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|
|1949 armistice-Purple is Israel|
|Soon after moving into my Safed apartment in 1980|
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.
I entered the scene in 1980 and by 1981-1985 was teaching English.
|Circassians in Israel|
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|
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|
|Black Ethiopian in IDF|
|Christian, Arab and Female IDF|
|Druze in IDF|
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.|
No matter who you were, all received the same wages for the same work.
|Synagogue in Israel built in 1906-Knesseth Israel|
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.
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.