Relation Between Jews and Arab Israelis Hit the Lowest Rate
There are people who are afraid that the deterioration of the relations between the two communities could reach a point of no return as extremists on both sides create a larger and larger gap.
In the last month, the Israeli legislative passed a few laws that clearly marginalize the Arabs: the Israeli citizenship oath that compels the non-Jews to pledge allegiance to the state and recognize it as the Jewish state and democracy; there was a law draft intended to prevent the Arabs from acquiring positions as tourist guides in the East Jerusalem.
Rabbis have urged their followers not to rent homes to the Arabs; extremist Jews marched through the city and set up riots; a prominent Arab activist admitted to have spied for the Lebanese faction Hezbollah.
All these things threaten to turn the already existing atmosphere of distrust into an atmosphere of open conflict as Jews begin to think that their Arab country fellows are not loyal to the state, while the Arabs consider that the Jews are discriminating them.
According to Jafar Farah, head of an organization that promotes equality between Arabs and Jews, called “Musawa,” said that the Arabs feel terrified by the atmosphere and feel the insecurity provoked by the laws that are passed against them.
Farah said that some of these people think they should fight back, which could only escalate the scandal.
The Israeli Arabs, unlike their Palestinian brethren, have Israeli citizenship and enjoy all the rights the Jews have, even though they consider themselves the same with the Palestinians.
Though they can work and enjoy every right the Israelis have, they tend to be poorer than them, less educated and discriminated.
The relations have never been to warm between Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis, but they became even cooler after the second Palestinian uprising a decade ago, that made also the Israeli Arabs to riot and be beaten by the police, 13 of them being killed on that occasion.
The uprisings in 2000 became the symbol of the Israeli Arab demands while the Jews see it as a demonstration of the fact that their Arab compatriots are not loyal to the state.
So little confidence there is within the Jewish community that a radical minister like Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Yisrael Beitenu, a radical party participating in the actual coalition, went as far as to propose the evacuation of the Arabs from Israel.
Lieberman is the one who proposed the oath law which was catalogued by the Arabs as racist.
Another law that was deemed as racist was the one referring to the right of small communities to exclude the possible Arab residents.
At the same time, many Israeli Arabs adhered to radical Muslim organizations, which gloat that they have thousands of members.11