The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

11-May-2006

In Defense of Intolerance

Filed under: Domestic PolicyElectorate/DemographicsIslam & Arab — eidelberg @ 6:24 am Edit This

According to a study of the Israel Democracy Institute, 62% of Israeli Jews would like to see the government actively encourage Arabs to leave Israel. Professor Arian Asher of the IDI said that this statistic indicates a “general lack of tolerance of Israeli Jews toward Israeli Arabs.” He concludes that “Israeli democracy has not developed a strong sense of egalitarianism and community” (The Jerusalem Post, May 10).

The IDI findings were deplored even by Avigdor Lieberman’s reputedly right-wing Israel Beiteinu party—a party that advocated revoking the citizenship of Israelis who do not pledge allegiance to the state. MK Yisrael Hassan said his party does not endorse encouraging the immigration of Israeli Arabs. Ignoring the hostility of these Arabs, as well as Jewish attachment to the land of Israel, Hassan offers Lieberman’s panacea of “separating the two population groups by defining a border between them.”

The present writer wonders how those who want the government to encourage Arabs to leave Israel would characterize Messrs. Asher and Hassan? I assume that some of these Jews may be as well educated as Professor Asher, a political scientist. Perhaps some would accuse him of being disingenuous? Perhaps others would attribute his tolerant attitude toward Israel’s anything but loyal Arab citizens to moral indifference?

After all, it has been reported that most Israeli Arabs identify themselves as “Palestinians,” that is, with Israel’s enemies. In fact, no less than 62% supported Saddam Hussein despite his threat to incinerate half of Israel. Would it be sane or sensible for Jews to fondly regard these Arabs as part of their “community”?

It has also been reported that most of the suicide bombing attacks in Israel have been assisted by Israel’s Arab citizens; that many of these Arabs have themselves committed terrorist acts, hence, have murdered Jewish men, women, and children. Have Arab Knesset members ever condemned such politically motivated crimes—crimes against the state which pays their salaries? To the contrary: they have encouraged these crimes!

Nothing has changed since April 16, 2002, when Jerusalem Post journalist Evelyn Gordon cited incendiary and seditious statements by various Arab Knesset members. Mentioned were Taleb a-Sana, who praised a suicide bomber and called for more of the same; Abdul Malik Dahamshe, who called Israeli Arabs convicted of murdering Jews “prisoners of conscience”; Azmi Bishara, who praised Hizbullah as the model for Israeli Arab resistance against Israel; Mohammad Barakei, who urged Israeli Arabs to participate in Palestinian violence against Israel.

Ms. Gordon concluded: “If the statements by Arab MKs indeed reflect the opinions of their voters, the inescapable conclusion is that the overwhelming majority of Israeli Arabs actively or tacitly support violence against Israeli Jews.” Is it mere intolerance that prompts Jews to want the government to encourage Arabs to leave Israel?

Clearly, the findings of the IDI survey indicate that these Jews are well-informed and have sound moral values, which seem to be lacking among political scientists tainted by moral relativism or egalitarianism.

Most remarkable is that despite their left-wing educators and the left’s control of the media on the one hand, and despite the timidity of reputedly right-wing politicians on the other—all fear the canard of racism—there remains a solid majority of Jews who are not afraid to express what can only be described as a healthy Jewish attitude toward Israel’s Arab citizens—intolerance!

This salubrious and morally defensible intolerance was even more evident in a study of 800 Jewish youth, ages 16 to 18, reported by Yediot Ahranot on July 23, 1997—this was three years before the outbreak of the Terror War against Israel. The respondents were asked if they agree with the following statements:

  • It is appropriate that only Jews live in Israel. 74.1% agree.
  • It is impossible to put full confidence in any Israeli Arab. 67.6% agree.
  • Arabs do not deserve equal rights. 61.7% agree. (Note: The percentage would probably have been higher if the question was limited to political rights, as the following statements indicate.)
  • Arab representation in the Knesset endangers Israeli security. 73.5% agree. (Note: Imagine what the percentage would have been had these young adults heard the seditious statements of the Arab MKs mentioned above!)
  • Israel’s Arab citizens desire the destruction of Israel. 70.8% agree.

If Professor Asher and the Israel Democracy Institute were to say that these statistics indicate a “general lack of tolerance of Israeli Jews toward Israeli Arabs,” to this I can only reply: “Here’s to more of such intolerance!”