Friday, November 27, 2015

Apartheid Debunked in Israel-Before 1973's War: A Most Pluralistic Democratic Society

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                        

Israel today is made up of 6 million Jews and 1.7 million Arabs.  These are all 100% citizens. Those born in 1972 would today be 43 years old, probably parents of the young men who are drafted at age 18 above.
Druze in IDF
Druze in Israel
Back in 1972's census, only 24 years after its birth, there were 3.2 million people in the state of which 2.7 million were Jews which was 85% and there were only 359,000 Muslims which was 11.2%, about the same percent as USA's black population.  All or nearly all of the Muslims were Arabs.  About 80,000 were Christian Arabs (2.4%) and about 39,000 were Druzes and others which was 1.3%.  Druzes are an Arab group that separated from Islam the 10th century.
1949 armistice-Purple is Israel
In 1949 at the end of the Israeli War  of Independence, there were only some 160,000 Arabs.  Natural growth was one cause of a big increase.  Another was due to the readmission of thousands who fled when the Arab states attacked Israel and then returned.  Those who didn't remain in refugee camps supported by UNRWA.
Citizens are anyone who lived in Israel in 1948  when Israel announced her rebirth on May 14th.  This is also when the Brits' mandate of 30 years was up.  Conditions are that if they stayed, they are citizens.  Anyone  else who wants to be a citizen must wait for 3 years.  In the USA a person waits and studies to pass an exam for 5 years.  It is the homeland of the Jewish people, so Jews are the exception, coming under the Law of Return.  Thus, any Jewish immigrant from any country will be admitted and made a citizen if they wish without waiting the 3 years.
Soon after moving into my Safed apartment in 1980
 My husband and I weren't aware of this, even though my husband was a history teacher in high school in Oregon.  We waited for 5 years and then filed.  Luckily, in the USA one can have dual citizenship.

Because of the Arabs living in Israel, Arabic has official status along with Hebrew, the  language spoken in Biblical days and used for prayer in synagogues ever since since our writings are mostly in Hebrew.  Hebrew was revived in the 1880s as a spoken language in Eretz Yisrael.  It is helping to unite Jews from all over the world.                                                  
Knesset in Jerusalem, Israel's Capital

In the Knesset (building of legislature), Arab members speak Arabic.  All Knesset proceedings are conducted with simultaneous translation from Hebrew into Arabic or vice versa just like in the UN.  Citizens may use Arabic in any court of law or government office.  The USA doesn't even have this procedure for Spanish speakers.
Arab children attended schools where classes were conducted in Arabic and where Arab history and culture were freely taught.  My personal opinion is that this should have been stopped and public schooling should be required.  The reason is that in Judea and Samaria, hate is still taught for Jews.  Maps show Palestine but not Israel.  There will never be  a national spirit of love for Israel by the Arabs with exceptions for Druze and a few others.  The way Muslims have been acting in Jerusalem lately, knifing the population there, shows that these attackers are following the dictates of otherMuslims who want an uprising.  They have become brainwashed to hatred.
 I entered the scene in 1980 and by 1981-1985 was teaching English.
Circassians in Israel
 I had a mixture of Jewish and a few Circassian students in  the jr. high  public school in Safed.   Everyone had a choice of studying French or Arabic and all had to study English. In Haifa there was a Jewish-Arab school as well as a large center for joint Jewish-Arab sports groups, art groups, meetings and exhibitions.  The study of Arab history and culture was an integral part of the curriculum in Jewish schools.   .

The country then had 24 daily papers.  4 were in Arabic.  Many Arabic books and some 20 Arabic magazines were published.  The TV and radio featured daily programs in Arabic.  Besides that, in Safed we were able to get TV from Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, of course all in Arabic.  The only censoring going on was on matters involving military security.

There were Arab-Jewish cultural centers, usually privately run, was increased and fostering creativeness of Israeli Arabs in Drama, literature and painting.  After Jews from Europe or the USA came to live in Israel, they became more conscious of Arab culture and tradition, so interaction was increasing.  Since 1962, a Jewish-Arab summer camp for youth had been held in Akko "Acre." Jews who came to Israel via Arab countries had been kicked out and had to leave penniless. 850,000 Jews had been living in Arab lands before Israel's statehood.   Most all are now living in either Israel or the USA.   They were 2nd class citizens there, called Dhimmis.  Those Jews were very used to living with Arabs.  I find it's the Arabs who have a hard time accepting Jews who in their eyes were always lower classes than themselves.  They have a hard time accepting the fact that they now have their own country.
Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem
Israel treated religious groups as private associations but also as entities with official standing.  They took care of marriage and divorce of the groups.  Each one has its own system of courts to deal with these according to its religious law; the Rabbinical, Muslim, Druze, Roman Catholic, etc.  Members of the Muslim clergy of about 200 in 1972 were paid by the State, like the clergy of other faiths.  Regular services were held in some 90 mosques, and Muslim Friday prayers were broadcast on the national radio.

Though Saturday is the official Jewish Sabbath and is the official day of rest in Israel like Sunday used to be in the USA, Muslims and Christians have the option, under law, to close their places of work instead on either Friday or Sunday, respectively.

In 1972, public service and public office by Arabs was fairly low but growing because now Arabs are able to finish high school.  There were about 5,000 Arabs among the nation's civil service employees who number around 70,000.  Arabs and Druzes served routinely as magistrates.  About 50,000 Druze were living in Israel as of 1992 and were concentrated in 18 villages in the western Galilee and on Mt. Carmel.  They cooperated with the Israel forces during and since 1948's War of Independence and they now sit in the Knesset.

The Knesset has 120 members.  In 1972,  4 were Arabs and 1 was a Druze.  The Minister of Health, Abdul Aziz Zuabi, is an Arab .  Seif Aldin Alzuabi was a former Speaker of the Knesset. Jaber Muadi, former Deputy of communications, is a Druze.
Police needed at Mosque where they do not allow Jews to pray
Israel's Police Force has Bedouin Arabs, Druzes and other minority groups as members.  The Police force performs ordinary police duties and also works with the Army in guarding the borders against infiltrators.  In 1973 there were 1,287 Arabs and Druzes in a total force of 13,882 Police.
Black Ethiopian in IDF
Christian, Arab and Female IDF
Druze in IDF
Israel is understanding of people's emotions.  To avoid one's conscience conflicting, exemptions to serve in the IDF (Israel Defense Force)  is given to certain ethnic and religious groups.  The Druze, Circassians (Muslim sect)  decided they do not want to be exempted from the draft.  Most Arabs, however, both Muslims and Christians, do make use of the exemptions.  Individuals are free to volunteer for service and some do each year.

Political Parties are many in this multiparty system.  The Mapam party and communist Party have Arabs on their slates of candidates.  Israel's Labor Party (Golda Meier) offers special slates of Arab candidates.  There are also exclusive Arab parties.  Many people do cross ethnic lines so many Arabs voted for the Labor Party in  1972.  Before Israel was created, pre 1948 days, there was almost no Arab local government.  Only 3 towns had local councils.  By 1972 there were 2 local council and 46 local councils that were Arab or Druze.  Another 27 Arab villages had representation in council with mixed Arab-Jewish membership.  More than 82% of Israeli Arabs lived in places with home rule.
Subarus were popular in Israel.  We had one.  
All citizens could travel in Israel without licenses or permits.  They were also free to leave and return with just passport requirements.  One catch, Arab states do not allow Israelis entrance.  Israel allowed citizens of Arab states entrance, however, even places like Syria who were hostile to her.  They could enter for pilgrimages, family visits and other peaceful purposes.  By 1974, about 250,000 persons entered Israel on that basis.

No matter who you were, all received the same wages for the same work.
Synagogue in Israel built in 1906-Knesseth Israel
Then came Yom Kippur and the  October 6, 1973 War.  This was the holiest day of the year, every year.  Egypt and Syria attacked Israel and were on Israel's borders. At least 9 Arab states, including 4 non-Middle Eastern nations, actively aided the war effort.  The least enthusiastic one was Jordan and king Hussein who must have been kept uninformed of Egyptian and Syrian war plans.  He sent his 40th and 60th armored Brigades---to Syria.  They were stationed on the Amman-Damascus route and attacked Israeli positions along the Kuneitra-Sassa road on October 16th.  3 Jordanian artillery batteries also were in the fight carried out by almost 100 tanks.
On the Golan Heights where so many Druze lived, about 180 Israeli tanks faced 1,400 Syrian tanks.  Along the Suez Canal, less than 500 Israeli IDF wee attacked by 80,000 Egyptians.  Russians put their money on the Arabs winning the war.  So did the UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim who had served in the German army and was even guilty of war crimes in the Balkans.  He had such a record that he was barred from the USA when he became president of Austria.  I tell you this because it was then the UN who then voted to end all military activity when Israel had cut off and isolated the Egyptian 3rd Army and could have destroyed it.  Note that at this time, the Arabs and Jews were doing remarkably  well in Israel, but the Arab nations could not abide this.

North African countries responded to Arab and Soviet calls to help Egypt and Syria.  Algeria sent 3 aircraft squadrons of fighters and bombers, an armored brigade and 150 tanks.  About 1,000-2,000 Tunisian soldiers were stationed in the Nile Delta.  Sudan had 3,500 troops in southern Egypt, and Morocco sent 3 brigades to the front lines including 2,500 men to Syria.  Lebanon had radar units that Syria used.  They also allowed Palestinian terrorists to shell Israeli civilian villages and towns from its territory.  Oh yes, the Palestinians were right in there on the Southern Front with the Egyptians and Kuwaitis.  Another miracle happened.  Israel won.

Thus, Europe has been condemning Israel since then as an apartheid state when it has never treated Arabs in such a manner.  We follow the Golden Rule:  Don't do to others what you don't want done to you, something that was never followed for them while living in the Arab states.  24 years after living through Arab attacks and wars from 1947-1949, 1956, 1967, and then again in 1973, and by 1972 they were getting along well. Actually, it was Apartheid that was enacted against the Jews living in Arab lands up until 1948.  All during the 2,000 years of living outside of Eretz Yisrael, a form of Apartheid was practiced on the Jews of Europe, and yes, even in the USA.  When a people are not allowed jobs, clubs, etc, this is apartheid and it happened to Jews for a long time.  It's another reason Jews need their own state.
Amidst fighting wars, Israel managed to bring in 1,400,000 immigrant Jews in 24 years from conception.  Starting with a core of 650,000 tired Jews in May 1948 fresh out of the holocaust and mixed in with the Sabras, they grew to 3,164,000 by May 1972 and out of these, 1,400,000 were immigrants which are called olim.  They came in 4 major waves of immigration, with the first wave from Poland, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia.  Then came the immigrants from the Arab countries from Iraq, Yemen, and Libya.  Thirdly came Jews from Morocco, Tunisia, Poland and other countries.  Romanian Jews came under a family reunification plan, so in the 60's came eastern Europeans and North Africans.  After the 6 Day War of 1967 came Jews from North and South america, Western Europe and Russia.  by late 1972, 200,000 immigrants had arrived.  Lastly, I made aliyah in 1980, with others, of course.  Israel has never known real peace.  Neighboring states have refused to accept her very existence, causing 4 major wars on this tiny state.  It's taken all this time to have 2 peaceful neighbors now, Jordan and Egypt.  May they keep the peace.

Resource: Jewish Digest, January 1976, p 22-Israel:  A Pluralistic Democracy:  the status of Arabs in the Jewish State
From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters
Myths and Facts-a concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Mitchell G. Bard, Joel Himelfarb p. 77.



  2. Andre, I can't open it. It has a redirect loop, whatever that is. If you can, could you copy and paste? Evidently Michael. Oren has said this, I gather and him I believe. .

  3. did the same thing to me nadene. it was a controversial statement so maybe they took it down from the internet???

    i agree. i know obama has inserted his islamic beliefs into the white house......and upon the american people.

  4. Yes, he's getting braver now that his term is running out. He's not following politics but his own ideology. He definitely favors the Muslim world. Look at what he did for Iran.

  5. Yes, he's getting braver now that his term is running out. He's not following politics but his own ideology. He definitely favors the Muslim world. Look at what he did for Iran.