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Arabs in Israel

In reference to the article “Uncivilized Arabs” [March, 4] and the reply published on March 7.

Israel is a democratic state for its Jewish citizens, and a Jewish state for everyone else. The end of maintaining the “Jewishness” of the state justifies any means. Thus some political parties in the Knesset and Rep. Dick Armey advocate the “transfer” of Palestinians and the diffusion of the “demographic time bomb” (i.e., citizens of Israel who are not Jewish). The Israeli Supreme Court's verdict in the case of Knesset Member Bishara is an important milestone in the process of converting Israel into a state for all its citizens. This means the integration of not only Arabs, but also foreign workers and thousands of Jewish immigrants whose Jewishness does not meet the standards of the Israeli religious nationalists.

The sorry state of democracy in the Arab world does not automatically make Israel perfect, nor do Israel’s faults absolve Arabs from working to change their state for the better. Democracy and justice, however, can never be the outcome of an American or an Israeli occupation of Arab land.

Shihab M. Elborai G