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May 5, 2016 / 27 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Arabs’

Jerusalem’s Arabs Must Go

Monday, March 7th, 2016

JewishPress.com columnist Paul Gherkin raised an important point in his article today, which is not just the fast growth rate of Jerusalem’s Arab population, but also that their poverty levels are high due to the fewer job opportunities that exist in Jerusalem compared to the rest of the country.

Makor Rishon’s token leftwing columnist, Shalom Yerushalmi pointed out last year that Jerusalem is at high risk of losing its Jewish majority – and it’s all Israel’s fault.

As often as I find myself disagreeing with Yerushalmi, to the point where reading him as of late has become simply tedious, in this case he’s right.

There’s another significant factor that keeps Jerusalem’s Arab population size artificially inflated, despite the lack of housing and job opportunities – and it has nothing to do with religion.

After 1967, Israel found itself with a lot of Arabs in newly reunified Jerusalem, but not quite sure how to deal with this enemy population who mostly grew up hating Jews and Israel.

Eventually it was decided that Jerusalem’s Arabs would be given Residency Status – they would have full civil rights and benefits, except voting in national elections (they can vote in Jerusalem’s local elections), along with a path to citizenship, if they wanted to become Israeli citizens.

Most were happy with that option. They received all the benefits of modern Israeli society, without the stigma of acquiring that despised Israeli citizenship.

The downside is that Israel required these Arabs to reside exclusively and almost constantly in Jerusalem, otherwise they lose their Residency Status.

The unintended consequence is that Jerusalem’s growing Arab population can’t leave Jerusalem for any extended period of time to build a life elsewhere. If they do, they’ll lose all their Israeli benefits and residency status.

The option is still there for them to take Israeli citizenship – but most don’t want it and probably never will.

Yerushalmi’s plan is to get rid of the Jerusalem residency requirement.

Let them move to Nazareth, let them move to America, and let them keep their Israel Residency status.

The immediate effect will be an Arab exodus from Jerusalem, and possibly even an Arab exodus from Israel.

It would be as if they all took the citizenship option, without the downside of their acquiring national voting rights.

This idea is not without risks and problems, perhaps to be discussed in another article.

But as long as the path to citizenship remains open to them, there’s no risk of calling Israel an Apartheid state, just as Puerto Rico’s referendum against becoming a full US state doesn’t make the US an Apartheid state.

Perhaps, as Jerusalem’s Arab integrate into other Arab communities in Israel, get better jobs and settle down, they will become less religiously extreme. Some may want to take on full citizenship. Others may want to leave Israel completely, knowing they can come back if they wanted.

One thing is for sure, removing the Jerusalem residency requirement, would safely release one of Jerusalem’s most major pressure valves and keep the city unified.

JoeSettler

IFCJ Warns Rising Israeli Arab Angst May Become Strategic Threat

Monday, January 25th, 2016

A new poll conducted on behalf of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in the Israeli Arab population is raising red flags – and reinforcing recent warnings by President Reuven Rivlin about the rising popularity of Da’esh (ISIS) in that population.

Rivlin said that according to figures gleaned from “research studies, arrests, testimonies and covert analyses,” there is increasing support for Da’esh among Israeli Arabs.

The survey, conducted by the Stat-net Institute, polled a sample of 500 low-income Israeli Arabs. The findings showed that 67 percent of Israeli Arabs feel discriminated against, and 71 percent feel that low-income Israeli Jews receive more state aid than they do. Further, 54 percent of Israeli Arabs feel the government – including Israeli Arab Mks – do not care about their interests.

The poll was commissioned to measure the impact of The Fellowship’s financial support for low-income Israeli-Arab citizens, according to IFCJ founder and director Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. Instead, it came up with clanging bells and warning signs.

“The survey shows Israel should be caring more for its Arab citizens and investing in them the same way it does with its most vulnerable Jewish citizens, not only for moral reasons but also to counter the threat of political extremism and to promote patriotism. If we don’t invest in Israel’s citizens, ISIS will,” said IFCJ founder and director, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.

“We found a direct correlation between Israeli Arabs’ feelings of being treated equally to Jews and their sense of belonging to society and even their willingness to serve,” added Eckstein. “If we can change the numbers, we can avoid Israeli Arabs becoming a strategic threat.”

The IFCJ has invested more than $35 million on social welfare programs for Israeli Arabs in recent years, he said. Those investments included programs to help the elderly, children, and at-risk youth, and on drug abuse prevention, emergency financial aid, job empowerment for women, and other initiatives.

The survey found that among the low-income Israeli Arabs who felt they are being treated unfairly compared to poor Israeli Jews, only 20 percent said they “feel strongly or very strongly connected to Israel.”

Only 38 percent of Israeli Arabs who feel they lack equal rights in Israel said they would perform national service.

Of those who felt they were treated equally, 58 percent of Israeli Arabs said they would perform national service.

Rivlin warned a week ago (Jan. 18) that Israeli Arab teens are growing more enamored with becoming Da’esh operatives for the ISIS terror organization.

“The Islamic State is already here – that is no longer a secret,” Rivlin told participants at the ninth annual international conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). “I am not speaking about territories bordering the State of Israel – but within Israel itself.” He, too, added that it is in the best interest of Israel to offer its Arab population a better future than the fantasies promised by terror groups such as Da’esh.

Rivlin said it is in the best interest of the state to offer Israel’s Arabs a better future than that promised by groups such as Da’esh. “If children are growing up without a dream, without hope or without aspirations, with the feeling that their blood and their lives are of a lesser value in the State of Israel, then we must think of how to offer them a dream, hope and faith,” Rivlin said.

Hana Levi Julian

Father, Brother of Tel Aviv Shooter Released from Custody

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Mohammed Melhem, the father of Tel Aviv shooter Nashet Melhem, has been freed from custody along with his son Ali.

The two men were released to house arrest on $1,270 bond in an agreement between the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet/Shabak) and attorney Nechami Feinblatt, a public defender who represents the family.

“I think the Shin Bet understands that the family wanted to help capture him and not help him,” the attorney said.

Both were held in custody along with six other relatives and friends last week while the killer was at large. They were arrested on charges of being accessories to murder, illegal association and conspiracy to commit a crime and premeditated manslaughter.

Melhem murdered three people in Tel Aviv on Jan. 1 using a weapon he stole from his father, a volunteer police officer. It was the elder Melhem who identified his son to police as the killer after seeing a video of the murders on television.

When he still was not captured within three days, the elder Melhem was taken into custody along with other relatives and friends. It later turned out that numerous family members did indeed know Nashet was back in the village; but they were reluctant to turn in one of their own. The subsequent pressure by Shin Bet operatives, leveraged via arrests and questioning, plus the gathering of DNA and other hard evidence, proved essential in ending the saga.

Nashet Melhem will be buried in his home village of Ar’ara in Wadi Ara in a small private ceremony on Sunday afternoon. The family is doing whatever it can to put this behind them, a relative said.

Hana Levi Julian

Bedouin Teacher Sentenced for Planning to Join ISIS

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

An Israeli Bedouin educator in the northern Negev town of Hura was sentenced to prison Thursday after being convicted on charges of planning to join Da’esh (ISIS).

High school teacher Muhammad Al’ab Ahmed abu Alkyan, 27 was found guilty of having used his position as an educator to spread the terror group’s propaganda among the students and teachers.

He also shared the Da’esh doctrine with family members and associates, according to a statement by the Shin Bet.

Alkyan was sentenced to four years in prison, having confessed during questioning to his plans to join Da’esh (ISIS).

He also was convicted of establishing his own terrorist cell in southern Israel, and having acted as a “spiritual teacher” in passing on ISIS teachings and recruiting other supporters.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Police Hunt for Tel Aviv Shooter in Northern Israel

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

The manhunt for the Tel Aviv shooter has expanded into northern Israel after five days of fruitless searching for the killer in the city and its surrounds.

Israel Police Commissioner Inspector-General Roni Alsheich has ordered the deployment of officers to Arab towns along the northern 1949 Armistice Line, also known as the “1967 line” or Green Line.

Police began searching for Tel Aviv shooter Nashet Melhem in the area early Wednesday after concluding he has managed to escape from the city. Melhem and his parents live in the northern Israeli Arab town of Ar’ara, in Wadi Ara.

Melhem killed two people and wounded eight others last Friday in an attack on a Dizengoff Street pub, “Simta.” He is also believed to have murdered Bedouin cab driver Ayman Sha’aban of Lod. Melhem allegedly hailed the cab right after the murders and rode with Sha’aban to an open area near the Glilot interchange, then allegedly killed him and escaped.

Although his father, volunteer police officer Muhammed Melhem identified his son last week after seeing video footage of the attack and pleaded before media for him to turn himself in, he was arrested Tuesday as a possible accessory. Two of the shooter’s brothers had already been arrested on Saturday.

In addition, the shooter’s brothers and a number of other relatives and friends have been arrested as well. All have been charged as possible accomplices in his escape.

His mother was also taken into custody Tuesday for questioning but she was not charged.

A large contingent of police and other security personnel are now involved in hunting for Melhem in northern Israel.

A Muslim Arab from eastern Jerusalem is also involved in the efforts to capture Melhem.

Mazen Qaq, chairman of the Committee of Jerusalem’s Old City Merchants, has offered a substantial cash reward for viable information leading to Melhem’s capture.

“We need to stop with the ‘Arab against Israeli’ narrative,” he said. “We are all cousins who wish to live in peace.”

 

Hana Levi Julian

Tel Aviv Schools Open Under Tight Security, Search for Cafe Killer Continues

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Schools opened Sunday morning amid tight security as security forces continued to hunt through Tel Aviv for a gunman who killed two people and wounded at least eight others at a cafe on Friday.

Israeli security forces search for the killer after a shooting attack at a pub in central Tel Aviv.

But it became clear after the first hour that parents of approximately half of the children were too frightened to send their children to school. Of 1600 preschool and kindergarten-age children, only 230 made it to class, and approximately half of all other students stayed home as well, according to the Hebrew-language Ynet site.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai reassured parents in a live interview on Galei Tzahal IDF Army Radio that parents who felt insecure about sending their children to school could keep them home.

“It’s okay for you to to keep your children home if you feel unsure,” Huldai said. But he also emphasized that the city had beefed up security around schools and other high-population areas in the wake of Friday’s shooting at a café on Dizengoff Street.

All schools and classes are open, including the preschools and kindergartens, and all school trips and activities are continuing as scheduled. The city raised its alert and added 24-hour patrols as security personnel continue their manhunt for the killer who murdered two and wounded eight others.

Tel Aviv police officers searched with other security services in the hunt for the gunman.

Nashat Milhem, 31, is from the northern Israeli Arab village of Ar’ara. He has already served time in an Israeli prison and is also known to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder which makes him even more unpredictable. Milhem is still believed to be carrying the assault rifle he allegedly used in the attack on the café.

His family identified him from the video footage broadcast from the attack on media and immediately contacted law enforcement; his father made a public apology, saying, “I am sorry. I did not raise my son this way.”

Residents in the north Tel Aviv neighborhood of Ramat Aviv reported seeing a man who fit Milhem’s description, drawing a large security force to the area.

Personnel from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet / Shabak) and special ops police units are continuing door-to-door searchers in apartment buildings and construction sites in and around Tel Aviv as they search for Milhem.

Following the Sabbath, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site of the attack. He praised the statements of support from the Israeli Arab community and condemnations of the attack from Israeli Arab leaders. Netanyahu then turned his attention to Israeli Arab MKs and Islamist clerics who have been responsible for the mixed messages conveyed to the Israeli Arab public. Such messages have, to a great extent, contributed to the incitement that has whipped up the frenzy of hate driving some of the Israeli Arab teens who now are intent upon murdering their fellow Israelis.

Netanyahu stated bluntly that the time has come for Israeli Arab MKs, and by extension, Israeli Arabs, to decide on who they wish to be: Arab Israelis or citizens of the Palestinian Authority.

Hana Levi Julian

Following Terror Attack, PM Netanyahu Demands Israeli-Arabs Show Loyalty to Israel [video]

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening, visited the murder scene on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv where he was briefed on the progress of the investigation by – inter alia – Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Israel Police Inspector General Roni Alsheich. The Prime Minister lit a memorial candle and spoke with one of the pub’s owners.

Prime Minister Netanyahu:

“Yesterday there was a heinous and unbelievably vicious murder here. Young people, whose entire lives were ahead of them, the ages of my own children, were innocently sitting celebrating a birthday and were murdered in cold blood. I would like to send heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were murdered and wishes for a complete and quick recovery to the wounded. We are praying for their well-being.

The Israel Police and ISA are working around the clock to apprehend the murderer. I just received a comprehensive briefing on their operations. They, the security forces of the State of Israel, are working to the best of their abilities. The photograph of the murderer has been published; additional photographs of him will also be published. We have reinforced our units in all relevant areas. I request that the public be on maximum alert.

I appreciate the condemnations of the crime that have been made by the Arab public. I must say that I expect all Arab MKs, all of them without exception, to clearly condemn the murder without hesitation. Murder is murder, and must be condemned and acted against from whatever quarter.

Among Israel’s Muslim citizens there are many elements that have come out against the violence and wish for full law enforcement in their communities. However, we all know that there is wild radical Islamic incitement against the State of Israel in the Arab sector. There is incitement in mosques, in the educational system and in social media. We are taking strong action against this incitement just as we did when we outlawed the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement and the Mourabitoun. I am not prepared to accept two States of Israel, a state of law for most of its citizens and a state within a state for some of them, in enclaves in which there is no law enforcement and in which there is Islamist incitement, rampant crime and illegal weapons that are frequently fired at events such as weddings. This era has ended.

I have formulated a plan, along with the Public Security Minister and the Israel Police Inspector General, a plan with a lot of money and resources. We will dramatically increase law enforcement services in the Arab sector. Israel will enforce the law and its sovereignty in all parts of the country – in the Galilee, the Negev and the Triangle, everywhere. We will build new police stations, recruit more police and go into all communities and demand from all of them loyalty to the laws of the state. One cannot say ‘I am an Israeli in rights and a Palestinian in obligations.’ Whoever wants to be Israeli should be an Israeli all the way, both in rights and in obligations, and the first and highest obligation is to obey the laws of the state.

I view positively the increasing involvement in the IDF, in civilian service and in the overall life of the state, of the Christian, Druze and northern Bedouin communities, and within the Muslim community as well. I call on all citizens of Israel, especially its Muslim citizens, to take the path of integration, coexistence and peace and not the path of incitement, hatred and fanaticism. We are all citizens of the state and are all bound to maintain it and uphold its laws.

The Prime Minister’s speech begins at 0:30.

Video of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pm-netanyahu-demand-israeli-arabs-begin-showing-loyalty-to-israel-video/2016/01/03/

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