Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Arabs Who Know That Living in Israel is Best

In an op-ed for ynetnews.com Yoram Ettinger examines an intriguing phenomenon - the Arabs who, even while denouncing Israel, prefer to reside there rather than under Palestinian control.

 "For example," he tells us,
"Israeli ID cards have been sought by senior PLO and Hamas officials and their relatives, such as the three sisters of Ismail Haniyeh, the top leader of Hamas. They married Israeli Arabs and migrated from Gaza to Tel Sheva in Israel's Negev. Two are already widows, but prefer to remain in the Jewish State, and the son of the third sister serves in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Akrameh Sabri, the top Muslim religious leader in eastern Jerusalem, who delivers anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist sermons, retains his Israeli ID card as do Hanan Ashrawi of the PLO, Muhammad Abu-Tir of Hamas, Jibril Rajoub's wife, etc."
But these well-known personalities are not the only ones.  As Ettinger points out,
"Some 150,000 non-Israeli Arabs, mostly from Judea and Samaria, married Israeli Arabs and received Israeli ID cards between 1993 and 2003. In addition, scores of thousands of illegal Arab aliens prefer Israeli – over Palestinian – residence.
A significant wave of net-emigration - 30,000 Arabs from Judea, Samaria and Gaza annually - since 1950 was substantially reduced in 1968, as a result of access gained to Israel's infrastructures of employment, medicine and education, and of Israeli construction of such infrastructures in these regions...."
As for Israeli Arabs, they "vehemently oppose any settlement – such as an exchange of land between Israel and the Palestinian Authority - which would transform them into Palestinian subjects, denying them Israeli citizenship."

Ettinger cites a poll taken in January this year by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion on behalf of the Princton-based Pechter Middle East Polls and the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, which showed that a significant proportion of Arab residents of Jerusalem prefer to remain under the sovereignty of Israel.'


"Since 1967, Jerusalem Arabs – within Israel's municipal lines – have been permanent Israeli residents and Israeli ID card holders," Ettinger reminds us.
"Therefore, they freely work and travel throughout Israel and benefit from Israel's healthcare programs, retirement plans, social security, unemployment, disability and child allowances, and they can vote in Jerusalem's municipal election."
The poll (conducted in exclusively Arab districts) revealed that
 - 40% of Jerusalem Arabs would relocate to an area inside Israel if their current neighborhood were to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority.
- Only 27% would relocate to the Palestinian Authority if their neighborhood were to become an internationally recognized part of Israel.
- 39% assume that most people in their neighborhood prefer Israeli citizenship, and only 31% assume that most people in their neighborhood prefer Palestinian citizenship.
- While some 35% prefer to be Israeli citizens, only 30% prefer Palestinian citizenship."
So much for that "apartheid state".  Methinks the Boycott Derangement Syndromers should be told.

Read more: Op-ed: While condemning Israel, Arabs prefer life in Jewish state over Palestinian residency

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