The Glorious State of Israel and Its anti-Arab Discrimination

Whether it's the media's coverage of last week's horrific traffic accident in Nesher or the Transportation Ministry's rail plan for the Galilee, the racism toward Arabs in this country cannot be concealed.

Yitzhak Laor
Yitzhak Laor
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Yitzhak Laor
Yitzhak Laor

After the first reports of the horrific traffic accident last Wednesday in the Haifa suburb of Nesher, Israeli radio stations switched to an all-news format. Experts insisted that it was a terror attack. Judging by the emotions expressed it was obvious that the truck driver was an Arab; by the evening it was clear that the accident's victims were also Arabs.

And the land was quiet, the hysteria become an arm's-length mourning. The truck driver's previous traffic offenses were reported, as well as the state's intention to charge him with manslaughter. What was not reported was the proportion of Israeli truck drivers who are Arab, or why they, in particular, choose this difficult job. Who dispatches them, who monitors their driving hours and their weekly work hours. All that is unimportant. The trucks, and the profits, usually belong to Jews. The overall distribution of labor in the economy also attests to this.

The fast trains that Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz is planning for the Galilee are not destined to stop in any of the large Arab villages or crowded Arab cities. Katz is a longtime bigot. He is not alone. For the sake of Judaizing the Galilee an openly bigoted policy that no one protests highways cut through former Arab villages that cannot be commemorated as monuments to the Palestinian Nakba. For example, routes 70 and 85 run over al-Birwa, the birthplace of Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish, in four directions.

The survivors of the Nakba, citizens of the Jewish democratic state, are supposed to get on the highways at the exits located near Jewish communities. Taibeh and Tira one a city, the other a large town, both near Route 6 do not have their own exits but the tiny Jewish communities of Kochav Ya'ir and Tzur Natan have one.

This is the real content of the State of Israel: in all fields, including in academia, where the faculty aren't as callous as the community leaders of Upper Nazareth. But they also enjoy keeping the pie to themselves; the pleasures of silence suit them well in a liberal context. This is the "Jewish State," and, consequently, Arab children receive less education and the mortality rate of their babies is higher. Therefore, their villages are continually becoming more crowded and the poverty in their community trebles.

It's easy for Israelis to deceive themselves about the occupied territories. There is no restraint on the dark military dictatorship there, but it is "temporary," until a solution is found. However, since "the Palestinians don't want a solution" then "we are in the right," a supreme and literal pleasure.

In contrast, Israel's Arab citizens live under racist discrimination that no self-deception can mask. Is there another country in the West where the names of 20 percent of its citizens don't appear among television correspondents, the press, the sciences, academia or the number of state employees in the largest cities, not at a ratio of two to 10, but even one to 10? And it's becoming worse over time.

Only around 7 percent of all state employees are Arab. The real per-hour average wage for Arabs in 2009 was nearly 40 percent below that of Jews, and the situation is deteriorating. Not only are there more poor among the Arabs, but they are poorer than the Jewish poor, and their poverty increases over time.

Katz promises the people of Beit She'an that they will become much closer to the center of the country. The value of their homes will rise when their town is connected by rail to the center of the country. But what about poverty among the Arabs in Israel?

It must start with real estate: The homes in the Arab communities have no economic value. As their populations grew their inhabitants, barred from building new homes outside the ghetto assigned to them in 1948, enlarged their homes to include apartments for their extended families. These apartments have no resale value. Their owners cannot rent them out and leave to work in the city. The Arabs' confinement to their places of residence, their practice of marrying within their own communities, their high unemployment all these are part of their ghettoization, for the glory of the State of Israel.

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