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Secret Report Urges Steps to Curb Arab Separatism

A secret report containing recommendations aimed at thwarting Arab separatist tendencies within Israel will be presented to Premier Yitzhak Shamir soon, Haaretz reported Sunday.

The report, whose authors detect a growing trend among Israeli Arabs to establish their own autonomous institutions and split away from the stage, contains recommendations calling for special budgets of 235 million shekels ($147 million) over the next five years to be allocated directly to the minorities sector.

Some 85 million shekels ($53 million) would be directed to the development of Arab municipalities, according to the report, which is titled “Principles of Government Policy Toward the Minorities Sector in Israel.” According to Haaretz, which obtained a copy of the document, the report was prepared by former Likud-Herut Cabinet Minister Moshe Arens and his Arab affairs adviser, reserve Brig. Gen. Amos Gilboa.

Arens, interviewed on the “Erev Hadash” (New Evening) program, which winds up daily broadcasts of educational television, said he “knew nothing” of the secret report, which was also published by Maariv.

But he later admitted under pressure that work had started on such a report when he was defense minister. Arens became defense minister in 1983, succeeding Ariel Sharon.

‘LAUNDERED FUNDS’

The report, as published in Haaretz, alleges that “laundered funds from abroad,” whose source is Palestine Liberation Organization bodies, are conveyed to a portion of the minorities population — mainly elements that do not identify with the state.

The report recommends that “the defense establishment examine ways to encourage minorities to volunteer for the Israel Defense Force, and draw up programs accordingly, placing the emphasis on Bedouins and Christians (Arabs) in the first stage, and preparing the organizational and other tools for their integration into the various IDF units.”

Since the state was founded, Israeli Arabs have been exempt from military service on humanitarian grounds — that they should not be forced to fight against Arabs in Israel’s wars–and because Arabs in the armed forces are considered a security risk. As a consequence, Arabs are excluded from the various benefits to which IDF veterans are entitled. However, Druze and Circassian Moslems are permitted to serve.

The report recommends that “the establishment of an independent Arab party with an affinity to the PLO or to bodies working for the realization of autonomy for the Arabs of Israel be prevented.”

It refers specifically to such bodies as the National Committee of Arab Local Councils, the Student Committees, High School Student Committees and the Committee for Safeguarding Arab Lands, among others.

“The existing national Arab bodies (should) be integrated into the framework of existing state and public institutions and, should this prove impossible, they should not be granted official recognition,” Haaretz quoted the report as stating.

THWARTING ‘SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITY’

“Illegal subversive activity, and activities whose goal is to realize aspirations of splitting off from the State of Israel, (must) be prevented and thwarted,” the report says.

It recommends “working toward creating a state of equality and integration between the minorities population and the majority Jewish population, through the allocation of the required resources and the creation of an atmosphere that accords the minority population a feeling of belonging to the state, and of their being an inseparable part of it.”

According to demographic forecasts, minorities in Israel, chiefly Arabs, will total 1,183,000 by the year 2000, or 29 percent of the population, compared to 17 percent today. The Jewish population is projected at 4,126,000 by 2000.

The percentage of Druze and Christians is expected to drop while the percentage of Moslems rises, especially the Bedouins, whose annual natural rate of increase is between 4.5 and 5 percent.

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