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Arab inequality in Israel

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On August 31, 2009 @ 9:34 am In History of Palestinians | 5 Comments

The conflict with Jews stems largely from Arab backwardness. Many Palestinians have lived in refugee camps for four generations rather than emigrating—and they can freely go to many countries—in search of a decent job. Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and especially in Gaza ,create enormous political pressure, which the opponents of Israel exploit. Arab backwardness impedes their urbanization, thus sprouting villages instead of several large cities, and results in a shortage of agricultural land for a Palestinian state.

The “educated” Palestinians are educated under Israeli rule because the Jews push their educational standards into the administered territories. Foreign Palestinians are also relatively educated, but the relationship is opposite: the enterprising Palestinians, eager for education and good jobs, emigrate. Crowds in the refugee camps amount to human cattle. In the absence of jobs and with extensive welfare, education is a rare amusement for Palestinians. People in refugee camps with no day jobs or prospects and ample provision of food cling to education as their ticket out of the camps. Education is their way of sublimating longings and discontent. Even so, Palestinian education results are meager, visible only when compared to of other ignorant Arabs. Palestinian Arabs have no culture of learning, and are not likely to acquire it in just a few generations.

The efforts at integrating Israeli Arabs are counterproductive. Arabs are critically different from Jews in economic terms. Lacking the culture of education and work ethics—both of which are acquired over centuries, never within decades—Arabs invariably fall behind the Jews. Israel extends affirmative action to Arabs, but their educational and professional achievements are abysmal. Israeli Arabs have developed into an underperforming community, perpetually dissatisfied with their economic inferiority. In Arab countries, rural populations are similarly dissatisfied, but there exist opportunities for social mobility: rural Arabs are just a single generation behind the urban ones. Social mobility allows for solving the problem of inequality rather than fanning hatreds over it. Moreover, rural and urban Arabs are sufficiently similar in cultural terms that no xenophobia exists between them. It’s very different in Israel, where the social mobility of Arabs is nil (they cannot develop on par with Jews) and Jewish-Arab differences and grievances provide ample grounds for xenophobia. The situation in Israel is much worse than in America with its blacks who, at least, don’t harbor murderous hostility toward their white neighbors. The Americans brought the blacks from Africa, and the slaves’ descendants don’t want to go back to their ancestral homelands. Jews took the land the Arabs consider theirs, and the offense will continue burning forever, especially because continual Israeli concessions fan the Arabs’ hopes for gaining sovereignty; America never offered such hope to the Native Indians, and they don’t express nationalist aspirations similar to those of the Palestinians.

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