Entries from blogs tagged with “reader”
Not the Typical IDF Soldier’s Mom: Muslim Arab Mother Whose Son Serves in the IDF Speaks
By Anav Silverman
Anet Haskia is not the typical mom of a soldier serving in the Israel Defense Forces. A Muslim Arab, who grew up in a mixed Arab-Jewish city in the north, Haskia is breathing a little easier this week.
For Haskia, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision not to enter the Gaza Strip last week was “brave and right.”
The mother of three children, with a 20-year-old IDF combat soldier, Haskia told Tazpit News Agency, that “many Israeli soldiers’ lives were saved thanks to that decision.”
“Going into Gaza would have yielded success for the Hamas terrorists. Israel did what it had to do for the time being to stop the rocket attacks and played it smart.”
Haskia who was born and raised in Acre (Akko), a mixed Arab-Jewish city in the Western Galilee in northern Israel, is openly vocal about her support for the Jewish state of Israel.
“I am proud to live in Israel,” she says. “I am even prouder that both my sons have served as soldiers for this country.”
“If I was living in Gaza, I would have no rights as a woman under Hamas,” explained Haskia. “And you can’t expect anything different—Hamas is a terror organization, they treat people like animals with no regard to human life. They will never hold democratic elections like they do in Israel.”
“I’m open about these truths,” adds Haskia. “The Arab MKs in the Israeli Knesset don’t represent me. The extremist left-wing in Israel also doesn’t represent me and others in my community who share my beliefs. Those corrupt politicians just contribute to hate, incitement and lies.”
“When an IDF soldier is killed in combat, not one Arab MK will stand up and offer his condolences to the bereaved family,” she exclaims. “These Arab MKs enjoy democratic rights but don’t appreciate them.”
Anet explains that her attitude towards the Jewish state as a member of the Arab minority country stems from the fact that she was raised in a home that “respected both Hebrew and Arabic-speakers.”
“When I grew up in Akko, we had good relations between Jewish and Arab families.”
“I realized early on that I wanted my children to advance in Israeli society. They studied in a private Jewish school on a kibbutz and were exposed to a different mentality. It was not an easy road, but I taught my children to always be proud of their identity and not to cry and whine like our politicians.”
During Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, Haskia did not just sit worrying over what may happen to her son—the proud mom did her share to help Israel as well. “Over 12 years, Hamas has been firing rockets at Israeli civilians and all you see are photos of Gaza in the media. Some of those photos are fakes,” Haskia pointed out.
“I noticed many times in Arab media that ‘Gaza’ photos of bleeding civilians were actually photos from other Arab conflicts in the Middle East— Syria and Iraq for example. They were being used to incite hatred against Israel, so I started to post these fake photos and their origins on my Facebook wall.”
Haskia has political ambitions as well. “I want to be part of Israeli politics some day and make a change by representing my people politically. There are many people who are too scared to speak up, who love Israel like I do and have done well here. They want a future where their children will not fall to hatred and incitement, but overcome that. I want to be their voice,” she concludes.
It's a common misconception that Palestinians are suffering terribly under Israeli rule. But the facts on the ground suggest otherwise.
Palestinians Seeking Israeli Citizenship Sunday, October 28, 2012
By Khaled Abu Toameh
There is no denying that by applying for Israeli citizenship, in defiance of PLO and Hamas warnings, they are actually making clear that they would rather live under Israel than any Arab rule.
The Palestinian Authority says it is worried because of the rise in the number of Palestinians from Jerusalem who are seeking Israeli citizenship.
Hatem Abdel Kader, who is in charge of the “Jerusalem Portfolio” in the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank, revealed that more than 10,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem have been granted Israeli citizenship.
Abdel Kader attributed the growing phenomenon to the failure of the Palestinian Authority and the Arab and Islamic countries to help the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem.
In other words, he is admitting that Israel is doing more for these Palestinians than the Palestinian leadership and the entire Arab and Islamic countries.
According to figures released by the Israeli Ministry of Interior, 3,374 Palestinians obtained Israeli citizenship in the past decade.
According to ministry officials, in the past two years, the number of applicants for Israeli citizenship has intensified.
Palestinians living in Jerusalem enjoy the status of permanent residents of Israel. This means that they hold Israeli ID cards but do not have Israeli passports.
As permanent residents, they are entitled to all the rights of an Israeli citizen, with the exception of voting in general elections.
Israeli law, however, allows any resident to apply for citizenship.
Yet, in the first two decades since Israel annexed east Jerusalem after 1967, few Palestinians applied for citizenship.
At that time, it was considered an act of treason to apply for Israeli citizenship; the PLO openly threatened Palestinians who obtained it.
But the trend changed after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and, a year later, the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Suddenly, the number of applicants increased dramatically and Palestinians were no longer afraid or ashamed to stand outside the offices of the Interior Ministry in Jerusalem to apply for Israeli citizenship.
The main reason the Palestinians rushed to apply for citizenship was their fear that Israel would also cede control over east Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority.
Their biggest fear was they would lose all the privileges they enjoy as residents living under Israeli sovereignty, including free health care and education, and freedom of movement and work.
In addition, the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem realized that despite all the difficulties they face in Israel, their living conditions were still far much better than those living under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.
Lack of democracy and massive financial corruption under the Palestinian Authority also drove many Palestinian Jerusalemites to apply for Israeli citizenship as a way of ensuring that they would always remain under Israeli sovereignty.
As one Palestinian explained, “I prefer the hell of the Jews to the paradise of Hamas or Yasser Arafat.”
Another reason Palestinians are rushing to apply for Israeli citizenship is their fear that the Israeli authorities may revoke their Israeli-issued ID cards.
According to the ministry regulations, Palestinian residents of the city who move to live outside the country automatically lose their status as permanent residents.
In the past decade, many Palestinian residents who moved to the West bank or left Israel lost their Israeli-issued ID cards.
Many of those who have applied for Israeli citizenship are are Christians from Jerusalem who are also afraid of ending up under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority or Hamas.
Ironically, obtaining Israeli citizenship has become a way for Palestinians to ensure their social, economic, health and education rights in the country.
There is no denying that applying for Israeli citizenship, in defiance of PLO and Hamas warnings, is also a political statement on the part of the applicants. They are actually making clear that they would prefer to live under Israel than any Arab rule.
The latest in the Syrian conflict has been reported in the Israeli press. It has been modified slightly since I first posted it. This is an excerpt:
"The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) is concerned about a number of types of potential attacks, including a cross-border infiltration into an Israeli community on the Golan, the abduction of a soldier or civilian, or rocket fire into Israel from Syria.
While there has been an increase in the presence of global jihad operatives in Syria, the IDF believes they are focused on toppling Bashar Assad’s regime, but that once that happens, they will shift their focus to attacking Israel, as their comrades in the Sinai Peninsula have been doing.
The army is also preparing for the possibility that large numbers of Syrians will rush the border to try to flee the regime’s bloody crackdown.
The IDF has prepared a number of areas along the border where it plans to contain the civilians in such a case, and protect them from Syrian military forces if needed. The government would decide whether to allow the refuge-seekers into Israel."
That is the end of the article. I wonder how many Israelis, Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and agnostics would be welcome in Syria if there was turmoil in Israel?