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General Articles
Israelis are expressing concern about the treatment of Israels Arab

Increased Pressure on Arab Citizens Tests Israel’s Commitment to Genuine Democracy

By Allan C. Brownfeld

...Fortunately, many Israelis are expressing concern about the treatment of Israel’s Arab citizens

An article by Baruch Kimmerling of Hebrew University’s Sociology Department on the subject of “The Palestinian Tragedy: Al Nakba” discussed the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs during Israel’s War of Independence. Kimmerling wrote:  “The Palestinians expect that even if we don’t return their land and houses to them—because we are the strong ones here, and they are weak—that at least we should acknowledge their tragedy and suffering, and the fact that our society and state has, to a large extent, been founded on the ruins of the Arab society and culture. They do not even expect us to ask forgiveness—only that we acknowledge the facts.”

Oren Yiftahel of Ben-Gurion University’s Geography Department disputes “the common assumption regarding the state’s democratic nature.” An alternative political analysis, he concludes, “points to a governmental reality which I term ‘ethnocentric.’”

In his introduction to Theory and Criticism, Adi Ophir, a lecturer in philosophy at Tel Aviv University, declared: “The contributors write out of fear that control over Palestinians in particular, and the adoption of the political forms of an ethnocentric and racist nation-state in general, are turning Israel into the most dangerous place in the world for the humanity and morality of the Jewish community, for the continuity of Jewish cultures and perhaps for Jewish existence itself.”



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