Why Arab-Israelis need to step-up

As a response to Naomi Chazan’s article titled ‘The Israeli government needs more Arabs,’ which though written with great intellectual and scholastic prowess as well as detailed empirical data analysis, have yet lacked a most basic appeal in directly addressing the sentimental/ideological framework which forms a part or consequence of the main points raised in that piece.

Beyond doubts, though Israel’s democracy is a model to countries around the Middle-east and by extension the globe, it faces one grievous challenge which no existing western democracy has yet been confronted with, and that is the challenge of having to balance it’s own existence with the threat, not of secessionists, but of annihilationists; thus the very foundation of Israeli democracy is plagued between been more rigid and protecting itself and its citizens, and been more flexible and loosing not only its right to a statehood, but the very lives and properties of these Jews who now find protection within her borders.

The incidences within Gaza as well as in other parts of the now Jewish suburbs since the 1920s has proven that the problem of the Arabs is not the acclaimed occupation of what they deem ‘Palestinian lands,’ but the very presence of the Jews in her homeland. It is a heartache they have dreaded right from when they gained full access to Palestine after the decline of the Byzantine empire. Thus series of different edicts from and even before the Ottoman period has always been geared not only towards proscribing the Jewish religion and preventing her entrance to her homeland for any reason, but ensuring that a Jewish state was never established. The antecedence from the 1920 Palestinian uprising up to the present Nakba protests have only served to reinforce the truism of this ideological underpinning, and consequently, the enormous backing of the Pseudo-Palestinian cause by leading Arab countries have only served to substantiate the above mentioned fact.

Upon this pedestal, Israels inclusion of Arabs to partake not only in full citizenship but in the decision making process of Israel is not only worthy of praise but also emulation by presently thriving democracies. The question which then should be addressed ought not to be if the Arabs are fully participating in Israel’s politics, but ‘what has been the result of incorporating the Arabs into Israel’s internal affairs’ this is the cause of which the current trends noticeable in the Israeli political spectrum are only it’s effects.

Basically, the Arab ideological rooting haven’t ceased to dominate several Arab-Israeli’s, especially those privileged to serve in the Knesset.

How do we interpret the fact that members of Israel’s Knesset, would not only openly support the BDS movement, which they know is an avowed enemy of the Jewish state, but would most recently write a letter urging the Argentine government to cancel a friendly match between Israel and Argentina, as a show of solidarity for the Palestinian cause.

How do we interpret the fact that members of Israeli Knesset would not only disrupt the speech of the American Vice president Mike Pence over the movement of the American embassy to Jerusalem, but openly call on as well as support condemnation upon Israel by members of the international community.

How do we interpret the fact that members of the Israeli Knesset would not only openly throw in their support for the Nakba protests, but would directly or indirectly instigate one within Israel’s own border, in solidarity with an organisation which openly calls for the destruction of the state which they claim to be a part of its decision makers.

Can one work for the state by working against the interests of the state? Or are the interests of the state better served by fighting against the benefits, security, and dignity of the state?

Obviously the issue with several Arab-Israeli’s isn’t a problem of inclusion or non-inclusion, but the same Arab ideology of rejecting the right of the Jews to their homeland. This fields the reason for the rejection by some of them, to partake in the IDF, avowed opposition to Zionism, hatred for the army, and possible desire for the delegitimization of the State of Israel.

The actions of various Arab-Israeli lawmakers have proven so, most importantly, their desire to retain the ‘Arab’ nomenclature, rather than just being called Israeli’s not only fuels a bias of descent, but an ideological conflict too.

Although Arab-Israeli’s are great people and worthy citizens of the State of Israel, until they not only put off their current ideological compass of fighting rather than defending the interest of the Jewish state, the question of their total inclusion into mainstream Israeli politics, seems only attainable in an unrealistic future.

About the Author
S Ovwata Onojieruo is a Theologian and Political scientist, with major interest in Political theory, Middle-east politics (especially as it affects the Jewish state), and international relations. He currently works as an High school tutor/debate coach, and can be reached on twitter @OvwataS
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