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Israeli Arabs urged to try 'reverse discrimination' against Jews

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ProgressiveMuslim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:29 PM
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Israeli Arabs urged to try 'reverse discrimination' against Jews
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 04:30 PM by ProgressiveMuslim

Jonathan Cook, Foreign Correspondent

* Last Updated: April 10. 2010 1:31PM UAE / April 10. 2010 9:31AM GMT

NAZARETH // A leading Arab human-rights lawyer in Israel has suggested a novel and provocative approach to dealing with routine discrimination practised by Jews against Israels Arab minority: Arabs should start discriminating against Jews.


Mr Jabreen argues that, if Jewish groups launch legal battles against such discrimination, the courts rulings in their favour could be used by the Arab minority, a fifth of the population, to oppose similar examples of Jewish discrimination currently endorsed by Israels legal establishment.

This is a possible new strategy that could be adopted by Arab lawyers to make fun of the Israeli legal system, to show its hypocrisy and contradictions, he said. And in this way we could as a community manipulate it to our own advantage.

The proposal comes in the wake of a poll last week in which more than half of Israeli Jews equated marrying an Arab with national treason and three quarters said Jews and Arabs should not live in the same residential areas.

Israel has also been the subject of two critical recent reports on its treatment of Arab citizens: the US state departments annual report on Israel documents a long list of human-rights abuses of the Arab minority, and a report by the Mossawa advocacy organisation assesses the current Israeli parliament as the most racist in the countrys history.

Mr Jabareen said the idea for the new strategy was prompted by two unusual legal cases Adalah is involved with.

In the first, Azad, an Arab-owned restaurant in the mixed northern city of Haifa, is being sued by a Jewish soldier after he was refused entry. The owner says he has the right to bar anyone wearing a military uniform, whereas the soldier claims he was discriminated against based on his appearance. The soldier is backed by the local municipality, which is seeking to close the restaurant.

This case is a turning point, Mr Jabareen said. For the first time an Arab is discriminating against a Jew inside the Jewish state and is ready to fight his corner. And if the courts rule that the Jewish soldier was discriminated against because of his appearance, then we can use that ruling.

There are many cafes and restaurants that bar Arabs because of their appearance because, say, a woman is wearing the hijab and little is done about it. This case has the power to shock Israeli society and show them the double standard.

He said that the constitution committee in the parliament recently condemned the restaurant and is proposing new legislation to ensure such an incident never occurs again.

The other case involves a Jewish couple who are fighting their exclusively Jewish community of Nevatim in the Negev to be allowed to rent their home to Bedouin friends. Last month Israels Supreme Court supported Nevatim and ruled that the Bedouin couple should submit to a vetting committee. Hundreds of rural Jewish communities in Israel use such committees to block admission of Arab applicants.

Here again, the case is unusual. For the first time, we have Jews standing with us, opposed to discrimination against Arabs. They are fighting from the inside.

read on:
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 06:46 PM
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1. There's a few problems with that sort of proposal...
The most important ones are that stooping to the same level as those whose discrimination someone's trying to point out ends up making them just as bad. Also, the proposal works on the assumption that there's a level playing field in Israel, which there's not. The people who condone and carry out the discrimination against Israeli Arabs have all sorts of excuses as to why that discrimination isn't really discrimination, and would fail to see it the same way if that discrimination was aimed at them. For example, the cases in East Jerusalem where Arab families are evicted based on claims going back decades and decades that Jews previously owned the properties hasn't translated into Jews being evicted from properties based on claims going back decades and decades that Arabs previously owned the properties.

So I think it would be a disastrous thing to attempt to do and there has to be better and more effective ways to fight the entrenched discrimination in Israel...
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ProgressiveMuslim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 09:15 PM
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2. I disagree 100%. The whole point is to establish legal precedent.
Once that's done, it provides a foothold. I think it's a brilliant way of making the case and creating law upon which to make the case AGAINST discrimination of Arab Israelis.

Really, what other option is there?
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stranger81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 12:06 PM
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3. Interesting strategy, but I could see it backfiring.
It's not outside the realm of possibility that the Israeli courts could come up with some pretext to bar discrimination against Jewish Israelis, but to continue looking the other way when faced with discrimination against Israeli Arabs.
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