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New law dividing Christian, Muslim Arabs legalizes inequality

Israel ratified a new law that legally distinguishes between Muslim and Christian citizens of the state, Haaretz reported Monday. The bill, which easily passed by a 31-6 vote in its third and final reading, recognizes the Christian Arab population as a separate, though not national minority for the first time.

The law, which expands the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity in the Employment Commission by adding to it a separate Christian representative, was marketed as a way to better integrate Christians into the Israeli workforce. However, in practice, it is being carried out at the blatant expense of Muslim citizens. There are approximately 160,000 Christians living in Israel, compared with over a million Muslim  citizens.

According to the bill’s sponsor, Likud MK Yariv Levin, Christians are “our natural allies, a counterbalance against the Muslims who want to destroy the state from within.” Levin, an outspoken opponent of the establishment of a Palestinian state (like other fellow MKs in Likud and the Jewish Home party) also emphasized that he refuses to call Christian citizens “Arabs.” “I’m being careful about not calling them Arabs because they aren’t Arabs,” he told the Israeli daily Ma’ariv a few weeks ago, despite the fact that the large majority of them are, in fact, Arabs, and many identify as part of the Palestinian nation.

Through the Knesset’s passing of the law, along with Levin’s candid comments, the Israeli government has made two things abundantly clear (if they weren’t already):

1. “Arab” is a bad word, and the Muslim Arab population specifically – the largest minority in the country –  is made up of evil citizens intent on destroying the state, and are therefore not eligible to have equal rights.

2. Israel defines and subsequently prioritizes the rights of its citizens according to religion and ethnicity, in blatant contravention of its Declaration of Independence and the most common working assumptions of any democracy. This new law adds another chunk of evidence that Israel is an ethno-religious state with systematic, structural inequalities that work mainly to privilege the Jewish population living between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

This new law has legally enshrined the de facto reality in which Muslim citizens of Israel are not entitled to equal rights, just by virtue of being born that way. This is the definition of a racist policy.

Jews sit at the top of the pyramid of religious privilege, followed by Christians and then Muslims. Of course, there are also inner-hierarchies within every sector (i.e. Russian Jews before Ethiopian Jews, urban middle class Palestinians before Bedouin in the periphery).

What strikes me about Levin’s comments is how he makes Christians out to be the Jews’ best friends, while the Muslims are the inherent enemy. This makes me think he knows nothing about basic history.

Related:
Israel’s not-so-stellar record on treatment of Christians
PHOTOS: Palestinian Christians protest Israeli permit regime

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    1. Danny

      “This makes me think he knows nothing about basic history.”

      You don’t need this example to know that this guy is a complete ignoramus, who understands absolutely nothing about Arab history. If he even bothered to get to know a little about some of his Arab colleagues in the knesset, he would discover to his chagrin that Balad – considered by many to be one of the most nationalistic Palestinian political parties in Israel – represents many Christian Arabs living in Israel.

      Since its inception, Israel has attempted to divide and conquer the Palestinians, actually succeeding in fomenting division among them to a large degree.

      This latest stunt is perhaps a corollary to the anti-democratic legislation that seeks to raise the minimum election threshold, thereby annulling more Arab votes in future elections.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Levin’s next move is to attempt to outlaw Arabs altogether.

      Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        The next law will be to state that Christian descendants of Jews from the USSR are a higher category of Christian that’s higher than the recently created new category of “non-Arab Arab Christian.”

        I wonder if the new found concern for the Christian minority in the Middle East will transfer into support for the Assad regime, which is overwhelmingly supported by Syrian Christians and Druze against the rebels who are chopping off their heads, desecrating their places of worship and forcibly converting them? Ah, of course not. Those Christians and Druze are Arabs so unworthy of our help

        Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        The election threshold in Israel is the lowest in all of the Western world. That will not change under what you call “anti-democratic legislation”.

        Reply to Comment
    2. BaladiAkka1948

      Great ! So Arab Christians are not Arabs ? Maybe Levin should do some basic reading in the history of Arab nationalism, and the prominent role of Christian Arab intellectuals (Aflaq, Zureiq, al-Rihani etc).
      And what about reading two of the most prominent Arab historians: Albert Hourani: ‘The History of the Arab peoples’ and George Antonius: ‘The Arab Awakening’.
      So Christians are Israel’s ‘natural allies’ ? Well, we know what George Habbash and Nayef Hawatmeh thought about that…. not to speak about Edward Said.
      Does that include Amir Makhoul (when he gets out of jail), Azmi Bishara (when he gets back from his ‘talk with Hizbullah’ or whatever the accusation was), and Sabri Jiries (‘To Be an Arab in Israel’)?
      Anyhow thanks for showing what a disgusting place The-Only-Ethnocracy is. On behalf of my Christian family members in the Galilee: GFY, Levin !

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        There have been quite a few Christians who attached their fortunes to the ideology of Arab nationalism, many even creating the concept itself. They tied their fates to the success of Arab nation building projects and Pan-Arabism and thought it would guide their societies towards a rational, progressive, and equitable future. In retrospect they became the biggest losers when their neighbors abandoned Arab nationalism in favor of Islamic fundamentalism. One would presume that the modern Christian equivalents to Aflaq and Zureiq are probably having second thoughts about giving much weight to their Arab identities. Then again, people like Aflaq were always tools, so who knows.

        “The reason for the victory of the Zionists was that the roots of Zionism are grounded in modern Western life, while we for the most part are still distant from this life and hostile to it. They live in the present and for the future, while we continue to dream the dreams of the past and to stupefy ourselves with its fading glory” -Zureiq

        Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Surely, it must have occurred to you that MK. Levin, as much as e.g. MK Tibi, is entitled to his own opinion – regardless of how well informed or dumb said opinion may be. Your fight should not be with MK Levin but with the new law. The next question you need to ask yourself is this: in what abstract/concrete ways does said law discriminate against Muslims (as individuals and/or a group) – as claimed by Ms. Zonszein? Nowhere in the entire article did Ms. Zonszein make a scintilla of legal argument to back up her claim that said law is discriminatory. That is a major error/failure! As you may well know, Christian Israelis overwhelmingly support the new law. And I have reason to believe that you have not read said law. Considering all of the above, how then can you justify this statement: “Anyhow thanks for showing what a disgusting place The-Only-Ethnocracy is”?

        Reply to Comment
        • BaladiAkka1948

          “As you may well know, Christian Israelis overwhelmingly support the new law”
          I don’t recognize a category called ‘Christian Israelis’ (it might fit for Russian Christian immigrants, I don’t know, it’s their business) and I know my cousins don’t either : they are Palestinian citizens of Israel (being Muslim or Christian is of no importance, I have both in my family and they’re all equally anti-zionist !).
          Concerning your claim that ‘Christian Israelis overwhelmingly support the new law’, there’s only one answer: plain BS ! But at least it confirms what I’ve thought from the start: you’re a paid or voluntary hasbarista !
          Don’t waste more of your time with me !

          Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            He/she can’t be a paid one, since his/her hasbara is just beneath contempt. He’s clearly a voluntary hasbara “soldier” who trolls +972 and other sites and clogs them with his crap in the hope it will discourage leftists from logging on.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Danny, here is an intellectual challenge to you: make a legal argument of no more than ten (10) sentences and demonstrate that the new law is (a) racist and (b) discriminatory. I will rebut. Acting like a loudmouthed buffoon won’t get you off the hook! Let’s get down to serious business instead of the mud sliding you seem to cherish! Are you going to accept the challenge or are you going to run like a coward? You decide!

            Reply to Comment
          • BaladiAkka 1948

            I’m not so sure about that. Some of the official hasbara isn’t much better, and Ginger Ale might be one of the students earning a living by hasbarizing for 2000 shekels per month, or maybe a graduate from the hasbara program at Haifa University “Ambassadors Online”. Private hasbaristas usually have a hint of ‘sincerity’… (I know the word ‘sincerity’ is a bad choice).

            Reply to Comment
          • kate

            I’ll venture a guess Ms “Eis” is American a student/fan of the likes of Richard Landes who’s ‘scholarship’ I’m willing to bet she admires and such other ‘notables’ as Itamar Marcus Alan Dersowitz and thinks Khaled Abu Toameh is one of the ‘good ones’ will see if she’s still around in a couple of weeks 🙂

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Your attitude does confirm to the world that Israel does and will continue to do her best to provide the best individual rights and fundamental freedoms, education, health care, welfare, job opportunities, etc. in the ME for all of her citizens and that regardless of whatever Israel does, hateful folks like you will keep fuming, hating and ranting ad nauseam against Israel. But that hate has zero influence on me. Again, the law in question has the support of an overwhelming majority of the Christian Israelis (ask the Christian leadership/Clergy). You need show how the new law is (a) racist and (b) discriminatory – or forever hold your peace. For you info. hateful individuals like you are the reason why I and other good folks are here. You won’t be allowed to continue spreading lies against- and smearing the Jewish State unopposed. If you don’t like Israel, pack your bags and leave. Got it?!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Mr. BaladiAkka, your worte this: “I don’t recognize a category called ‘Christian Israelis’ (…) and I know my cousins don’t either : they are Palestinian citizens of Israel (being Muslim or Christian is of no importance, I have both in my family and they’re all equally anti-zionist !)”.

            Yeah sure. We know exactly what Muslims/Islamists like you do with your Christian brothers and sisters in Syria, Egypt, Gaza, etc. In fact, your fellow Jihadi Philos put it this way: “I wonder if the new found concern for the Christian minority in the Middle East will transfer into support for the Assad regime, which is overwhelmingly supported by Syrian Christians against the rebels who are chopping off their heads, desecrating their places of worship and forcibly converting them?” You get the idea now? I think so!

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            So i’m guessing for you every muslim is a “Jihadist” and a radical?

            And you claim you’re not a racist?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            No, Albert Einstein! You make a bad guess. And even if your guess were to be correct, which it is not, that would not make anyone “a racist”, unless you have no idea what “a racist” is, Felix.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Ginger Eis

      SUMMARY OF THE ARTICLE

      (1). TITLE: New law dividing Christian, Muslim Arabs legalizes inequality
      (2). NUMBER OF WORDS: 457
      (3) CLAIM: This new law has legally enshrined the de facto reality in which Muslim citizens of Israel are not entitled to equal rights, just by virtue of being born that way. This is the definition of a racist policy.
      (4). EVIDENCE: zero!
      (5). LEGAL ARGUMENTS: zero!
      (6). GRADE: Mediocre. Below average.

      Reply to Comment
      • bob wisby

        People can say what they like about you, Ginger, but nobody can ever say you’re uncertain about things. I like your swashbuckling, take no prisoners approach.

        Reply to Comment
      • mimo

        you mean it’s not true then?

        Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          No, Mimo, what Ms. Zonszein claim is false. I shall reply in two post. Here is the first. The law (a) draws legal distinction b/w Muslim and Christian Arabs, i.e. recognizes Christian Arabs as a separate minority in Israel. (b) adds an Israeli Christian Arab representative to the panel of the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity, in the Employment Commission, (c) extend the number of panel members from the current 5 to 10, adding a representative for the ultra-Orthodox, Druze, Christian, and Circassian populations, reserve duty soldiers, women, immigrants, and the elderly. There is nothing racist about the law. In fact, overwhelming majority of Christians love it (see 2nd post). Ms. Zonszein, who is a member of the Ta’ayush gangsters, only parrots her gang members pay her to do, i.e. spread lies against the Jewish State and damn the Truth.

          Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          Here is the 2nd post, Mimo. Lt. (res.) Shadi Halul, (a Christian leader) has to say about the new law: “I’m proud to be Christian. We have a right to self-definition as well; we are entitled to recognition. We are supporting this bill. It makes justice for Christian needs and solves discrimination against them within the Arab community that the state has falsely put them in for 65 years. Christians have their own historical identity and heritage with a destiny different from Arabs and Muslims. If something happened to our beloved country Israel, we as Christians will have a harmful destiny, as we see now in Syria, with massacres, rape, church destruction, like what happened in Lebanon and Iraq before. We deserve the right to self-representation and identity with legal Christian representatives that understand our needs, to stop discrimination.”

          Reply to Comment
          • BaladiAkka1948

            “Ls(res) Shadi Halul (a Christian leader)….”
            That ‘Christian leader’ is an invention of yours (or some other fascist) and it’s not included in The Times of Israel article that you copy-pasted.
            Halul is a leader of nothing but the ‘Chritian IDF Officers Forum’, i.e. a small bunch of coopted motherf….. !

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            I relayed that powerful statement from Shadi Halul in quotation marks – as required by the rules of academic integrity. What then exactly are your complaints? It seems you have serious difficulty proving that the new law is not backed by an overwhelming majority of Christian Israelis, no?

            Reply to Comment
    4. Kolumn9

      I must say that I am fascinated by the reaction this has generated. The Israeli government provides representation to an as of yet unrepresented religious minority on the *Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity* and this is racist. I must wonder what view Mairav and fellow travelers have of affirmative action programs that are so beloved worldwide by their friends which grant special privileges on the basis of race. Then again, race is obviously one of those things that people are not born with.

      If you really wanted to make a point you could have pointed out that Christian Arabs on average have higher incomes and better educations that *Israeli Jews*. They don’t really require a special effort to get them to integrate in Israeli society because they are already well integrated. Then again, such a piece of information would probably get in the way of the general discourse on this site of Israel being a place where Arabs are excluded.

      Personally I think that Israel should indeed treat all citizens in the same way. All should be sent to the same schools, and all should serve in the military. Something tells me though that Mairav doesn’t really agree with that approach and would cry foul were Israeli Arabs to be sent to schools where the dominant language is Hebrew and were they to be drafted into the army.

      Reply to Comment
      • BaladiAkka1948

        Affirmative action program ? What a joke !
        Palestinian Christian citizens of Israel are the best educated group in the “State of the Jews”.
        I’m not sure about their socio-economical ranking but it’s probably the same. Everyone knows what this is about. Basel Ghattas, the Balad member and a Christian himself, expressed it clearly. This is just another attempt of ‘rule-and-divide’ by the Zionists.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          I wonder though, if the Christians are the best educated group in Israel, and Muslims are significantly poorer and less educated, then would it be legitimate to argue that in this forum both Muslims and Christians are being disadvantaged by being grouped together since they clearly do not have the same problems?

          Members of the anti-Israeli Palestinian nationalist party Balad are going to react to every Israeli measure negatively. Their reaction is not a good indicator of anything.

          And yes, affirmative action programs based on race are quite popular among the various left-wing groups around the world. It is hypocritical for one of their members to get on a soapbox waving the banner of treating all without any distinction for ethnic, religious or racial affiliation.

          Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        The clue, the huge raging clue, that this bill isn’t about ameliorating discrimination was the bill’s sponsor’s own words about Muslims trying to destroy the country from within.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          What the sponsor says and what the law is are two different things. This articles falls into the trap of attacking a reasonable law because an idiot proposed it.

          Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            If an idiot proposed this idiotic law, what does that make people like you who cheer for it?

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          • Ginger Eis

            Danny, go and READ the law FIRST, before you go on a Jihadi-rant. I have challenged you to make a coherent argument of no more than 10 sentences demonstrating how said law is (a) racist and/or (b) discriminatory. But you are too scared to defend yourself. Thus, you need to shut-up OR accept my challenge, timid Danny!

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            It makes me someone who can separate between the actors and the results. This law is entirely reasonable. Opposition to it is kneejerk stuff.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            At best it makes you a hypocrite because if the shoe was on the other foot, and you lived in a country that aimed to separate Jews and categorize them based on their ethnicity or culture, and stated that there are “good Jews” and “bad Jews”, you would be up in arms about it and rightfully so.

            To your credit, you have recognized that the author of this law is “an idiot”. He is also an ignoramus and a low-life. It would behoove decent rightists who believe in democracy and reject racism to distance themselves from him and his “laws”.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Danny, Levin is a scumbag and lowlife but I don’t think he’s an idiot. I was thinking what could prompt such an outrageous maneuver like this from Levin? Then I remembered that the Likud is also in the pocket of the American fundamentalist Christians and that the government just approved the construction of a “university” in Nazareth funded by these Christians that will supersede the local led college that has been striving for recognition for decades. I think there is a connection. As I learned in Rush Hour 2, where there’s a crime, look for the white guy with money

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            Of course, the connection between the Israeli right-wing and American evangelicals is well-known. As the saying goes: Birds of a feather flock together.

            By the way Philos, did you read today that Israel’s government has refused to condemn the new anti-LGBT laws in Uganda? Could it be because the main driving force behind the LGBT persecution in Africa are none other than… (drum roll)… American evangelicals?

            Birds of a feather indeed!

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Danny, I do, by your definition, and on the basis of this bill, live in a country which “separates Jews and categorizes them based on their ethnicity or culture”.

            In this bill there is representation for the Haredi Jews and the Ethiopian Jews as separate communities with economic problems unique to their situations.

            And this is precisely my point. You are making unsubstantiated arguments based on an otherwise perfectly reasonable law. You are trying to argue that differentiating between different communities in order to better serve each individually is somehow wrong. This is a stupid and indefensible position.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Let’s do a thought experiment K9. Imagine a country where Jews are a minority with formal equality but in practice are discriminated against in allocations of budget, land, jobs and so on. Now imagine in this land a politician from a party that regularly demonizes Jews proposes a law so that the Ultra-Orthodox minority get special representation on an equalities board with the following sentence: Haradeim are “our natural allies, a counterbalance against the Jews who want to destroy the state from within.” He goes on to say that “I’m being careful about not calling them [the Haradeim] Jews because they aren’t Jews.”

            The example doesn’t work entirely well but you’re intelligent enough to understand what is so problematic with this law, and why Christian Palestinians themselves are so angry, insulted and disgusted by it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Philos, your thought-experiment contains a fatal flaw that renders it useless. Here is why: (a) MK Levins’s PERSONAL opinions are wholly IRRELEVANT; (b) at issue is a specific law, NOT said personal opinions of MK Levin; (c) your hypothesis is built on MK Levin’s personal opinions and NOT the content of the law; (d) therefore, NO reasonable judgment re said law can be rendered based on MK Levins’s PERSONAL opinions.

            You need to (1) READ the law FIRST and (2) conduct the thought-experiment on the basis of the content of the law. You need to do that. This is a challenge. Don’t run away! (btw. “Christian Palestinians are [NOT] angry, insulted and disgusted by” the law. You lie).

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Philos, I am intelligent enough to know that Yariv Levin is an idiot because he makes those kinds of statements. I am also intelligent enough not to overreact to an otherwise perfectly reasonable bill that would allow the government to consult with a wider variety of religious and ethnic groups.

            There is nothing problematic about this law. The people that are upset are the ones that want to pretend or claim there is a monolithic ‘Arab’ or ‘Palestinian’ that lives in Israel and that it is some kind of high sin to actually question that assumption. The Christians and Muslims do not quite get along regardless of how much the same upset people want to pretend. Socio-economically the Christian Arabs in Israel have long ago left the Muslim Arabs behind. Politically the Muslim Arabs who in the past 20 years have started organizing behind the Islamic Movements have left the Christians behind. Regionally the Christians are persecuted and the old glue of Pan-Arab Nationalism is just plainly dead. Palestinian nationalism faces the same strains with the Hamas/PLO rift. There are quite plainly two groups here with different economic and political needs. Acknowledging this fact might require some political courage on the part of those attached to old ideologies, but nonetheless it is very much a real fact.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            K9, I asked you to consider it from their point of view. This deflection is a form of Internet trolling. You’re polite and respectful most of the time so I ask that you don’t engage in deflection tactics but rather a conversation. I asked you how would you feel if the other shoe fits? If in the US Congress they passed a law granting a special rep for Satmar Jews and that Comgressmen sponsoring the law said some heinous things about all the rest of the Jews trying to destroy the country from within.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Philos, (1). First you want to engage in a “thought-experiment”, even though you have no clear idea what a thought-experiment is and how it works. (2) Now you make analogies between (a) a factual event and (b) a hypothetical event, even though both events are not comparable to each other (for reason that ought to be obvious to you). Besides, at issue is whether or not the new law is (c) racist and/or (d) discriminatory – as alleged by Ms. Zonszein. The personal opinion of MK Levin is inconsequential and TOTALLY irrelevant in answering that question (regardless of how K9 or anyone else “feels” about said opinion) – something you are unable to understand. To engage in a productive discussion, participants must think within the same specific streamlined system of logic. Nothing good can result from a discussion where one thinks within said system (k9), while the other engages in a disorganized kitchen-sink thought-process by basing his arguments and conclusions exclusively on an irrelevant premise and/or emotions (to “deflect” from the core of the subject at issue)!

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            The problem I have with your question is that you insist that I think about it from ‘their’ point of view as if there is a ‘they’ that I am supposed to consider and whose opinions I am supposed to take seriously. Indeed, there are people in Israel who believe that they are Palestinians and Israel is a foreign entity imposed upon them. From their point of view anything that either undermines the Palestinian identity or strengthens Israel is a terrible and unbearable insult to the way they view the world. So, ‘they’ would look at a law like this and insist ‘they’ are being undermined because representation was granted to a group that ‘they’ identify to be separately illegitimate and unworthy of separate representation.

            You asked me about how I would feel if the US passed a law which would allow separate representation for different streams of Judaism on an “Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity”? I would say that it sounds very reasonable for the Reform and the Hassidim to be treated as entirely separate socio-economic groups because they most certainly are. Were a Jewish nationalist group, in the name of the Jews, to insist that the Hassidim should not be given representation because it would undermine the unity/identity of the Jews you would laugh them out of court.

            The congressman behind the move, were he to engage in the kind of vile rhetoric which paints an entire stream of Judaism as evil, would be an idiot and a racist and I would certainly be angry at him.

            The Knesset passed a reasonable law. The attempt here is to paint it as otherwise in a manner entirely devoid of actual arguments on the merits of the law.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Tal

      So, does this mean that we can declare officially that Israel is an apartheid state after all, if it wasn’t one till now? It’s a big disgrace and I feel ashamed to my fellow Arab citizens who I see as my equal.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        “It’s a big disgrace and I feel ashamed to my fellow Arab citizens who I see as my equal.”

        Tal, the way you rightfully feel right now makes me feel ill, honestly. The problem is neither with the new law nor with Israel. The problem is with Ms. Zonszein who is incapable of backing up her huge claims with any form of legal argument and demonstrating how said law is racist and discriminates! What Ms. Zonszein succeeded in doing is whipping up raw emotions with a very poorly written article. I am sure that the Court will strike down the law in question if it in fact is racist and discriminatory. Just don’t feel bad, yet.

        Reply to Comment
    6. LarryZweig

      Anyone out there seen the film Kazablan? Actually, there are many. בְּ”הַ
      Very romantic and harmless….
      Well, up until the Russian Jews showed up, the largest “group” of Israeli citizens were the “Oriental Jews”. Non-White, many Arabs, Persians, North-Africans (not really the orient, but the families came from the east).
      The conflict between the “Schwarzen” (dark Oriental Jews) and the “Vus-Vusim” (white European Jews who couldn’t understand real Hebrew (What-Whats?) is still a big factor. The Whites seem to have this tendency to hate and misuse everybody.

      Reply to Comment
      • LarryZweig

        … or to paraphrase…. בְּ”הַ
        … I don’t see this as any kind of religious conflict, but rather one of money pride and power. People who stand up for Palestinians also stand up for the majority of misguided and mishandled Israeli Jews. Zionism is just one for form of fear/blame/hate politics.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Philos

      In case any reasonable, sane and compassionate person is tempted: don’t feed the hasbara trolls. Don’t reply to them, pretend they are not there. It’s time to take the spirit of BDS to the talkbacks and message boards.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Little Philos, I have said this to you before and I will say it to you again: as WE defeated your forefathers and your fathers before you on the battlefields, so WE will defeat you and your fellow hateful Jihadis (e.g. Danny, BaladiAkka, etc.) on the BDS-front! The fact that you are scared to substantively debate those who disagree with you and the fact that your audience is limited to a very small coalition of few Islamists, Muslim Jihadis, (closet) anti-Semites and neo-Nazis got to tell you something (which you are not smart enough to understand). Meanwhile Chancellor Merkel in Israel yesterday ruled out you BDS. All Western government have done the same. Japan, India, South Korean, Taiwan, China, Russia, Australia, Arica, etc. are not on board. But a fool like you won’t even notice that the war has already ended before it even started.

        Reply to Comment
        • LarryZweig

          God defeated the Jews several times… בְּ”הַ
          … because we deserved it. It took several generation of Jewish mistakes after King Solomon before God sent the Babylonians to defeat us… and then again before He sent the Romans to really reconsider. The Zionists and their “friends” have been in power for several generations now. I think it is high time for Jews to stop playing politics, and to get to work doing OUR work.

          Reply to Comment
    8. Muslims are La-warish in the world. As palestine now a days Myanmar government and Boddha Monks are torturing Poor Muslims.There is a very hopeless situation as we can mind no light in the darkness of world last edge.

      Reply to Comment
    9. MK Levin’s view of what this law does may turn out to diverge from those actually thereby appointed to the Commission. If “Arab” predominates over “Muslim” and “Christian,” there now may be two votes where there was one (or at any rate now one more vote), assuming the Commission actually has an impact in the world.

      American commissions of this ilk slate some positions for minorities, although I do not know if this is done in law or the political appointment process. In many commissions the law stipulates a proportion of Republican to Democrats to be sat, letting the political process work out the details otherwise.

      However, here the racial lens is being used, to divide and weaken, so Levin nearly admits, and as applied the intent is to circumvent the Declaration of Independence. Again. Yet there is a real problem: how to sample minority opinion in a policy way without instituting racial categories through quotas? A strong anti-discrimination law in hiring is one tool, but one needs also to think about pre-hire education, maybe even issues like day care for young mothers needing to work; if these differ by ethnic category on average, one needs some non self defeating way to identify such and suggest policy. And, e.g., women are not going to be happy if they are excluded from policy making save as data on polls.

      The recent history of coalition law makes me suspect this law is just another attempt to constrain the largest minority in the country. But I know nothing of what the Commission does, its charge over policy, recommendation, or data collection, so it is impossible for me to grasp what this change will do. What Levin et al want it to do, yes, I can guess; but what it will do is another matter. You see, wants you think racially it is nigh impossible not to underestimate actual persons, maybe even appointed, of that race; and I would say as much with religious affiliation.

      Reply to Comment
      • Last paragraph “wants you think” should be “once you think..” I’m doing these weird sound shifting too much of late, probably a sign of age.

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      • Philos

        Greg, you’re over-thinking it. This isn’t about redressing discrimination against Palestinian Christians. This bare faced and unashamedly colonial divide and rule. There isn’t one iota of goodwill in this motion. It is motivated by nothing but malevolence. I know a few Palestinian Christians and they are so insulted by this they find it hard to articulate a coherent sentence without bursting in anger.

        Anyway, those idiots in the Knesset just added one item of evidence that will make the jobs of hasbarists even harder in front of audiences; how are they going to square this one away with “democratic” and not apartheid? Especially given Levin’s poisonous rhetoric.

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        • Ginger Eis

          Philos, “Greg overthinks”? It seems you don’t think at all (Jihadis never do). Above YOU wrote this: “I wonder if the new found concern for the Christian minority in the Middle East will transfer into support for the Assad regime, which is overwhelmingly supported by Syrian Christians against the rebels who are chopping off their heads, desecrating their places of worship and forcibly converting them?” Now compare THAT to this CBS info re Christians in Israel. Students eligible for a high-school diploma: Christian = 64%; Muslim children = 48%; Druze = 55%; Jews: 59%. Students who received a high school diploma that met the basic demands of Israeli universities: Christians = 56%; Jews = 50%; Druze = 36%; Muslims = 34%. Per capita Christians fare economically better than their Jewish counterparts. Muslims have the highest birth rate and the lowest rate in every other aspect (except crime) NOT just in Israel but in ALL Western countries (what a huge surprise)! Neither the law which protects Christian interests nor Israel is the problem. Look elsewhere!

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          • bob wisby

            It’s true, Ginger. Everyone but the Jews is having a lovely time in the Jewish State. That’ll be our well-known generosity, tolerance and inclusiveness coming back to bite us I suppose. When will we learn to stand up and be heard. Enough with this ‘friaism’

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        • I think you may be quite right about the bill’s motivation. My point was that once you have a sitting new member, if both Christian and Arab, there might be a surprise. Although I do wonder whether the Commission is just cosmetic anyhow.

          If cosmetic, the revision will just nurture resentment. If more than that, it all depends who is chosen–and there’s the rub, hey?.

          But I cannot disagree with your point that this Knesset’s track record does not indicate benevolence as motive. They think in categories and would have others do so as well. Muslims are the problem, not Arabs. New goal. Of course, there are occupied Palestinian Christians as well, but let’s not talk about them.

          There is, however, the background question of how you deal with minority representation in such an ethnically charged society.

          You know, I don’t find you Jihadist or Islamist or Fasco-Islamist at all. I must be missing some subtle cues. Maybe you’re Franco-ian?

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          • Philos

            Haha, I’m certainly not Phalange of Franco! I would’ve been on the same side as Orwell and Hemingway if I had been around then.

            Interesting point about Palestinian Christians. If Israeli-Palestinian Christians aren’t Arabs according to Levin then what are Palestinian Christians in the West Bank? Too bad none of the legislators had the presence of mind to pursue him on that internal contradiction. Anyway, my hunch is that this has a lot more to do with American fundamentalist Christian money, and a lot less with divide and conquer.

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          • Ginger Eis

            More conspiracy theories, Philos? More delusional fear of the unseen evil fingers of the Zionists, the Christian-Zionist and now the “American fundamentalist Christians”, Philos? When is this obsession with Israel and ‘them Jooz’ going to end? You guys are indeed in need of serious help. Get a life!

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    10. ben

      Nothing in this article made sense.

      On the home page of +972, the headline reads “New law legalizes inequality” followed by “muslims citizens are not entitled to equal rights”.

      What in this law deprives Muslims citizens of Israel of their civil rights? What in this promotes legal inequality?

      The law added an representative, who must be Christian. Just like the Ethiopian representative on the same Committee must be Ethiopian. Muslim Arabs still have a place on the committee. The decision was made that Christian Arabs need a place as well. Where is the legalized inequality?

      The author has to know that despite the national solidarity, there are often vast cultural and economic differences between Muslims and Christians in Israel/Palestine. The education and employment rates are very, very different.

      As for the declaration that “this new law adds another chunk of evidence that Israel is an ethno-religious state with systematic, structural inequalities”

      Because a Christian representative was added to a committee? There are far better examples. This is just absurd. This is the wrong article for the wrong law.

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    11. Khaled Khalid

      If you’re White, you’re Right.
      If you’re Brown, stick around.
      If you’re Black, step back.

      Which Jim Crow category would Jews,Christians and Muslims fall into with Israeli State Policy?

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      • The Trespasser

        Either would be better world’s oldest segregation model – Dhimma, which was invented by Muslims about 1300 years ago.

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        • andrew r

          Dhimmitude was a huge regression, from, say, the Spartan Constitution which granted equal rights to Spartans and Helots. Do you have knowledge of anything that isn’t repeated on Islamophobic blogs?

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    12. The Trespasser

      *better than

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    13. Average American

      “Christians are our natural allies”??

      Christians follow the New Testament, which Jewish MK Ben Ari publicly ripped from the Bible and tore into little pieces and threw in the trash, saying this book is responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews.

      Further, Orthodox Jews recoil from Christians as though the terror of some kind of terrible infection.

      Finally, there are reports that Jews spit on Christians.

      So what’s going on? Levin is making a deliberate and knowingly false tactical move, or the government of Israel is psychotic, or the government of Israel’s only morality is Zionism and the furtherance of The Jewish People above all others.

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      • bob wisby

        Christians, Jews, Muslims…they’re all cut from the same cloth, ultimately. Perhaps monotheism is to blame, for ushering out the diversity of Gods that were available in more ancient times. One God is a very totalitarian idea. A bit like one central bank or a World court of Justice, such as envisaged by Ben Gurion when he predicted its eventual establishment in Jerusalem.

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    14. BaladiAkka 1948

      Just a sidenote: Shadi Halul, the spokesperson of the “Christian Officers’ Forum” who’s supporting this bill is a descendent of displaced residents of Kafr Bir’im.
      The residents of this entirely Christian village in the Galilee were displaced in october 1948, the village was razed in 1953 (the church being the only structure left untouched) and the land was expropriated by the “State of the Jews”.
      Natural allies, someone said ?

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      • sh

        Interesting.

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    15. Kavod vKaved

      If by “Arab” you mean a racial/ethnic designation then none of the Palestinians are Arabs, they were non-Arabs who were culturally Arabized in the centuries after the rise of Islam, by a minority of Arabs who intermixed with them (as previous conquerers did, such are the Romans, Persians etc)

      If by Arab you mean a linguistic/cultural designation then all of the Palestinians are Arab, as are Arabic-speaking culturally Arab Jews.

      If people are “Arab” racially because they speak Arabic and practice Islam then I can safely call most of the Jews I know, who speak English and don’t practice Judaism, “Anglo-Saxons”
      The Left will be thrilled, they have been insisting we are all “White” for years now.

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