Shin Bet: Integrating Arabs Into Israeli Society Might Stop Radicalization

Security officials present analysis of Israeli Arab sector in special meeting held by PM.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held on Sunday a special meeting dealing with the Arab population in Israel, during which Shin Bet officials said that Israel should work to encourage integration of Israeli Arabs  in order to stop tendencies of radicalization.

Israeli Arab protest
Yaron Kaminsky

The meeting was the first of its kind since Netanyahu came to office, and was attended by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman, Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin, and senior officials from Shin Bet and police.

The Shin Bet's main message was that increased efforts to integrate Arab citizens into Israeli society might prevent radicalization among Israeli Arabs. The Prime Minister's office refused to provide details about the meeting.

Netanyahu's government has promoted several bills that are considered to be directed against the Arab population in Israel. One of the most controversial bills is the amendment to Law of Citizenship, which requires any non-Jew seeking citizenship to pledge allegiance to Israel as a 'Jewish and democratic state.'

The amendment drew fierce criticism in Israel and abroad, especially due the fact that ut required only non-Jews seeking citizenship to make such a declaration.
Finally, the bill was modified to include Jewish immigrants entering Israel by virtue of the Law of Return.

The amendment has not yet been approved by the Knesset, and is still being debated.