Israeli Arabs not anti-Israel like you (and I) thought they wereIn Tuesday's JPost, Caroline Glick surveys the current state of affairs between Israel and its Arab population and reaches the surprising conclusion that with the possible exception of Arab Muslims, most Israeli Arabs support the State of Israel.
While their intimidation efforts have been successful, it is far from clear that their indoctrination efforts have won over the Israeli Arabs. Recently, the government announced its intention to encourage Israeli Arabs who don't serve in the military to perform national service. The organized Israeli Arab leadership has worked studiously to undermine the program.What I don't understand is, if the Israeli Arabs are as pro-Israel as Glick depicts them, why do they keep returning the likes of Ahmad Tibi, Taleb a-Sanah and Azmi Bishara (who has fled the country) to the Knesset? Is someone looking to see whose slips they are placing in their ballot envelopes?
Yet a poll carried out by University of Haifa last month revealed that 75 percent of Israeli Arabs between the ages of 16 and 22 support voluntary national service. The poll also found that the vast majority of the Arab public is unaware of the national service. 77.4 percent overall and 79.6 percent of youth said they know little or nothing about the program. Moreover, the poll found that once given basic information about conditions in the national service and its goals, not only were Israeli Arab youth supportive of the idea, but so were 71.9 percent of all Arab men and 83.8 percent of all Arab women. In contrast, some 80 percent of members of Arab political parties opposed national service.
Arens believes strongly that the government must launch a serious, directed hearts and minds campaign among Israeli Arabs. The very fact that nearly 80 percent of Israeli Arabs know nothing about the government's national service initiative is proof that the government is neglecting the Arab sector.
Arens contends that the place to direct such a campaign, at least in the short term, is among the Beduin. Israeli Beduin are the most impoverished ethnic group in Israel. Particularly in the South, they lack basic sanitation services. Their education system is appalling. And economic and academic opportunities for advancement are largely absent. Beduin who serve in the army receive no post-army assistance from the government.
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