It makes it all the more interesting then that Israel’s Central Electoral Committee has just banned Arab parties. Mixed parties, like the Communist Party, are OK. Jewish parties are OK. But those Arabs – well, they’re traitors, aren’t they?
“Parliament spokesman Giora Pordes said the election committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motion, accusing the country's Arab parties of incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist.”The motion was put forward by a far-right party. That it won support amongst Israel’s mainstream parties shows just how far Israel’s colonialism has caused the nation’s political consciousness to degenerate towards ethnic authoritarianism.
But then, the plan from the beginning has always been to “spirit the penniless Arab population” across the border and out of Israel, as Zionism’s founder Theodor Herzl put it. And that’s still the attitude today.
A poll in March of 2008 found that 76% of Israeli Jews support the idea of transferring the Israeli Arab population out of the country should a Palestinian state be founded.
“…29% said all Israeli Arabs should relocate. An additional 19% said only Arabs living in close proximity to the Palestinian state should relocate, and 28% said transfer should be decided based on loyalty or disloyalty to the State of Israel.”The Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, echoed this sentiment in December, just two weeks before the Operation Cast Lead began in Gaza. In an interview with Army Radio, reported in Haaretz, Livni stated:
“Once a Palestinian state is established, I can come to the Palestinian citizens, whom we call Israeli Arabs, and say to them ‘you are citizens with equal rights, but the national solution for you is elsewhere.’”This is of no great controversy in Israel. It was founded on the basis of expulsion. As Benny Morris, the “left wing” Zionist historian argued in a 2004 Haaretz interview:
“Ben-Gurion was a transferist. He understood that there could be no Jewish state with a large and hostile Arab minority in its midst. There would be no such state. It would not be able to exist…Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here."Based upon that logic, it is no small stretch for him to say the following in the same interview:
“The Israeli Arabs are a time bomb. Their slide into complete Palestinization has made them an emissary of the enemy that is among us. They are a potential fifth column…”After all, the goal is to maintain a “democratic, Jewish” state. Unfortunately, there is the small matter of all those pesky Arabs living inside Israel – 20% of the population and growing.
And more than that, there’s another 3.7 million Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories, meaning that the number of people living under Israeli rule at the present is only slightly more than 50% Jewish. Fortunately for the “democratic, Jewish” state the majority of Palestinians under their rule have no vote, no civil rights and don’t even have independent control of their tax collection.
Not very democratic.
However, in Gaza there is a thriving democracy. In 2006, under the watch of international monitors and the basis of one-person, one-vote, the population of the Gaza Strip elected Hamas as the majority party in their Legislative Assembly.
Perhaps that example of democracy at work is part of what Israel wants to eliminate.