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Israel's Arab Leaders Are Only Selling Isolationism

Op-ed: Silent majority of the Arab community prefers Israel to any other country, and we would do well to give them a voice instead of their agitator MKs.

Islamic Movement Leader Raed Salah (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 Most Israeli Arabs are loyal citizens – and when I say most, I mean the vast majority. Within a population of around 1.25 million people (excluding East Jerusalem) there are not only hundreds of hooligans, but thousands, who are likely to have the support of an additional percentage or two. Troubled times see the extremists flourish. On the backdrop of Islamic Movement leader Raed Salah's ongoing incitement, it would only take one incident to set the sector ablaze. The majority don't attend the demonstrations. But hundreds of youths do. Maybe even thousands. The impression created stains the entire Arab minority.

 It's a false impression – because recent years have witnessed not only a process of radicalization among a few thousand, but also one of moderation among tens and hundreds of thousands. Most Israeli Arabs prefer Israel to any other country. Not that it's a paradise. And not that there's no discrimination. There most certainly is. But London for Muslims is no bed of roses. And neither is Paris. And when it comes to the immediate surroundings, one need not elaborate. It's better to live in Kafr Kana than Ramallah.


 
The desire to integrate is there for all to see. More and more young Arabs are choosing to sign up for National Service...

 The desire to integrate is there for all to see. More and more young Arabs are choosing to sign up for National Service; and there are many more who want to but are being deferred due to a shortage of places to fill. Polls, too, indicate that most young Arabs are in favor of National Service.

 

Hadash Secretary-General Aiman Ouda (photo credit: Hadash)

 The Arab leadership, however, is working to the contrary. It wants to increase the alienation. Not only have the National Service recruits been branded "lepers," but the Arab leadership has also established a so-called Anti-National Service Committee. Heading the new panel, set up by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, is Hadash Secretary-General Aiman Ouda.


 

 So instead of being dragged along by the violent, racist and rowdy minority, one should bear in mind the silent and peaceful majority. There's a political dispute in play. This majority is far from being Zionist. But it is still a loyal majority, which finds little voice. Rather than repeatedly interviewing the leaders who incite, it would be a good idea to sound out the representatives of the sane majority.

 

So instead of being dragged along by the violent, racist and rowdy minority, one should bear in mind the silent and peaceful majority. There's a political dispute in play.

 And one of the sane majority's representatives, Israel Police Superintendent Kalef Ka'abiye spoke out this week on a radio talk show. Ka'abiye is a patrol officer in the Zevulun Police – a proud Arab and a proud Israeli. The same talk show also featured Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam. One need not agree with every word he said to be able to say that he made some sense. If they and their ilk, and not the likes of Raed Salah and Haneen Zoabi, were heard three times a day, one could assume, the mood among the Arab sector would be different; and the benefit would be twofold – for the Arabs, and for the Jews.

 

 

This article has been republished with permission by www.ynetnews.com. Click here to continue reading.
 

Israeli Journalist Ben-Dror Yemini (photo credit: Ben-Dror Yemini)

 

 Ben-Dror Yemini, Ynet News 

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