5 thoughts on “Shin Bet Crackdown on Israeli Arab Unrest in Nazareth, Golan – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Richard, there is a minor error in your article, right here:
    “This occurs in the backdrop of extraordinary domestic tension regarding reform of the current law that exempts most Haredim and Palestinian citizens from serving.”

    The Tal Law exempts Haredim from compulsory military service in the IDF, but it deals *only* with the Haredim.

    There is nothing in any Israeli law that exempts Israeli Arabs i.e. if Ehud Barak called up an able-bodied Arab for military service then the law says that he/she *must* report for duty; no exemptions, no excuses, no evasions.

    The only wrinkle is that this law also gives Ehud Barak the perogative not to call up any “individual or group” and he – like all Ministers of Defense before him – has a policy of exercising that perogative by deciding that he doesn’t want any Israeli Arabs in his army.

    But it is important to recognize that for what it is i.e. it is not that Israeli Arabs are “exempt” from serving in the IDF, but that the Ministry of Defense is allowed to decide that it does not want them to serve in the IDF.

    Note this: the Druze were once in the same situation i.e. the IDF simply refused to call them up.

    Then one day the then-minister decided to change that policy: the Druze then started to receive their call-up papers, and they had to front up for basic training.

    No Knesset legislation required.
    No special committee needed to be former.
    All it took was for the Minister to change his mind.

    As far as the Israeli Arabs are concerned that is all it would take i.e. Ehud Barak could simply change his mind and start calling them up tomorrow, and if he made that decision then …… no Knesset legislation is required, no special committee is needed.

    Not so with the haredim, whose call-up *would* require a change in the current legislation.

  2. Thank you for exposing this, Richard.

    Just one comment, though: Zoabi’s party, al-tajammu3, is hardly a “nationalist” movement, at least not in the sense that the term is typically used in the West, to mean a movement that advocates for the superiority of one nation over others.

    I’m sure you didn’t mean to villify Zoabi or her peers, but I’m afraid the use of the word “nationalist” may have that inadvertent effect. Her party has been labeled that way, unfortunately, even among left-leaning circles in Palestine and Israel, but we don’t have to buy into that epithet.

    Thank you,

    1. No, I don’t mean “nationalist” in the sense that Likud and settlers are “nationalists.” I mean it in the sense that she stands up for Palestinian national identity, which I believe is the original meaning of the term. I do not mean that she privileges Palestinian national identity over Jewish or Israeli national identity. But I do find justice is your concern & will note it for when I consider using the term in future.

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