Thursday, November 18, 2010

Arabs Treatment of Minorities and Palestinians

Nadene Goldfoot

Before 1948, there were many Jews living in Arab countries. They were treated as 2nd class citizens or dminnis, having to pay more taxes than others, and being restricted in many ways. When Israel became a state, they were forced to leave so they migrated to Israel.

Jews were not the only minority living in Arab countries. Probably more than 1/4th of the population of all Arab states together have minorities. There are the Kurds, Nilotic Negroes, Berbers of the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia) who speak non-Arabic languages, the non-Moslem arabic-speaking Druze in Syria, Christian Copts in Egypt, and the Maronites in Lebanon claiming descent from Phoenicians. Nearly all these minority peoples, like the Jews of Iraq, North Africa and Yemen-lived in their countries before Arabs arrived on the scene.

Minorities make up about 10% of the world's people. Life is only bad for them when they find that they are being discriminated against and ill-treated. The Basques in Spain and the Kurds in Iraq and Syria and the Ibo in Nigeria are having a rough time, especially the Kurds, who feel that they need their own state.

Seventy million Arabs live as majorities in their own country and rule over their minorities. Sometimes, as with the Jews, they have discriminated against them or even have shown brutal repression without embarrassment.

At the time Israel was created, the few Palestinians who lived there fled, following the directions of their leaders. At the same time, Jews living in Arab countries were kicked out and fled to Israel. Most of the Palestinians who fled Israel remained in camps until this present date. The surrounding Arab nations did not offer to take them in but coerced them into staying where they were. When Palestinians did go into Jordan, they caused a bloody war with that country. In time, they were accepted and the king even married a beautiful Palestinian woman. But most of the Palestinians have remained in camps on welfare from the United Nations. Gaza has many of these camps.

In 1947 the Israeli Zionist leaders said they were willing to accept a partition of the land in order to put an end to the conflict and accepted the U.N.'s partition proposal which included a land without protected borders. They told themselves that this sacrifice would win the heart of the Arabs. Well, the Arabs refused their half and their hearts hardened. As it turns out, we need protected borders after all.

As it was in 1937, for Jews have been patiently trying to create their own state of Israel since 1918, Zionist leaders agreed to divide what remained of the original mandated territory of Palestine after eastern Palestine had been given to the Arabs by the British. The British Royal Commission proposed this division. Jews were offered a miniature state, highly indefensible, but even then the Arabs rejected it and so the British government buried their plan.

On January 3, 1919, the leaders, His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal of the Arabs and Dr. Chaim Weizmann of the Zionists wrote up an agreement. They remembered the racial kinship and ancient bonds that existed between their peoples so agreed upon 9 articles. They agreed to follow the British Government's Declaration of the 2nd of November, 1917, dividing the land. #8 stated that they would act in complete accord and harmony on all matters embraced herein before the Peace Congress. My how naive they were. Israel did try in the beginning to have a peaceful time for the birth of their country.

The borders of Israel need to keep Israel secure and in tranquility on the Suez Canal, Jordan River and Golan Heights as well as from a future Palestine in Judea and Samaria. Jerusalem must be kept safe. Coexistence between Muslim and Jew is not the happiest state in creation, but it must be one that will create a safe environment. Is this possible with an Abbas who will not sit down and discuss points on a peace treaty?

We have tried to treat Palestinians as we would want to be treated, but have been constantly attacked. The book, facts about israel is full of facts about what Israel has tried to do for Arabs in Gaza. Israel's government did much to help and encourage them towards municipalization to have their own local government.

In 1971 there were 343,900 Muslims. This population grew from 1948 when there there about 140,00 in Israeli territory. In 1971 they were being denied passage through Arab States to fulfill the 5th pilllar Israel, the pilgrimage to Mecca. They have still been used by their own peers as pawns in the war against Israel.

Book: Battleground-fact and fantasy in Palestine by Samuel Katz 1973

Book: facts about Israel -division of Information, ministry for foreign affairs, Jerusalem 1973

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