Israel’s right-wing governments were much softer with the Arabs than the Left. Menahem Begin was a liberal who generally avoided the subtle but ruthless oppression of Arabs characteristic of the previous Leftist governments. When the prohibitions were relaxed in the early 1980s, the Arab discontent that had grown in the incubator of the mosques spilled into nationalist organizations. The lesson is simple: Israel can suppress the Arabs, but not manage them. Just like a government cannot manage an economy, so it cannot manage a discontented population. Anything less than the total oppression of Israeli Arabs would only channel their hatreds into illegal activities.

Moderate Israeli Palestinians stress that they only want equal rights in the Jewish state. But Muslims by definition cannot have equal rights in a Jewish state—because the state is Jewish, not Muslim. Naming the state is also the right of its citizens, but only Jews have such right in Israel. The Torah offers resident aliens (gerim) freedom from oppression, but also mandates that natives and non-Hebrews be driven away. The residents in question, therefore, are those who have accepted basic tenets of Jewish beliefs. Israeli Arabs reject the Jewish right to the land, including the Temple Mount, Hebron, and other places, and therefore cannot be considered protected residents. Most Israeli Arabs are content for now with equal personal rights and don’t demand political equality. That will certainly change, as people assured of their welfare always proceed to demand political liberties. Freedom of political vote—including the freedom to vote the Jewish state out of existence—is a basic political liberty, and Israeli Arabs won’t relinquish it. Blacks are a minority in America, but were able to change the racist laws that oppressed them; Arabs don’t even need to become a majority in Israel to force the change of our racist and symbolic laws. And if religion is set aside, Israeli laws and symbols are indeed racist.

Israel’s struggle with her Palestinian residents resembles Jordan’s. There too, a burgeoning Palestinian population threatens Jordan’s core Bedouin population. Jordan’s Palestinians are exactly like the West Bankers, descendants of the 1948 refugees from the West Bank. So far, Bedouins have kept their key political posts, but any semblance of democracy would bring the Palestinian majority to power. Jordan’s problem with the Palestinians is actually worse than Israel’s, as Palestinians surpass the Bedouin in rudimentary work-ethics and business skills, and dominate the Jordanian economy. Just like Israel refuses to annex the West Bank for fear of inundating herself with millions of Palestinians, so Jordan finally refused the West Bank for the same reason.

Palestinian victories in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria boost Israeli Arabs’ nationalism. Israeli Muslims are slowly assimilating into Jewish society, but quickly cementing into our Arab enemies’ fifth column in Israel. They are cheering fans of Hamas and Hezbollah now, but would form pogrom mobs if the Jews became weak. And when the Jews are strong, why should we leave Arabs in Israel?