The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is concerned by Israel’s rising security threat posed by anti-Israel Israeli Arabs, following yesterday’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem by Husam Taysir Dwayat, an Israeli Arab resident of the Sur Bahir neighborhood in Jerusalem, who rammed buses and vehicles with a bulldozer, killing three and wounding 45 others (‘Etgar Lefkowitz, ‘Terrorist ploughs bulldozer into vehicles,’ Jerusalem Post, July 3, 2008). This terror attack by an Israeli Arab was the second prominent one this year, the first being that one in February, when Alaa Abu D’heim, also a resident of Jerusalem, perpetrated a massacre in Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav seminary, where eight Jewish students studying the Bible were murdered.
In March of this year, members of the National Democratic Assembly (Balad) Party, an Arab parliamentary list represented in the Knesset, have been shown in a video chanting in Arabic “Our Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] we want an attack from you” and “Oh [PLFP chief Ahmed] Sadaat we want weapons to build.” The video was screened by Israel TV’s Channel One in connection with Arab protests over Land Day in the Arab village of Arrabe (‘Israeli Arabs call for terror attacks against Israel at Land Day protest,’ Independent Media Review Analysis, March 30, 2008).
This blatant incitement to terror has been one of many developments in recent years pointing to the increasing disloyalty, radicalization, repudiation of Israel as a Jewish state and support for Israel‘s enemies by many Israeli Arab citizens.
Other recent indications of increasing Israeli Arab disloyalty to Israel and non-acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state:
· According to a March 2007 report by Israel‘s General Secret Service (GSS Shin Bet), in 2005, 17 terror cells involving 22 Israeli Arabs was uncovered by Israeli security services. In 2006, a further 21 Israeli-Arab terror cells were uncovered, involving 24 Arab citizens.
· A January 2006 survey has found that Israeli Arabs willing to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) decreased significantly following the second Lebanon war, falling from an already low figure of 42% of the Arab population in 2006 to an even lower 26.5% in 2007 (Yediot Ahronot, January 17, 2007).
· In December 2006, the Mossawa Center the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, an Arab advocacy group, produced a paper, ‘Constitution Based on Equality for All’ which calls for overturning the Law of Return which allows for automatic citizenship for Jews who immigrate to Israel. (Independent Media Review & Analysis, December 6, 2006).
· Similarly, the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee also released a document in December 2006 entitled, ‘The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel,’ stipulating that Israeli Arabs will demand that during the next two decades Israel become a bi-national state alongside an independent Palestinian state (Haaretz, December 6, 2006).
· In March 2007, Israel‘s General Secret Service (GSS Shin Bet) produced an internal document which showed that in 2006, 21 Israeli-Arab terror cells were uncovered, involving 24 Arab citizens. In 2005, the numbers were 17 terror cells involving 22 Arabs.
· Some 40% of the Israeli Arabs involved in terrorism originated in Judea and Samaria but were permitted to come to pre-’67 Israel and receive Israeli residency after marrying Israeli-Arabs. They are then permitted to travel freely throughout the country.
A sample of troubling statements by Israeli Arab members of Knesset:
· Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al Party): Tibi, who serves as the Knesset’s Deputy Speaker, attended a conference in Doha, Qatar, where he announced that he came as a representative of ‘Palestine.’ This apparently even shocked Kadima Minister, Majalli Whbee, who said, “It’s time for Ahmad Tibi to decide which country he represents
he cannot be a member of one nation’s parliament while representing another at international conventions.” Tibi also condemned Israel in his address at Doha, saying that “Israel discriminates against Arab citizens and has established an apartheid state in the occupied territories where Arabs have different roads and different laws” (Barak Ravid, ‘Livni accuses MK Tibi of trying to sabotage two-state solution,’ Haaretz, April 15, 2008).
· Raleb Majadele (Labor):”Of course I would not sing [‘Hatikvah’] the anthem in its current form” (Amnon Meranda, ‘Majadele refuses to sing national anthem,’ Yediot Ahronot, April 17, 2007). Majadele has also declared that Israel lacks sovereignty in Jerusalem: “I say clearly: Al-Aksa, Al-Haram al-Sharif [as the Temple Mount is called by Muslims ed.], cannot be under the authority of Israeli law
if there is a contradiction between the law and my deep faith as a Muslim, I announce that I will know what to choose.” (Gil Ronen, ‘Majadle Justifies Destruction of Temple Remains,’ Israel National News, November 14, 2007).
· Azmi Bishara (Balad): Has praised Syria for its “struggle to liberate occupied Arab land, its resistance against occupation and its defense of the legitimacy of such resistance” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006); stated that “We are Syria’s ally” and supported its efforts to free “occupied Arab land” (Haaretz, September 10, 2006); condemned “Israel’s barbaric onslaughts” against Lebanon and urged Hizballah’s Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to “continue his fight” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006) and warned Syria of likely “preemptive Israeli strikes” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006), something of which he might well have knowledge as a result of his presence in the Knesset.
· Jamal Zahalka (Balad): “For us Syria is no enemy … [we support] solidarity with Syria, especially after Israel‘s savage aggression against Lebanon” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006); “We don’t see Syria as an enemy state” (Haaretz, September 10, 2006)
· Wasal Taha (Balad): terrorist groups should “concentrate their efforts on attacking and abducting Israeli soldiers” (Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The evidence that has emerged in recent years, and especially in recent months regarding the increasing disloyalty and hatred of Israel and Jews by Israeli Arabs is deeply worrying and something which few people seem willing to address. However, the evidence is so alarming that it is not surprising that Israel‘s General Secret Service (GSS Shin Bet) has produced an internal document that holds that Israel‘s Arab population is a ‘genuine long-range danger to the Jewish character and very existence of the State of Israel.’ The paper cites worrisome data in various spheres, including increasing Israeli-Arab solidarity and identification with terrorist elements, including the Lebanese Islamist terrorist group Hizballah and the Hamas government in the Palestinian Authority (PA). The essential accuracy of that paper is evident in the recent prominence of Israeli Arabs taking it upon themselves to carry out terror attacks on their fellow Jewish citizens.
“Unless the cult of jihad is confronted by the Israeli government, this problem can only be expected to grow over time. These are issues that the ZOA has raised before and will continue to raise until action is taken on them.”