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  Middle East & Africa
A Country within a Country
Special Contribution
By Zvi November
Isawiya in Jerusalem

Isawiya is a sizable Arab village adjacent to both the Hebrew University and the large Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. About two weeks ago a Jewish Israeli driver made a wrong turn into Isawiya. He was immediately attacked by a small mob of Palestinian (read Arab) youths. Luckily, the village muchtar, Musa Darwish, and his son intervened and the driver survived with only minor injuries.

This is not a rare incident. Jews have frequently been attacked and murdered on the roads by Arab ‘activists,’ most of whom are Hamas or Fatah fighters. “President” Mahmoud Abbas is the head of Fatah but Israel’s media presents him as a “moderate” “peace partner” and his link to Fatah’s military is not even mentioned.

I can recall two other news items wherein a Jewish driver inadvertently drove into an Arab village and was saved by a kindly Arab who guided him out to the main road and safety. These are examples of ‘man bites dog’ news reports.

A corner of Isawiya village abuts the service area of Hadassah hospital which has become the target area for Palestinian Arab youth attacks. According to Professor Tzvi Stern, the hospital’s director who was interviewed on July 13, 2011 by Radio Jerusalem’s Avi Ratzon, there were 83 molotov cocktail and stone throwing attacks during 2010.

Stern added that some 20 Isawiya residents are employed by the hospital but this does not seem to mean anything to the attackers.

The attacks were particularly acute on “Nakba” day (the annual Arab condemnation of Israel’s re-creation in 1948). The police were called in to disperse the rioters. Unfortunately, the tear gas drifted up to the wards and discomfited the sick and medical staff.

A few years ago TIME magazine ran a story lauding the commendable Jewish-Arab (Palestinian) cooperation in the Hadassah hospital where both patients and staff, including Arab doctors and nurses, work together harmoniously.

Today there are eight Arab neighborhoods in east, south and north Jerusalem that Jews and Israeli administrators don’t enter unless they are guarded by the police.

There are literally thousands of illegal Arab dwellings in and around Jerusalem that are built on Jewish-owned or public domain land. Aryeh King who directs the Israel Lands Fund, an organization that came into existence because Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael (the Jewish National Fund) refuses to protect its property or exercise its rights to lands purchased with nickels and dimes collected in America when kids like
me ran around with the famous little blue collection can. King documents Arab land theft, represents Jewish owners trying to get their property back and encourages Jews to buy property from Arabs.

This is not easy because any Arab/Palestinian selling real estate to a Jew is subject to the death penalty under Palestinian as well as Jordanian law.

It takes years for King and his lawyers to get a court order to remove a single Arab squatter. Then, as soon as the bulldozer arrives at the site, the BBC and international media are instantly on hand to film an old Arab woman crying out to the world about “injustice” when it is she and her family that has commandeered Jewish property.

Arabs have illegally constructed tens of thousands of buildings all over Israel on both sides of the ‘green line’. Indeed, Negev Bedouin lay claim to about 10% of the Negev, basing their demands on dubious documents from Ottoman times that have not been authenticated by Israel’s exceedingly lenient judiciary.

A few days ago a human interest story on the evening TV news dealt with Makorot’s (Israel’s national water authority) cutting off the water supply to a Bedouin village because the villagers simply don’t pay their bills. As usual, the story emphasized Arab suffering and disparaged the water authority.

Arab municipalities and townships collect only a small percentage of the Arnona (municipal tax) fees owed to them. Consequently, municipal services in Arab cities and towns are often sub-standard. But instead of blaming themselves for their failure to collect taxes, Arab (i.e. Palestinian Israelis) spokesmen accuse the Israeli government of not allocating enough money to subsidize their activities.

Until now there was no security fence in the south along the border with Egypt. This made it relatively easy for Bedouins to smuggle contraband and drugs into Israel. The fence, which used to end about 15 kilometers south of Gaza, is now being extended to Eilat because there has been a massive influx of black Africans (who risk life and limb crossing the Sinai clandestinely) into “racist” Israel to find work.

In recent years, the Bedouin population has increased exponentially.

This expansion is due, in part, to the fact that many Bedouin have taken a second wife and both wives are eligible for child support disbursements from our National Insurance Institute. This, of course, is in total disregard of Israeli law that prohibits bigamy. The bigamy law is only enforced against Jews and non-Moslems.

Likewise, it is only the Jews who pay the annual TV/radio tax. In Israel, as in Britain, one has to pay an annual TV/radio fee.

However, Arabs simply ignore this since the Israel Broadcasting Authority does not send enforcement units into Arab towns where they are likely to be harassed and even injured.

Some rural Arabs rustle cattle left out in the fields to graze. One case grabbed the public’s attention a few years ago. Shai Dromi, who raises sheep and goats in the northern Negev, shot and killed one of several Bedouin who came in the middle of the night to steal his live stock. It took a long time to drop charges against Dromi and exonerate him for protecting his property.

Other Arabs steal bee hives. This is a contributing factor to the
high price of honey in Israel as compared to Europe.

A number of Israeli Arabs (the term ‘Arab Israelis’ is never used) have been tried and found guilty of spying for Hezbollah and other enemies. A few politically over-active Arabs have actually carried out terror attacks and during the last ‘Intifada’ war drove suicide bombers to their targets in Tel Aviv and other central points.

Less lethal Arab activities include car theft. About 40,000 cars are stolen each year and a great many of them can be found in the innumerable junk yards located in the Palestinian Authority territories. They are chopped up and serve as a source of spare parts. In fact, I had a car stolen from me many years ago. And my son’s VW Golf was also stolen even though it had an immobilizer, a code box, was locked tight and parked in an underground garage that was under TV surveillance. To say that Arabs are not technologically
adept is simply untrue!

Brush fires during summer heat waves are fairly common in Israel.

Some fires, like the one that raged on the Golan three days ago, are caused by careless hikers. Many other fires are set by unknown individuals but the “strange” fact is that most are ignited close to Arab villages.

A few months ago, an Arab truck driver ran wild in Tel Aviv; he succeeded in killing one man, injuring others and smashing into cars.

He claimed that this was an accident. However, a police investigation led to his indictment for an act of terrorism. This was just the latest such attack. Over the past few years, three tractor drivers working on Jerusalem streets did exactly the same thing. They used their heavy equipment to randomly attack cars, buses and pedestrians.

It turns out that some of these young Arab drivers had recently become religious Moslems.

Islam, as we all know, is on the rise in many parts of the world and in Israel too. Raed Saleh, currently under house arrest in London for illegal entry into the UK, heads the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch. He actively supports Hamas and can easily get 50,000 followers to demonstrate in Arab cities and Jerusalem as well.

Every mosque has a minaret and every minaret that I’ve seen has four powerful loud speakers. When the call to prayer is blasted out at an hour before sunrise, it becomes very difficult for folks living within a kilometer or two to sleep and dream.

From time to time, the police round up Palestinian construction crews or agricultural workers in Israel or stop a van to discover illegal Palestinian workers being transported to their employment. Despite roadblocks and a multi-billion shekel security fence, illegal Arab workers from the Palestinian autonomous territories seem to have little difficulty in getting into Israel proper. Usually these laborers are quickly returned to their home towns unless there are security issues that require attention.

Before retirement, I worked at the government labor exchange. We had a branch office next to the Rockefeller Museum to serve unemployed Arabs. This exposed office was set on fire several times. Therefore, we had to move. Along with the Ministry of the Interior whose offices were similarly attacked, we are now housed in a specially constructed building that maximizes security to better serve Arab job seekers.

It is generally assumed that all Arabs are pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel. This assumption is not accurate. I personally know Arabs who are happy with their Israel life-style and the cultural diversity extant in the country. Satisfied Arabs, however, are not keen to publicly express pro-Israel opinions for obvious reasons but one can occasionally hear or read supportive statements.

These good folks do have a problem with their representatives in the Knesset. Arab Knesset members espouse extreme radical views that would not be tolerated in any other parliament in the world. Arab MKs have traveled illegally to Syria, Lebanon and Libya where they have publicly declared their support for Hezbollah and other Arab militias intent on waging war against Israel and destroying the country.

Last year MK Zoabi joined the Gaza flotilla and continues to undermine Israel from her Knesset seat. All this is in addition to Arab “human rights” groups that strive to de-legitimize Israel by waging legal battles in the country and abroad.

Spinning the dial on my radio, I can count fourteen Arabic language stations. There are fewer Hebrew language stations. Just about every house in east Jerusalem has a satellite TV disk that pulls in Al-Jazeera, al-Arabia and other channels from all over the Arab world.

In addition, Arab language publications of every persuasion are freely available at newsstands.

Nevertheless, the Palestinian Arabs have successfully convinced the world that they are an “occupied” “people” suffering under horrible Israeli oppression. Obviously they need help. So, the US (USAID), Italy (Itcoop), France and many other European governments operate substantial economic assistance projects to help the “poor” Palestinians. And many church groups (e.g. Lutherans, Quakers, and Anglicans) also fund projects. Some of these same churches also promote anti-Israel boycotts and divestment.

About twenty-five years ago I read a book about life in Italy that had a chapter on the Mafia which was described as ‘a country within a country’. This phrase, ‘a country within a country’, is also used in reference to Hezbollah’s dominant role in Lebanon today. While Arab Palestinian society cannot be compared to either the Mafia or to Hezbollah, it is in many ways ‘a country within a country’.

Arabs, those with and those without Israeli citizenship, enjoy the best of two worlds; exceptional Israeli indulgence and astute Arab artfulness. By definition, ‘Israel is the best Arab country in the world.’

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