Of the eight million citizens of the Jewish state, 1.2 million are Muslims who enjoy the full benefits of the democracy in which they live, including the right to publicly defame Israel as a racist state and even challenge its very existence.
Ayman Odeh (pictured), head of the new United Arab List running in the upcoming Knesset elections, announced recently that "our direct enemy is Zionism," which simply means that Israel must cease to exist as the Jewish state.
Though the Israeli Supreme Court does nothing to stop this party's stated goal to dismantle Israel, the fact remains that Israel was recognized as a Jewish state by the international community. The San Remo Resolution of 1920 confirmed that "under the Balfour Declaration, the British government had undertaken to favour the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine without prejudice to the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities."
This resolution was reaffirmed in May 1947 by UN Resolution 181, which "called for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state."
The State of Israel’s own declaration of independence in May 1948, drafted with these earlier resolutions in mind, first states the obvious that "the Land of Israel [Palestine] was the birthplace of the Jewish people," and then goes on to say that "this recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable. This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State."
The international community, with the exception of Israel's enemies, has accepted the historic right of the Jews to live in their land, albeit with reservations concerning the present borders, given that they were established along armistice lines. For its part, Israel is trying hard, both in theory and in practice, to ensure the rights of its minorities.
In contrast, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the most recent PLO convention on March 3 repeated his commitment to two uncompromising principles: Yes to a "Judenrein" Palestine, and no to a Jewish state.
According to the Palestinian leader, for there to be peace in this region Jews must not be permitted to live in a future Palestinian state, and Israel must not be allowed to continue existing as a Jewish state. And yet, it is Israel that is labeled as racist, despite the fact that Israeli Arabs enjoy full and equal rights.
Though the false accusations of racism cause many Israelis themselves to join the chorus of "viva Palestina" in a futile attempt to appease, there remain some who refuse to turn out the lights.
Controversial as he may be, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is right in saying that the new United Arab List, which shares Abbas' vision and now also enjoys his blessing, exposes a new Palestinian plan to "explode Israel from within."
Though shrewdly playing the racism card, the new Arab faction that shares Abbas' dream of a Judenrein Palestine prompted Lieberman to warn that this party is "preparing for us an intifada from within Israel."
Unfortunately, past experience tells us that only a few will take this warning seriously.