Washington Post hammers Israel's treatment of its Arab citizens

In "Israeli Arabs asserting their Palestinian identity" (6/12/21), the Washington Post asserted its Palestinian bias.  The front-page article starts off with the story of Mahmoud Abo Arisheh, who grew up in an Arab village in the northern part of Israel and "was sure of at least two things: He was Israeli, and he was not allowed to talk politics."  Further, his parents told him, "Be careful, or the Shin Bet [Israel's version of the FBI] will get you."  The article continues that Abo Arisheh grew up to become a lawyer, a poet, and a theater director in the trendy Israeli port city of Jaffa.  The article states, "He attends protests and talks politics freely."  So, in essence, his parents' warnings were markedly unfounded.

Interesting that the Post fails to mention that Arabs in Israel have greater voting rights and civil liberties than the citizens of any Arab country, not to mention that they are allowed to protest and speak out against their leaders.  Abo Arisheh should attend protests and speak of politics freely in all the neighboring Arab countries and see how long his lifespan is.

The article further states that Israeli Arabs "have been arrested by the hundreds following some of the worst communal violence between Arabs and Jews in Israel's post-independence history."  The violence has been almost entirely from the Arab side, where at least four synagogues were torched in the mixed city of Lod.  Yes, torching synagogues will get you arrested in the State of Israel.

The article then quotes an Israeli Arab member of the Parliament, Sami Abu Shehadeh: "for a long time, a lot of the world did not know about our existence."  That would be impossible, especially for anyone who travels.  The Palestinians were the innovators of airplane hijacking in the 1970s.  With that "contribution," travelers throughout the world are reminded of the Palestinian movement, in what amounts to an entire industry of airport security, not to mention the inconvenience.  They are thought about thousands of times a day, but yes, many may not attribute that "contribution" to the Palestinians.

Abu Shehadeh understands that people can get confused about the Israelis and Palestinians, saying, "We became citizens in the state that was established on the ruins of our homeland."  The Post omits the critical follow-up: that the Arabs started a war against the nascent Jewish state that caused the "ruins."  Moreover, there was never a "homeland" country called Palestine.  During the 400-year period before the Brits were put in charge of administrating the region called Palestine, the land had been part of the Ottoman Empire, not any Arab state.  How can the Washington Post let such obvious propaganda be spouted in its paper?  Is the Washington Post a newspaper or a mouthpiece for the Palestinian movement?

During the recent 11-day war between Hamas and Israel, Israeli Arabs rioted and destroyed many synagogues, attacked Jews, and destroyed property.  The Washington Post called these "demonstrations."  The Post identifies a fair number of grievances by the Arabs of Israel.  Did the Post bother to ask them which other country in the region they would prefer to live in over Israel?  Israel is not a perfect state, yet its recent new government has as part of their platform to improve living standards of the Arab population.  Why not emphasize that and add other achievements and contributions that Arabs have made in Israel?  Why not highlight the success stories of Israel's pluralistic democracy, such as Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses working side by side in Israel's hospitals?  Why not mention the Arab members of the Supreme Court?  Or is the goal of the Post to find only the negatives in the truly great rebirth of the Jewish nation, a rebirth that is unmatched in the history of civilization?

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