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Visiting Non-Jewish Populations Of Israel: Part 1: Introduction

By Shaqooq fil Jidar - Posted on 06 September 2015

Most of my blog and most of my experiences have been from behind the Separation Wall in the West Bank.  But a few weeks ago, I went on a political tour around Israel. There were about 20 of us and we hired a big, bright pink bus to take us on a three day tour.   It wasn’t a typical tour that most people go on when they come to Israel. People usually visit Tel Aviv and go to the beach, maybe visit the Carmel Market and shop at one of the many malls.  Then they go over to Jerusalem and visit some holy sites, and the Old City.  They probably  go to the Dead Sea and even up to the Sea of Galilee. But most people who come to Israel don’t get to see the real Israel.  They don't get to see what is actually happening on the ground.  They don’t go to the West Bank, they don’t go to Gaza, they don’t go to the Golan Heights and visit Druz villages, or to the Negev to visit the Bedouin unrecognized villages, because most people stay away from the politics of the country.  They just want to go on a pilgrimage or have some fun and ignore the reality. 

 Since I have been here I have learned so much about the conditions of Palestinians in the West Bank and even in East Jerusalem but I haven’t had much time to learn about how other Arabs such as the Bedouins, or the Druz are living and how they are treated inside Israel.  Because of this, I am grateful that this tour was available to me because this conflict it is not just about the Occupation in the West Bank, it is about the ill treatment of Arabs (in various ways depending on where they are) throughout the entire country.  A civil rights movement is needed, a human rights movement is needed, a revolution is needed.  The racist Israeli government system needs to be re-written because there are hundreds of thousands of people in Israel who do not have basic human and civil rights, simply because they are not Jewish.

I understand the need and the want for a Jewish state.  The Jewish people have historically suffered and have been treated horribly in the past.  They want security.  They want to live in freedom and have protection from possible annihilation.  Annihilation is a real fear for them and it is understandable but there is no separation of Church and State in Israel.  It is the Jewish state.  Its nature is exclusive.  Jewish people in Israel have more rights and more freedoms than any other type of people in the land.  History has shown over and over again, that Church and State have to be separated.  Otherwise, people who do not fit the criteria, are left with less rights than the favored group.  Israel calls itself a Democracy but I am struggling to understand how  they can waive the flag of democracy when there is so much unfair treatment, and so many racists laws and rules. Israel has to figure out a way to obtain its security and its Jewish state without violating the rights of others, or they need to wake up to the fact that their system isn’t working, and create a new system where everyone living in the land is equal in the eyes of the government.  Until then, I don’t believe there will ever be peace here.  Governments can’t continue to oppress people and expect security and peace.


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