The State Of Israel Social Policy Essay

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Since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, a minority of Palestinians have resided within the borders of Israel. Those Palestinians who have resided within Israel were given a full Israeli citizenship and were called "Arab-Israelis of 1948". Although Arab-Israelis hold the Israeli Identity and citizenship and should supposedly be equal in rights with Jewish citizens, discriminatory laws and policies, and educational systems are applied against Arab-Israelis.

After the 1948 war, according to Joel Beinen "around 150,000 Arabs resided within the Israeli borders". The Israeli government agreed on keeping those Arabs within the state of Israel and gave them the citizenship and promised them with peace, "members of the Arab nation, inhabitants of the state of Israel, to preserve the ways of peace". While in reality, granting Arabs with the promised equal rights was an illusion and which is one of the issues that creates conflicts today.

The war on Palestine caused lots of people to lose their homes. The majority of citizens from the eastern bank have escaped to survive from the catastrophic war. The story goes as the tragic war and the forced expulsion of the people in Palestine against the Israeli occupation which is known as "Al-Nakba" or the Catastrophe. After the catastrophic defeat of Arab forces in December 1948, according to MIFTAH "Israel confiscated nearly 85% of the Palestinian territory, expelling around two thirds of the Palestinian population to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and some other parts of the world". Those people who were expelled are the so-called refugees of 1948. Those who remained in Israel are the so-called Israeli Arabs. Therefore, The Arab Israelis cannot give their allegiance to the state of Israel. To recognize the state as Jewish would be to forfeit Arab culture and history. The Nakba and the colonial experience that the Arabs have endured over the past years of occupation have caused Arabs to view the Jewish experiment in Israel in harsh terms. As a result, Arabs would never surrender to the Jewish rules. Since the first and second Intifada, political discrimination against Arabs has grown in intensity, the denial of the Arabs right and the failure of the promise of peace to Palestinians. According to the racist Minister Avigdor Lieberman who is a member in the Knesset, and who is main purpose is to remove the Arab communities from Israel. He states:

"Members of this minority [Arabs in Israel] are likely to serve as terrorist agents on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Many have already made explicit their lack of loyalty to the state. This situation could potentially lead to the collapse of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and perhaps as an entity all together"

He called the Arabs who live within Israel terrorists agents where they receive commands from the outer authority of Palestine to destruct the state of Israel. He also accused them to lack loyalty to the state of Israel although, he knows that they Arabs and the experience they had with Israel. The Israeli government is actually not letting minority of Arabs to have the allegiance and in the same time Lieberman states that they are not faithful to Israel. This contradiction proves the discrimination going on against Arabs. The way they follow is using political reasons to approve discrimination against Arabs.

The Israeli government separates educational systems into two : a Jewish system and an Arab system. The two systems' curricula are similar, but not identical. For example, Hebrew is taught as a second language in Arab schools, while Jewish students are required to study little or no Arabic. The responsibility of equal rights in education falls on the Israeli government where it regulates finances for almost all schools in the country including the Arabic system schools. Quoting ZAMA COURSEN in her article about discrimination in educational systems:

"The Israeli government has acknowledged, to some extent, that it provides a lower quality education to Palestinian Arabs. As recently as January 2005, official committees have found striking gaps in the way the government treats Jewish and Palestinian Arab students and made policy recommendation to address the problem"

But regardless of this undeniable evidence, the government has not changed the way its education system works. Instead, the government has set up criteria that are weighted against Palestinian Arab students and promised to increase the amount of money for Arab education, but the government was insufficient to equalize the two systems, and then failed to deliver these amounts. Even with these temporary measures, funding for Arab education in most areas does not adequately reflect the Palestinian Arab representation in the Israeli population. At the present rate, Israel will not close the gaps in the Arab educational system because they do not want to be equalized with Arabs.

Israeli government Laws discriminate against Arab communities in Israel. According to Adalah's report to the World Conference Against Racism, "Discrimination Against Palestinian Citizens of Israel, identifies more than 20 laws that discriminate against the Palestinian minority in Israel.". The Adalah's report mentions a list of discriminatory laws against Palestinian minority in Israel. For example, the immigration laws, which allow Jews to immigrate freely to Israel and gain citizenship, but excludes Arabs who were forced to escape their homes. Another example, which is a consequence of the first one, as Palestinians were forced to flee their homes; Israeli government confiscated their homes and lands. The result was the establishment of the law that prohibits Arabs from leasing or buying any Israeli land. Quoting Walter Lehn, a professor of linguistics then at the University of Minnesota, who contended in a 1974 article in the Journal of Palestine Studies that states: "The Israeli state under color of law effectively prevents any non-Jew from leasing or holding any rights ... to 90 percent of the land in Israel" . The law states that Arab-Israelis are prevented from leasing, or buying, or even accessing, most or all of the land in Israel. To put it simple, those lands owned by Israelis were once for Palestinians who were forced to flee due to the catastrophic war and this law is just a way to make Israelis settle in Palestine. According to the passed away president of Palestine Yasir Arafat, saying: "Israel has always confiscated land from Arabs and dispossessed them of their property. The land always goes from Arabs to the Jews.". The truth is Israel wants Palestinians to leave the country by setting out outlaw legal system to make Palestinians lives more miserable and then force them again to leave their lands and to repeat their ancestors' story.