One after another lately, various Israeli-Arab organizations have been publishing papers dealing with the future of the Arab public in Israel and its relations with the state authorities. The papers present the problems encountered by Israeli Arabs in their contact with Israeli law, with the state authorities and state institutions, and call for a fundamental change in the relationship between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority.

What led to this recent flurry of efforts to spell out "visions" of problems and solutions for the Arab public? The standard explanation: The worsening breakdown of trust between this public and the state institutions in wake of the events of October 2000. Yet there can be no ignoring the fact that these visions are blossoming just when Israel has come out of a difficult war in Lebanon, is still facing a possible war in the North, is in a fragile state of cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, is dealing daily with terror cells in the West Bank, and has an existential threat from Iran hovering over it.

This week, the leaders of the Arab minority in Israel declared war in their own way on the Jewish national state in the Land of Israel.

Some of the demands presented in the "visions" are new, such as the outrageous calls for granting veto power to the Arab minority on decisions of national import, and for separate representation at international institutions, and more in that vein. There are also calls for changing the flag and the national anthem, for a return to abandoned villages and equality in immigration rights to Israel.

Equality in immigration rights means the annulment of the Law of Return, or the legislation of a Law of Return for Arabs; in other words, opening the country's gates to hundreds of thousands of descendents of residents of 1948 Palestine, so that the country will have a Palestinian majority. A return to abandoned villages means situating a quarter of a million Israeli Arabs (as one "vision" estimates) in hundreds of rebuilt villages, something that would alter Israel's demography, create hundreds of new friction points and foster ongoing internal intra-ethnic conflict even after the external conflict is resolved. Changing the flag and the national anthem, to make them express the national uniqueness of the Arab minority, would abolish - on the symbolic level - Israel as the Jewish national state; the next stage would have to be changing the name of the state.

Every Arab knows that the Jewish majority in Israel could never consent to any one of these demands (or several others not cited here). If they nonetheless go on raising them with increasing vehemence, the intention is clear: to bolster the Palestinian narrative whose origins lie in the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948 and to ensure that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians does not abate even after peace agreements are signed and an independent Palestinian state arises alongside the State of Israel.

Even if Israel one day arrives at an understanding with the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and all of the Arab states about taking the demand for the right of return off the agenda, the demands of Israeli Arab citizens for a right of return for descendants of the uprooted to their forefathers' villages and their other nationalistic demands will ensure that the flames of the conflict are not extinguished. The tension between the Jewish population and the Arab population within Israel would only continue and even worsen over the years in the wake of demographic developments, until the aim of the elimination of the Jewish state is finally achieved.

It cannot be repeated often enough: In 1947-48, the Arabs were given an opportunity to establish an independent state on part of the territory of Palestine. Their leaders passed up this opportunity and instead tried to drown the Jewish state in blood and fire. The leaders of the descendants of the 1948 refugees who are scattered in the Arab states and elsewhere, and of the Arabs who remained and became Israeli citizens, are trying to repeat in a different way the failed attempt of the 1948 generation, with terror from outside and by nurturing a separatist Palestinian narrative from within.

The result will be a deepening of the rift and a heightening of the hostility between Jews and Arabs in Israel. The leadership and the liberal Jewish public accept Israeli Arabs as citizens with equal rights, with the exception of certain areas that touch on Israel's essence as a Jewish state (such as the Law of Return and the Law of Citizenship). All would agree that, over the years, the Arab minority has suffered discrimination in certain areas and that this must be remedied. But the leaders of the Arabs in Israel are trying to show that their loyalty is not given to the State of Israel in its present incarnation, but only to a binational Jewish-Arab state on the territory of Israel, or to a Palestinian state on all the territory of the Land of Israel.

It's no wonder, then, that Israeli readiness to undo the discriminations of the past is not that strong. All these "visions" herald a much bleaker future for relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel.