Nonie Darwish: "In Times of Crisis, Arabs Trust Jews"
I attended a conference Sunday in New York--"Hijacking Human Rights: the Demonization of Israel by the United Nations," organized by Anne Bayesfsky of EyeontheUN.org. It was an all-day conference with a wide assortment of speakers, including Nonie Darwish, author and founder of Arabs for Israel.
She told the story about her brother in Gaza who 10 years ago unexpected collapsed and the question was: which hospital should they take him too--the hospital in Gaza or Hadassah Hospital. The decision was, that if he was to live, they had to take him to the Jewish hospital. Nonie Darwish concluded:
In Times of Crisis, Arabs Trust Jews
The reason is more than just good hospitals. Palestinian Arabs have not jumped at the opportunity of being under PA rule. Here are some of the reasons that may be true. The list comes from Israel 101, produced by Stand With Us (pages 40 and 42--you can order a copy):
o In 1948, almost all of the 160,000 Palestinian-Arabs who remained within Israel's borders became citizens. Today, Israeli-Arab citizens have equal civil and human rights as all other Israeli citizens.
o There are 1,3 million Israeli-Arabs living in Israel, making up 20 percent of the total population. Many are the descendants of Palestinian Arabs who chose to remain in Israel in 1948.
o Hebrew and Arabic are Israel's two official languages.
o Just as the US strives to better integrate its minorities, Israel works to do the same for its Arab population through programs similar to affirmative action.
o There are five official Arab political parties.
o Three Israeli-Arabs were elected to the first Knesset. They have won as many as 12 of the 120 Knesset seats in a single election.
o Twenty percent of Haifa University's student body and 10 percent of the faculty are Israeli-Arabs.
o All Arab municipalities receive government funding for education and infrastructure.
o Many Israeli Arabs hold high-level positions including:
· Salim Jurban, selected a permanent member of Israel's Supreme Court(2004)
· Nawaf Massalha, deputy foreign Minister
· Ali Yahya, Walid Mansour and Mohammed Masarwa, who heldambassadorships
· Major General Hussain Fares, commander of Israel's border police
· Major General Yosef Mishlav, head of homeland security as Israel's Home front commander
· Bedouin Ismail Khaldi appointed Israeli consul to San Francisco in 2006
o Israel has enacted affirmative action policies to help its minority citizens achieve full social and economic equality.
Palestinian Arabs and their allies may persist in throwing around the word "apartheid," but the term obviously does not apply. Even with the problems facing social integration of Israeli Arabs, it is clear that Israel is making an effort.
That is why columnist Dr. Talal Al-Shareef, wrote in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds in May 27, 1999:
Israel has proved that for fifty years its real power is in its democracy, guarding the rights of its citizens, applying laws [equally] to the rich and ppr, the ib and small...and in the participation of the nation in the development of institutions according to ability and efficiency and not according to closeness to [the ruler].
So it is not surprising that in direct contradiction to the mindless accusation that Israel is an apartheid country, James Bennet reported in The New York Times on April 2, 2003 that
since 1996, Dr. Shikaki has been polling Palestinians about what governments they admire, and every year Israel has been the top performer, at times receiving more than 80 percent approval. The American system has been the next best, followed by the French and then, distantly trailing, the Jordanian and Egyptian.
Apparently, Palestinian Arabs trust Jews even not in time of crisis.