Member of Knesset Ayman Odeh received prime real estate in the Op-Ed page of the September 23, 2019 print edition of The New York Times. He aired his personal wish list of a neutered Jewish State, at odds with the wishes of both Arab and Jewish Israelis.
“We call for repealing the nation-state law that declared me, my family and one-fifth of the population to be second-class citizens.”
There is no “we” in that statement. A July 2018 poll taken of Israeli Arabs shortly after passing Israel’s Nation-State bill showed an incredible 84.8 percent approval rating for recognizing Israel as the state of the Jewish people. That was even more than the 61.9 percent approval by Israeli Jews.
“The morning after the exclusionary “nation-state” law was passed, I drove my children to school and thought about raising them in a country that has repeatedly rejected Arab Palestinian children. Israeli governments have made this rejection clear time and again, from the years of military rule imposed on Arabs in Israel from the founding of the state until 1966.”
When Israel was founded in 1948, it gave every person living in the land Israeli citizenship. Over 160,000 Arabs became citizens on that day, quite the opposite reaction of Odeh’s “brothers and sisters” who went to war with Israel, evicted every Jew from the land they seized, and forbade any Jew from becoming citizens. To say that Arabs in Israel lived under military rule, is not simply fake history, it suggests that Odeh views the nation in which he serves as a member of parliament as completely illegitimate from its founding.
“The Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel…”
Israel permits dual-nationality for its citizens with many countries, but Israel does not recognize any country called “Palestine,” so why does Odeh call himself by such title time and again? He is an Israeli Arab, given citizenship and rights to vote, work and participate in government like millions of others. The government in which he serves clearly rejects such nomenclature.
“Our decision to recommend Mr. Gantz as the next prime minister without joining his expected national unity coalition government is a clear message that the only future for this country is a shared future,”
Odeh is seemingly very confused. He claims to desire a shared future but refuses to join in such shared future. It is a similar call to the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) who call on Israel to do everything, but do not act constructively to bring about a shared future.
“We will continue our work toward a better, equal future, and our struggle for civil rights, rooted in our national identity as Palestinians. There is room enough for all of us in our shared homeland,”
If Odeh would like to define his “national identity as Palestinian” then he can move to such a country when and if it is created. If he truly believes that there is “room enough for all,” then he should stop protesting when Jews move to Judea and Samaria, in lands east of the invisible Green Line. The two state solution he endorses is really a 1.5 state solution: a Palestinian Arab state devoid of Jews and non-Jewish egalitarian state for both Arabs and Jews.
Odeh’s endorsement of boycotting Israel, even going so far as refusing to attend a meeting located on the same floor as the Jewish Agency, are well known. Lesser known are his comments for violence against Israel “I can’t sit in my house in Carmel and tell the Palestinian people how to fight. I think that my people will choose how to fight, will choose its path.”
Ayman Odeh’s statements are at direct odds with the entire notion of two states for two people as called for at the United Nations for one hundred years, and against the stated desire of Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews. His goal is to destroy the Jewish State from within, not to advance peace inside and outside of Israel.
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