Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Israel Should Treat Arabs Equally

by Israel Zwick
Oct 02, '05 / 28 Elul 5765

On September 30, 2005, an article in Ha'aretz by Shlomo Shamir reported that Edgar Bronfman, President of the World Jewish Congress, has now become an Ariel Sharon supporter. According to the article, "Bronfman, a prominent representative of the American Jewish community's liberal branch, praised Sharon as a person who realized that the diplomatic path he'd been on was errant and dangerous and shifted his political outlook.... He went on to say that he expects the prime minister to continue advancing the reconciliation process with the Palestinians, and that Israel will provide financial aid to the Palestinians."

The same day, an article on Ynet news web site by Roee Nahmias reported that "US State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli and top public affairs official Alberto Fernandez say they believe the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is not the last one and will be followed by more pullouts."

For years, liberal Jews, the US State Department and human rights organizations have been bemoaning the "plight of the Palestinian refugees." They repeatedly complained that the Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria were being mistreated by the "Israeli occupation forces." They complained that the Arabs were suffering from poverty, discrimination, mistreatment at checkpoints and the "apartheid wall."

The complaints continued even when UN documents demonstrated that the Arabs living under Israeli control were doing better on the average than their counterparts living in 22 independent Arab countries. Now that the million Arabs in Gaza have been freed from their "harsh occupation" by 1,500 Jewish families with 5,000 children, the liberal Jews and human rights NGO's are gratified. Now that Sharon has destroyed the 21 communities and evicted the 8,500 "occupiers", he is receiving praise and accolades from the liberal Jews in America and Israel.

Since there were so many complaints that Israel wasn't treating its Arab residents fairly, it's only proper that Israel should now treat the Arabs equally. The same considerations that were given to the Jews of Gush Katif should now be extended to all the Arabs that are living under the "harsh Israeli occupation," including the ones who hold Israeli citizenship.

Israel should offer the following "benefits" to all Arabs living within the 1947 boundaries of the British Palestine Mandate:
1. A compensation package of $50,000 to $200,000 per household, depending on the size of the household and value of property. Upon acceptance, the Arab family will agree to relocate to any other country and relinquish all rights to return to "Palestinian lands."

2. Free transportation to any other country of their choice, that is willing to take them.

3. Free packaging and shipping of their belongings to their new home.

4. Any family that accepts the compensation package and doesn't relocate by the agreed date will be forcibly removed by military and police personnel, never to return.
Such equal treatment of the Arab population will most likely meet with widespread opposition by the Palestinian Authority, the Arab League, the UN, the US State Department and human rights organizations. The most likely results of such a benevolent offer by the Israeli government would be:
1. Terrorist organizations such as Hamas would threaten any family that would accept the Israeli offer.

2. The 22 Arab League countries would refuse to accept any Palestinian families within their 11 million square kilometers of sparsely populated lands.

3. The European Union, which is so concerned about the "plight of the Palestinian refugees", will refuse to accept any Arab families from the "territories."

4. The UN Commission on Human Rights will pass a resolution that this plan violates Palestinian rights to self-determination within the 1947 boundaries. However, they still will not recognize the right of self-determination for any of the other 5,000 ethnic groups that are living in 190 countries.
There are polls that suggest that many of the Arab families living in the Israeli "territories" would be happy to go elsewhere if offered a satisfactory compensation package and decent living conditions. They really don't have a strong attachment to living in "Palestinian lands." Many that could leave on their own have already done so. Denying their right to live in another country of their choice would really be a violation of their human rights.

So, it is time for the concerned Israelis and the "international community" to extend to Arab families the same benefits and rights that were extended to the Jews of Gush Katif. If Sharon received so much praise for relocating Jews, then he should receive equal praise and accolades for implementing a voluntary transfer of Arab families.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005 10:42:00 PM  
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Wednesday, October 05, 2005 10:42:00 PM  

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