.

About the Author
Nisan Avraham is an Israeli citizen who has served in the IDF in the Golani unit. He currently works in the ministry of Finance and also studies Economics at The University Of Tel Aviv. He has a keen interest in politics and economics around the world but especially in Israel. Nisan is also a political activist passionate about LGBT issues and is a supporter of feminism. Nisan's political leanings are towards the center and supports liberal politics.
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