With Whom Are Israeli Arabs Identifying?

Thursday, October 08, 2015 |  Tsvi Sadan

Following her Facebook post, Hanin Majadli from Jaffa was awarded an interview on Israel's Channel 2 TV. Majadli, who participated in what she called a "demonstration of solidarity with the latest events in Jerusalem and the West Bank" in her hometown, explained that "whether they call themselves Arab Israelis or Palestinians, they are part of the same people living in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Both share the same religion and the same nationality."

The demonstration in Jaffa involved Palestinian flags, blocking roads, throwing stones and three wounded policemen. Legally, it must be recalled, Jaffa is part of Tel Aviv, officially the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality. 

Nor was the demonstration in Jaffa an isolated case. The same happened in Lod, Nazareth and Um El Fahm, while firebombs were hurled at Israeli motorists on Highway 6, the Trans-Israel highway. 

These violent acts of solidarity with the Palestinians are a clear indication to whom the loyalty of Arab Israelis is given.

Israeli officials try to play down these acts of insurgency by claiming the rioters are a minority amongst local Arabs. While it may be true that a majority of Arab Israelis prefer co-existence, it is also true that it is the militant minority that matters.

This militant minority does not represent a fringe, but actually includes the Arab Israeli leadership, which almost without exception shares the exact same Palestinian agenda that envisions not a two-state solution, but the eradication of the Jewish state. 

Arab Member of Knesset Ahmad Tibi of the United Arab List has demonstrated time and again his solidarity with his Palestinian compatriots, and like them sees dead terrorists as shahids (martyrs). Arab MKs call Israeli soldiers "murderers," and routinely use the exact same inciting rhetoric heard from Palestinian leaders.

In light of this, Majadli's post challenges the convenient "minority" argument in that it appears to express the position of the Israeli Muslim elite. Characteristically, she is attempting to hold the stick from both ends –benefiting from her Israeli citizenship and hoping for the returning of Palestinians to the bygone Arab villages of Salameh, Abu Kabir and Sheikh Munis, all of which are are now part of Tel Aviv.

Dangerous as it is, her solidarity with her people is tainted with racism as she shows callous indifference to other Arabic-speaking Israelis. 

Saying that Palestinians share the same religion means that Majadli and others like her ignore not only the many Arab Christians living in Jaffa, but also other Arabic-speaking minorities living throughout Israel, such as the Druze and Maronite and Aramean Christians. 

Furthermore, given the proper context, her solidarity is with Palestinians who are now killing Jews in the name of Allah. If Majadli genuinely represents the wishes of a majority, Israel has no choice but to brace itself for intensified conflict with a fifth column already present in her major cities.

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