Arabs that live in Israel have more rights than Arabs living in other countries, yet have fewer rights than Jewish Israelies?!

I have been hearing this arguement for quite some time now.

I hear on one hand that Arabs (Palestinians) living in Israel Proper (I imagine Israel proper when people make these arguements, not the occupied Palestinian territories, such as the West Bank and Gaza) have more rights than Arabs living in other Arab countries?
How is this true? Examples?

Yet how are they not given the same/equal rights as Jewish Israelies (again, when human rights groups claim that Arab + Palestinian Israelies living Israel do not receive equal rights and oppurtunities as Jewish Israelies, are they referring to Arabs living in Israel proper or in the Palestinian territories).
I feel that there is a lot of confusion, complexity and nebulousness over this idea and arguement, and it would be grand if someone could please supply me with articles, facts, websites, documents, etc. about this issue.


Love and light

Stephanie :)

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Comment by Stephanie Chase on January 30, 2009 at 7:49pm
Thanks Cory!
What you wrote was beautifully said.
You wrote a lot, so it is going to take me some time to comment
Comment by Corey Gil-Shuster on January 29, 2009 at 9:09pm
I think a lot of the confusion and misinformation comes back to definitions. What is a right? Are rights consistent in all countries? Do all citizens in a country have the same rights? Etc.

According to Israeli law, all Israeli citizens have the same rights- right to movement, vote, assembly, fair trial, health care, education, etc. These are protected by the courts in Israel. The issue for Palestinian Israelis is not rights, it is privileges and bigoted corrupt practises compared to Jewish Israelis.

So, many businesses don’t hire Palestinians and many get away with it (others do not- there was a big news story a bunch of years ago about the hiring practises of a chain of cafes that wouldn’t hire Palestinians. They apologized and promised to look into it. No idea what happened to this.

Another example is getting a mortgage. Israelis who served in the army get a better rate on their mortgage than those who didn’t serve. This privilege affects Palestinians. It also affects me since I didn’t serve in the army either. Another area is funding of education and cities. Palestinian education and cities get a lot less funding than Jewish areas. This is mostly because of bigotry and because many of the Jewish mayors have “friends” in high places to get better budgets. This is more about Israel being a corrupt joke of a country along with bigotry.

Land is expropriated from all citizens from time to time (it happens here in Canada too by the way but not to the same degree) but in Israel it happens a lot more for Arabs than Jews. The reasons being that the land is taken for the almighty “security” or for the “benefit of the state”. Most Jewish Israelis are much more understanding of this because even if enraged, they see it as a benefit to Israeli society in general. For example, my father-in-law bought land that was later rezoned as an environmental protected area. He was given compensation but lost money. He was angry and griped about it for years. I assume that Palestinian Israelis also receive compensation for expropriated land (although I may be naïve on this). I think Palestinians interpret the same expropriation in a different way than my father in law (who saw it as losing money and the government trying to screw him out of an investment). They see it as a way to get rid of Palestinians, show them who controls their lives, etc. I don’t think there is a calculated policy to get Palestinians to leave Israel (I say this because there are too many Israelis who love to be shit disturbers, uncovering plots that are unfair to the little guy) however I do think there is a secondary gain to this practice- most Israeli Jews do mistrust Palestinians because of the many years of violence we inflict on one another so turning a blind eye to “minor” bigotry absolutely occurs.

Where you can live also becomes an issue. A Palestinian Israeli can technically live in Tel Aviv (and many do) or other “Jewish” areas but landlords will sometimes not rent to them, owners won’t sell to them sometimes but they can take these people to court and they will win. There is an issue with rural communities that have selection committees for people who want to buy. The one I lived on didn’t want to accept new buyers because the guy was gay and had kids. He lied his way on. If he had taken them to court, he would have won. The same happened with a community where a Palestinian family bought land to build a house. The community said it is Jewish National Fund land whose argument was that the money was given to Israel by Jews for Jews. The court ruled against them and said the family had a right to purchase land in the community because selling land on the basis of ethnic background is illegal. The Knesset is now trying to undo that (we have a lot of racists in our parliament).

This applies only to citizens so Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza do not receive these rights.

My point is not to say, that Palestinians Israelis have it great compared to other Arab countries. I have never lived in an Arab country so I don’t know if this is true or not. I also think that many Israelis are very bigoted because of the conflict (not because of Zionism or Judaism) and this is often used against Palestinians. I also know that people who feel powerless see the world as against them, see monsters behind every act and decision that doesn’t benefit them. They often feel so powerless that using their rights (voting, courts) seems useless. We Jews have the same reaction. I think saying Israeli Palestinians have no or fewer rights than Jewish Israelis is an emotional reaction to a very complicated situation that I really hope will change because I do believe that we should all be equal and have equal benefits in society.
Comment by Stephanie Chase on January 29, 2009 at 7:46am
I feel that the arguements on both sides of this particular arguement that I bring up are addressed in very black and white terms, leaving no room for shades of grey, add on the complexity of human rights in Israel for Arab and Palestinian citizens, versus Arabs and Palestinians living in other Arab countries. And even as you pointed out, the quality of life for an Arab differs from each individual Arab country (ex: Syria and Sudan as you brought up).
Again, my knowledge is limited in this area (but a great interest nonetheless) but I feel that the pro-Israel side of the argument (or whomever constructed this argument and idea) equates all Arab countries to having the characteristics and human rights abuses that Saudi Arabia has; which is also not true).
I feel that there are many different factors and sides that I need to investigate.


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