Senior Israeli Politicians Celebrate Book That Says Arabs Should Be Incarcerated in Camps

Some 400 Likud members attended a book launch by a historian who says Israeli Arabs 'excel at evading service to the state' and 'consume more than they produce'

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Minister Yisrael Katz
Minister Yisrael KatzCredit: Ofer Vaknin
Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Likud politicians celebrated the launch of a book by an Islam expert Wednesday night, but it wasn’t your typical book party. The author, historian Raphael Israeli, says the Israeli Arabs are a fifth column who “suck from the state’s teats” and cannot be integrated into Israeli society.

He even cites admiration for the Americans’ internment of Japanese citizens during World War II and objects to the fact that Israeli Arabs "are not confined in camps."

The Hebrew-language book is “The Arab Minority in Israel: Open and Hidden Processes.” Israeli, a professor emeritus of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Chinese history at Hebrew University, has also taught at the University of Haifa. He’s already known for his criticism of Islamic societies, especially the Israeli Arab community.

The book’s publisher is a Likud member, Eliyahu Gabbay, a former Knesset member for the National Religious Party. The project was funded by Miami businessman Haim Yehezkel.

The launch, with some 400 Likud members on hand, took place at Ramat Gan's Kfar Maccabiah Hotel. Senior Likud members spoke including Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Coalition Chairman David Bitan and MK Miki Zohar. All participants received free copies of the book.

Meanwhile, a paper handed out provided suggestions for handling “threats and boycotts against people serving in the security forces” and other ills including “bigamy, polygamy with multiple women, some imported from Gaza and Jordan, the taking over of state land, and incitement against the state.”

Emotions ran high; Israeli even walked out to protest a loud argument over the Supreme Court’s role in Israel. Participants shouted insults against the Arab MKs, dubbing them “traitors” and calling for their ouster from the Knesset. One participant called for the resurrection of the military government over the Israeli Arab community, which ended in 1966.

In the 240-page book, which contains no notes or sources, Israeli claims that the national and Islamic element in Israeli Arabs’ identity prevents them from integrating into Israel, and thanks to the nave left wing, this minority constitutes an existential threat to Israel.

“The successes of high-tech in Tel Aviv and Ra’anana stem from private ventures established by enterprises that dared to take risks, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding. Is anybody stopping Arab entrepreneurs from getting up and initiating, investing and taking risks in founding successful startups in Sakhnin?” Israeli writes, referring to an Israeli Arab town in the north.

“They invest in hummus and fancy cars and complain that the state doesn’t invest in them or in industrial plants in their areas. Osem, Tnuva and Strauss weren't established by the state either,” he adds, referring to Israel’s three biggest food manufacturers.

Israeli writes that the Israel Arab community may suffer from discrimination in budgets, but it’s the opposite with tax collection. “Jewish manufacturers pay to the state that finances its Arab citizens, who pay less tax. On the other hand, the Arabs excel at evading service to the state, and their crime rates are double the national average. They consume more than they produce,” he writes.

“They receive an enormously greater amount in benefits than they pay into our treasury. If Israel’s Arabs aren’t satisfied with the rate at which they suck from the state’s teats, let them find another country that will pamper them more and give them what no Arab or Islamic state would .... This prosperity wasn’t accrued because of them but despite their being a heavy burden on the Jewish state economically, socially and security-wise.”

Israeli implies that Israeli Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews are parasite societies. “If not for [the Israeli Arabs], and if not for Jewish parasites like them, GDP per capita in Israel would soar even higher than the level in Europe,” he writes.

“Who suffers from discrimination, then, if not the members of the Jewish majority? GDP per capita in Israel reached its current level not because of government but because of Jewish entrepreneurs benefiting themselves and the economy, which boosts the Arabs as well.”

According to the author, Israeli Arabs live semi-autonomously “sucking in” more resources than they provide or deserve, but they “wouldn’t lift a finger to improve their own economic situation.”

Regarding the Israeli Arabs’ feeling about the state, Israeli writes that “we have not seen them standing in line to donate blood for casualties of Israel’s wars, or standing up to replace the personnel sent to fight on the borders, to protect them as well.”

He says this isn't how a minority that wants to be integrated should behave.

“That is the behavior of a fifth column, not loyal citizens,” he writes. “While we have not heard them hail the scientific and technological achievements of their country, from whose fruits they wish to eat wholeheartedly, they have expressed admiration for Saddam Hussein’s ability to set Israel on fire, for Hezbollah’s drive to win, and for Islamic Jihad’s ability to strike at the heart of their country.”

In his final chapter, Israeli aims to awaken the Israeli public, which he says seems unaware of the danger. He notes that during World War II, Britain detained people their interior minister considered suspect, and the United States put in camps citizens of Japanese origin.

But he says that enfeebled Israel has lost its will to exist as a Jewish state, and that “although the Arabs openly identify with the enemy, nothing bad will happen to them. Not only are they not incarcerated in camps, they may stand on our platforms.”

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