Gilad Sharon pens an angry Op-Ed in Ynet delivering Israeli Arabs an ultimatum: “Do you wish to enjoy all the good Israel bestows upon you? Then be completely loyal to it. If you cannot do it, be prepared to pay the price.”
Sharon’s missive was prompted by last week’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem by a Palestinian from eastern Jerusalem who carried an Israeli ID card. Though not an Israeli citizen, the terrorist lived within Israel’s borders. Sharon, a son of the former prime minister, writes:
The repeated terror attacks carried out by Arab terrorists possessing Israeli ID cards highlight the need for a frank and open discussion regarding relations between Arabs and Jews in Israel and the future of these ties…
This pretention must stop: You shall stop pretending that you are loyal to the State the way it is, and the State will stop pretending that it does not discriminates against you, because it does. It has no choice, as you come out against its essence as a Jewish state and are working to turn it into something else. For example, how can we not discriminate against an elected representative such as Azmi Bishara or Ahmad Tibi, who served as an advisor for Arafat the terrorist, when it comes to sharing sensitive security information?
This juggling act, whereby on the one hand Arab Israelis enjoy the State’s health and welfare services and freedom of expression unlike anywhere else in our region, while on the other hand their representatives condemn and attack Israel at every opportunity, and particularly in enemy states, must end.
Decent points, maybe, but the hole in this argument is that the converse can be argued just as easily. Israeli Arabs can say to Sharon and the Israeli government: When you stop discriminating against us, when you treat us like equals, when you craft a national anthem and flag that speaks of us, then we will be loyal to the state.
It’s a complicated situation.