Incoming Hadash lawmaker: Planning policy is anti-Arab
Dr. Swaid tells Haaretz only conlusion reached in examining policy is that Israel wants Arabs to emigrate.
MK-designate Dr. Hanna Swaid (Hadash) leveled sharp criticism at state policy Monday at a conference on national planning. Swaid told Haaretz that Israel wants its Arab citizens to emigrate, saying no other conclusion is possible from examining policy.
"The demographic question is at the heart of all planning in Israel. Funding is allocated only to Jewish communities, while Arab communities don't get anything. In mixed cities, the homes of Arabs are demolished to preserve the 20 percent proportion of population. What is the conclusion?" Swaid asked. "Only one. The establishment is trying to convince Arabs they have no place here."
The sixth annual conference on land and housing was held Monday by the Arab Center for Alternative Planning, which Sweid heads, and the national committee of Arab mayors.
Participants tied planning policy to the hostile political climate and criticized Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's declarations.
"Olmert saying only Zionist parties will be part of the coalition, delegitimizes the Arab population. Government is a symbol of sovereignty, and if it is only for Jews, then that raises thoughts on whether there is desire to have Arabs in this country," Swaid stated.
The Arab population sees efforts to develop the Negev and Galilee regions as motivated by demographics. According to the charge, budgets are only invested in Jewish communities in those areas. "The needs of the Arab population are barely addressed. The wrapping is development and the content is Judaization," Swaid charges.
Swaid also noted the call among Israelis to set borders with the Palestinian Authority so that Arab towns in the Triangle are under PA control.