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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Arabs’

Census Debunks Arab Demographic Threat

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Jewish and Arab birth rates indicate that the percentage of school children in the Israeli educational system who are Jewish will grow by 2019 while the percentage of Arabs will decline.

The Central Bureau of Statistics reported Tuesday that the Jewish percentage will rise by one percentage point, from 73 to 74 percent, and the Arab percentage will decline by a point, from 27 to 26 percent.

Previous warnings of a growing Arab population were based on birth rates that no longer are valid. The latest statistics show that there will be 12 percent more children in the Hebrew education system by 2019 but only 10 percent more in the Arab system.

One reason for the decrease in the Arab birth rate might be due to Arab families enjoying a higher quality of life and becoming part of the “middle class” that usually is accompanied by smaller families. The change also indicates that Arabs in Israel do not share the ideology of the Bedouin and fundamentalist Muslim communities that promote larger families as part of the “resistance” movement to eliminate a Jewish majority in Israel.

However, birth rates among Haredi and modern orthodox Jews remain high, one of the reasons that the supposed Arab demographic threat in Judea and Samaria also is exaggerated.

The estimated number of school children also indicates that the Haredi birth rate has declined but still is far higher than in other Jewish sectors in Israel. The annual growth rate in the Haredi primary educations schools is expected to drop from 4.7 percent, for the period from 2001 until 2012, to 3.6 percent by 2019. The rate in the secondary school system is forecast to drop by nearly 50 percent, from 4 percent to 2.3 percent.

The growth rate in state secular and religious schools will increase, but only to 1.43 percent in the primary school system, according to the Bureau of Statistics.

Children in Haredi schools will comprise 31 percent of the total primary school population by 2019, 50 percent more than the 21 percent recorded in the past 11-year period.

Netanyahu Puts Arab MK in His Place (Video)

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu put Arab Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka in his place when he went far beyond the “red line” in a Knesset debate and declared in a rowdy debate, “We were here before you, and we’ll be here after you. Stop dreaming.”

The debate concerned the bill that was voted into law and requires a referendum before Israel can surrender any sovereign territory, which includes the Golan Heights and parts of Jerusalem that were occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967.

The Prime Minister, who a long time ago excelled in the United Nations as Israeli’s Ambassador, decided to march up to the podium and in several seconds succinctly rebuffed Zahalka.

“The first part [of your statement] is not true – and the second part will never happen,” said Prime Minister, who then went back to his seat to the sound of thunderous applause and a useless reprimand by the Knesset Speaker that it is forbidden to applaud in the Knesset.

Brotherly love? Haredi MK Speaks Arabic, Arab Answers in Yiddish

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

At least one Haredi Knesset Member and Arab MK showed in the Knessset on Wednesday that they communicate with each much better than with most other MKs and Israeli citizens.

MKs Yisrael Eichler and Ahmed Tibi both are vehemently opposed to the new law that raises the entrance level for small political parties.

In their speeches against the law, MK Eichler showed his alliance with MK Ahmed Tibi by speaking to him in Arabic, to the enjoyment of Tibi’s colleagues, and the Arab MK returned the favor and told Eichler in Yiddish how much he appreciates the Haredi support for “democracy.”

Cabinet Approves Freeing 104 Terrorists

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

The Inner Cabinet late Sunday afternoon voted 13-7 to free 104 terrorists who were convicted and jailed before the Oslo Accords in 1993, but the decision does not necessarily give blanket approval to free Israeli Arabs who are on the list.

A mini-Cabinet, packed by ministers on the side of Prime Minister Binymain Netanyahu, will decide which terrorists can be freed in four stages stretching over a period of nine months.

Two ministers, Limor Livnat and Silvan Shalom, both of the Likud party, abstained.

Voting with Netanyau were:

– Likud ministers Yuval Steinitz, Moshe Ya’alon and Gideon Sa’ar;

– Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, Yael German, Yaakov Peri, Shai Piron and Meir Cohen;

– Yisrael Beiteinu’s Sofa Landver and Yitzchak Aharonovitch; and

– Tzipi Livni and Amir Peretz of Livni’s HaTnuah party.

Likud ministers Gilad Erdan and Yisrael Katz voted against the government, as did the three Jewish Home ministers – Uri Ariel and Uri Orbach – and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers Yair Shamir and Uzi Landau.

Livni said the Cabinet should free the terrorists “for the sake of the future,” meaning the resumption of direct talks this week with the Palestinian Authority.

Likud Minister Yisrael Katz replied, “Releasing terrorists is a mistake, just like the building freeze was a mistake. There are ministers sitting here today who supported the building freeze and claimed it would lead to negotiations, and we have seen how far it got us. In six months, it will be clear that freeing terrorists will not bring us anything except  to worsen out situation in the region, and in the international community.”

Jewish Home chairman, Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, voted against the government of which his party is a coalition member. “We used to free a terrorist in exchange for a soldier,”  he said, “After that, we freed terrorists for the return of the bodies of soldiers, Now, we free hundreds of terrorists in exchange for a process. We are teaching the world that everything is for sale.”

Cabinet OKs ‘Peace Process’ Referendum, Delays Vote on Terrorists

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

The Cabinet has approved a draft of a change in the Basic Law to require a referendum before giving up sovereign Israeli territory to the Palestinian Authority, but it has delayed for more than two hours a vote on freeing terrorists. Sovereign land refers to United Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, all of which have been legally annexed to Israel, but it does not include Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is confronted with massive and bitter opposition to freeing 104 terrorists, including Arabs with Israeli citizenship, to fulfill a condition of Palestinian Authority  chairman Mahmoud Abbas for renewing direct  talks.

The Prime Minister is scrambling for a majority, and the major sticking point is the idea of Abbas’ demanding that Israel free Arabs who are Israeli citizens.

Prime Minister Netanyahu packed the Cabinet to win a majority by adding Yesh Atid Minister of Science and Technology Yaakov Peri  to the inner cabinet committee that will vote on freeing the terrorists.

Likud ministers are divided, but the party’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon caved into pressure and said he will back the release of the Palestiniain Arab terrorists but not those with Israeli citizenship.

Jewish Home’s three ministers said they will vote against Netanyahu, as will Likud Minister Israel Katz and Gilad Erdan. The clincher could rest with the Likud’s Israel Beiteinu faction, whose leader Avigdor Liberman has given them the freedom to vote as they please. At least two minsters are expected to oppose freeing more terrorists.

The Prime Minister is expected to win a small majority, but if the Cabinet insists on keeping Arabs with Israeli citizenship off the list, it could torpedo  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s grand design for the resumption of direct talks on Tuesday.

Palestinian Authority officials have said they want “all or nothing.”

Opposition among the Israeli public and even left-wing media is rampant. Netanyahu understood he would meet stiff opposition, and on Saturday night, he took the unusual step of writing an open letter to the Israeli public.

He admitted that freeing the terrorists contradicts the value of justice but nevertheless said it was good for the country to do so.

At the opening of Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister continued to try to convince ministers to back him. “I believe that renewing the diplomatic process is important for Israel, both in order to bring an end to the conflict and in light of the complex realities in our region, primarily the security challenges from Iran and Syria,” he said.

Naftali Bennett, Jewish Home chairman and Minister of Economy, joined a Sunday morning protest against freeing the terrorists, many of whom murdered  elderly people and young children.

Yair Lapid, Finance Minister and chairman of the Yesh Atid party, reflected the view of those who are disgusted at the idea of releasing more terrorists but still hold out the hope against hope that it will help the cause of peace.

“These people should rot in prison all of their lives, but we need to do what is possible in order to start the peace process,” Lapid said.

One question remains unanswered: Why has Netanyahu broken his promises and stated policy – again?

He said direct talks must resume without any pre-conditions.

Maybe is gaining a promise from the Obama administration to take harsher action against Iran, or perhaps he is winning American agreement that the “red line” for acting against Iran is about to pass.

The U.S. government, like Netanyahu, have made lots of promises in the past.

Is It against Israeli Law to Fight with Syrian Rebels?

Monday, July 8th, 2013

An Israeli court on Monday sentenced an Arab with Israeli citizenship to 30 months in jail for traveling to the enemy state of Syria, where he joined the rebels for a week before changing his mind when he was asked to carry out a suicide attack in Israel.

State prosecutors charged him with training with radical Islamists in Syria, but a court in Lod, near Tel Aviv, decided against imposing the maximum 15-year jail sentence on the man because, according to Judge Avraham Yaakov, “There’s no legal guidance regarding the rebel groups fighting in Syria.”

Israel arrested Hikmat Massarwa in March after he returned to the country from Syria, via Turkey, after having sought out his brother. He is fighting with the rebels, assuming he still is alive.

He argued that although Syrian President Bassar al-Assad and the government of Syria are enemies of Israel, the rebels are not a danger to the country.

Since the “friendly” rebels asked him to kill as many Israelis as possible in a suicide attack, Massarwa finally pleaded guilty to travelling to a hostile country and meeting with foreign agents. The charges of training with an illegal militia were dropped, and Massarwa admitted that his short adventure could have threatened Israel’s security.

If nothing else, the case proves that whoever wins in Syria, if anyone ever does, Israel will be faced with an enemy state.

The case also is one more in a growing list of Arabs with Israeli citizenship who work with Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups to work against the country. The vast majority of Israeli Arabs are not considered to be openly hostile to the country, but  a growing ”Fifth Column,” incited by radical Arab Knesset Members, has raised concerns in the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

There is no massive wave of Israeli Arabs working against the country, but there are large areas of blatant anti-Israeli activity, particularly in the Bedouin city of Tel Sheva, adjacent to Be’er Sheva, and in the Islamic Movement’s northern branch in Umm el Faham.

Lapid Threat: On Haredi Draft It’s ‘Equal Burden’ or New Elections

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid warned on Monday that if the government wants to stay in power, it will have to approve a committee’s recommendation on “equal burden,” including criminal actions against draft dodgers.

“If anyone thinks I entered politics only to solve the economic disaster that the previous government left in behind, they are making a big mistake, said the finance minister.

Lapid is proving himself to be a smart politician. He has the secular anti-Haredi public’s vote in his pocket, no matter what. He can scream to the rafters over compromises on the “Peri Committee” recommendations for equal military service for citizens  - well, at least for Jews – and can still agree to a compromise.

His threat to “dissolve the coalition” is real, but neither he nor the anti-Haredi public will mind if a small compromise is made because they know that a political bird in the hand is worth two doubtful birds in the bush. The alternative is a new coalition – probably one with Haredim – or new elections. Both options are really non-starters.

His party took home 19 seats to catapult his fledgling party into the number two spot, behind Likud Beiteinu, on the strength of his demand for equal burden in the draft, a break for the middle class and concessions to the Palestinian Authority for the sake of a peace agreement.

In fact, he has taken positions four-square against the demands of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Lapid even has sounded like a mild nationalist, stating that Jerusalem cannot be divided and making the totally impractical suggestion that Abbas take a step back and agree for interim borders for a new PA state. He even has approved funding for Ariel University located in central Samaria.

Concessions to the Haredim on the military draft is his red line, as he made clear on Monday after Naftali Bennett, chairman  of the Jewish Home party, argued against the Peri panel’s recommendations for criminal charges against draft dodgers.

He said he “does not want to see a police battalion” storm Bnei Brak to arrests Haredim draft evaders.

As with most apparent political crises in Israel, the hot air is a warning to the other side not to try to throw too much cold water on an issue, which in this case is the draft. After all of the thunder and lightning, some kind of compromise will be reached, such as changing the tone of the clause requiring criminal action against draft dodgers in return for extending the military draft for Hesder yeshiva students.

All of the noise has another advantage. It drowns out any mention of the massive draft dodging among many secular Israelis, the ones who voted for Lapid.

The drum beats for dissolving the coalition and risking new elections also silences any reminder about any obligation for the Arab sector.

If Bennett does not want to see a police battalion deployed in Bnei Brak, Lapid would fall over himself before allowing a police battalion to enter Umm-al-Fahm, home of the northern branch of the radical Islamic Movement.

Likud Beiteinu Tourism Minister Uzi Landau asked on Sunday why the Peri Committee did not recommend forcing Israeli Arabs to fulfill a duty of national service.

One obvious reason is that while there is a political benefit from taking aim at the Haredi public, no one is going to switch political support for someone who makes demands of the Arab sector.

Besides, the police would not dare storm Umm-al-Fahm.

And Lapid knows that Bnei Brak would not be a piece of cake, either.

Israelis Live Longer than Most OECD Countries

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The average life expectancy in Israel is 81.7 years, fifth highest among OECD countries, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The annual report on the eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, also reported that 10 percent of Israelis live in Jerusalem

Tel Aviv is the second most popular city, where 5 percent of Israelis live. The figures do not include the entire metropolitan Tel Aviv, known in Hebrew as Gush Dan and includes Kfar Saba, Ra’anana, Petach Tikvah, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan and Rishon LeTzion, among others.

Arabs comprise 20.7 percent of the entire population, and the statistics reflect a continuing trend that denies the claim that the Arab percentage of the population is increasing.

However, the Bedouin population continues to soar in the Negev, where Jews are a small minority outside of Be’er Sheva.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israelis-live-longer-than-most-oecd-countries/2013/04/17/

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