Yes it’s true!! Palestinians are second class citizens in Israel even if they hold Israeli citizenship. Finally an admission of this by a leading member of the Israeli Parliament…

Hopefully this will be a step towards changing the situation… recognition of a problem is often the road to eliminating it…. we can hope.

Racism against Palestinians inside Israeli boundaries admitted by Speaker of Knesset

Jerusalem / Kristen Ess –Knesset Speaker of the House, Dalia Itzik, recognized discrimination against Palestinians living within Israeli boundaries. This may seem an obvious fact: that Palestinians face racism in myriad forms within the boundaries of Israel, but for the Speaker of the Israeli Parliament to admit to such a thing is newsworthy.

Palestinian members of the Knesset have been driven from their posts for making similar statements, while one such as Azmi Bishara is now living in exile after facing prosecution for visiting Arab countries and holding meetings with Syrian and Lebanese leaders.

In reasonable fear for his saftety and freedom, Bishara now moves from one place to another within the Arab world. His family remains in historic Palestine.

In 1992 Bishara was accused by the Knesset of “endangering the security of the Israeli state,” for remarks made in Syria. He supports the international right of the Palestinian people to oppose Israeli occupation.

After weeks of speculation in the press last year that he would resign from the Knesset due to heavy harassment, he spoke publically on Al Jazeera. The date was 15 April, nearly one year ago. He told the Arab satellite channel that he was being severely targeted by the Israeli state security service, which was levying serious security related charges against him with plans for his arrest. He resigned within that month.

Bishara was the leader of the National Democratic Assembly in the Israeli parliament. Not recognized as Palestinian, he and other Palestinians in the Knesset, and citizens living within the “Jewish state,” are referred to as “Israeli Arabs,” further taking away the identity of the original population.

On 3 May 2007 Bishara said, “The government of Israel is accusing me of aiding the enemy during Israel’s failed war against Lebanon in July.” He said that he faced “martyrdom, exile, or prison,” and was restricted under an Israeli imposed “gag order.”

Under Israeli law, anyone, including personal friends and journalists doing their jobs by reporting the news, are defined as a “foreign agents” by Israeli security – if the Israelis so chose. These types of charges lead to either life in prison or the death penalty; again if the Israelis so chose. This is the same type of treatment that all Palestinians and supporters face: the Israelis amend their laws within their minds and depending on mood at any given time. None of these “Israeli laws” follow international law.

This is just one of myriad examples of the intense racism faced by Palestinian members of the Israeli Parliament, so one can only imagine what the average citizen faces.

Therefore, Speaker of the House Dalia Itzik’s recognition of “discrimination against the Arab population in Israel” is making the news today.

This came in response to correspondence with the Chairman of the Islamic Movement inside the Green Line regarding the proposal to establish a special committee in the Knesset to follow-up on Palestinian issues within the Israeli boundaries, such as the killing of Palestinian children for which the killers went free.

Itzik “does not believe that the establishment of a Commission concerned with the affairs of a particular minority can contribute to the eradication of discrimination, but rather may contribute to increased friction between the Committee and other committees dealing with the affairs of other citizens.”

Regardless, any move on the part of the Israeli government to recognize its draconian treatment of the Palestinian population, while still referring to itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” and the “most moral army in the world,” is something to take note of, regardless of how little too late.

As a member of the Kadima party, Itzik assumed the position of acting President of Israel while former President Moshe Katzav took a leave of absence upon facing sexual harassment charges last year.” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “For the first time in 60 years of Israeli history, a woman is president of Israel for a period of time.”

This is the year that marks 60 years of Al Nakba, “the catastrophe,” for Palestinians, meaning the establishment of the Israeli state.

Today’s plans for demographic separation and ethnic cleansing are now called “peace initiatives.”


  1. Skulz Fontaine said,

    February 24, 2008 at 19:34

    T’was, I believe, Isaiah that said, “the lion shall lay down with the lamb.” Unfortunately, Isaiah forgot to tell everyone that the aforementioned “lion” will eat those “lambs.” Free Palestine! Free the Palestinian people and for the ‘love of God’ Israel, please stop with your racist cannibalism. Well and that genocidal apartheid! Criminy, how much idiotic hate must our planet endure?

  2. February 26, 2008 at 22:43

    Is it because they’re black that they’re not welcome in Israel? Of course it is.
    The small Ethiopian population in Israel now is subjected to endless ridicule in private, even in public on occasion.

    Israel: No promised land for Africans

    Associated Press Writer

    Tues, 26 Feb 2008

    TEL AVIV, Israel – ….Tasfa Mara said he’s happy where he is. The 24-year-old Eritrean escaped forced conscription, beatings and a treacherous trek across three countries before reaching his promised land.

    “Only Israel safe,” he said in patchy English, his hands and feet heavily bandaged from lacerations he suffered on the barbed-wire barricade between Egypt and Israel when crossing last week. “All African countries the same.”

    Mara may not have a safe haven much longer. This week Israel plans to begin deporting thousands of African migrants who have slipped in through the porous southern border with Egypt. It remains unclear how the expulsions will be carried out and where Israel will send them.

    Founded six decades ago in the wake of the Nazi genocide, Israel finds itself torn between a sense of duty to help people fleeing persecution and fears of an onslaught of illegal immigrants. The result has been a confused policy.


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