by Gad Nahshon
Many Israelis do believe that the Israeli-Arabs are a 'Fifth Column.' There is a feeling that the tension between Jews and Arabs in Israel has reached its climax. Are they Arafat's agents? Israelis recently are shocked by the behavior of the Arab members of the Knesset: Azmi Bishara or Dr. Ahmad Tibi. Do they exploit democracy in order to destroy the Zionist democracy?
Recently, the Knesset decided to allow the court to judge whether Bishara committed illegal acts when he went to Syria to express his support for the Hizbullah's fight for freedom. He lost his immunity as a Knesset member. Bishara tends to view Israel as a fascist, or apartheid, kind of state.
Some Israelis on the left came out against the removal of his immunity. Recently, a discussion on an Israeli-Arab issue in the Knesset almost ended with an explosion of fist-fights between Arabs and Jews in the Knesset. The Arab members attacked Israel's Likudnik tough Minister of Domestic Security (Police) Uzi Landau. He defined them as the agents of the P.L.O. in the Knesset. They resented this definition and shouted: "You are a fascist. You incite people to assassinate us."
The root of this tension is to be found in the involvement of the Israeli Arabs in the last P.L.O.'s Intifada, a reaction to the last Camp David meeting. Israelis were shocked by the Israeli-Arab expression of violence. They know that the majority of this minority (17% of the total population) define themselves as Palestinians with Israeli passports or identity cards. But one is surprised to find the radicalization of most of the Arab members of the Knesset. They should be leaders, a bridge for solving problems. But it looks today as if they are competing against the P.L.O. elite or leadership in the future of the Palestinian nation. They try to be the heroes of the Palestinian nation. Perhaps they view themselves as the alternative elite which will control the P.L.O. or the great Palestinian nation in the future.
Do they believe that Israel will be dismantled as a Zionist entity? It is shocking to assume that they are our political vultures. Indeed, we must realize that the Arabs or the Palestinians not only have conditioned Israel to a non-stop attrition war but they are also managing a demographic war against Israel.
The Taliban Syndrome: Remember the picture of Afghanistan men shaving their beards as an expression of freedom from the Taliban's tyranny? The Israeli army decided to do the same: Israeli soldiers cannot grow beards any more! (They need special permission to do so.) The army explained: "We would like the soldiers to look nice." Of course, religious soldiers are entitled to have their beards.
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