Mudcat Café message #1659151 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88448   Message #1659151
Posted By: number 6
01-Feb-06 - 11:46 AM
Thread Name: BS: FLAME and radical liberal anti-semitism
Subject: RE: BS: FLAME and radical liberal anti-semitism
Just some info here ... I have cut and pasted it, but what the hell...

Israeli Arabs, also referred to as Arab-Israelis, Arab citizens of Israel or Palestinian citizens of Israel, are Arabs who are citizens of Israel. Israeli Arabs are full citizens of the State of Israel, with equal protection under the law, and full rights of due process. Apart from the Druze (who are Arabs but form a distinct minority group) most Israeli Arabs are descendants of the roughly 150,000 Palestinians who remained within Israel borders during and after the Palestinian Exodus which resulted from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, as many as 200,000 have emigrated into Israel from the Gaza Strip and West Bank [1]. Many Israeli Arabs share family and other ties with the Palestinians in these areas and in other Arab countries.

Israel also has a large population of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews who fled or were expelled from Arab countries, mostly after 1948, or who are the descendants of those refugees. They are Israeli but are usually not identified as Arabs (although many of them are traditionally Arabic-speaking and hold on to Arab culture, tradition, cuisine,...).

Arabic, which is mostly spoken by the Arab minority, is one of Israel's official languages. In 2004, Israeli Arab citizens made up about 19.5% of Israel's population [2]. It is estimated that an additional 170,000 Palestinians live illegally in Israel [3] amongst the Israeli Arab population. Israeli Arabs sometimes consider themselves Palestinian, sometimes Israeli, and sometimes both. The majority of Israeli Arabs are Muslim and a minority are Christian. There are two additional distinct subgroups: followers of the Druze religion (about 120,000), and the Bedouin (170,000), who are predominantly Muslim [4].

Most Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem (about 250,000) are not Israeli citizens, but hold legal permanent resident status to live and travel within Israel. According to 1988 Israeli Supreme court ruling, this status also makes them eligible for Israel Social Security benefits and state-provided health care [5].

Well-known Israeli Arabs include the politician and novelist Emile Habibi, film directors Elie Suleiman and Hany Abu-Assad, and the politician Azmi Bishara. There are ten Israeli Arabs sitting as members of the 16th Knesset (there are a total of 120 seats), and there is currently an Arab judge (Justice Salim Jubran) sitting in the Israeli Supreme Court. The 1999 Miss Israel, Rana Raslan, was also an Israeli Arab. Ariel Sharon's 2001 cabinet included as a minister an Israeli Arab, Salah Tarif, and in March of 2005 Oscar Abu Razaq was appointed Director General of the Ministry of Interior.

Organisations representing Israeli Arabs allege that the population faces discrimination in a number of respects, arising from legislation and government policy. However, since the mid 1990s the government has adopted affirmative action policies in recruiting Israeli Arabs to the civil service.

Apart from the Druze, Israeli Arabs are not required to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, although some, notably among the Bedouin, volunteer to serve.