At UR, articles are being written with the intent of promulgating an anti-Israel agenda. The latest example is in an article regarding Israel’s status in the international community. People have freedom of speech, but when the information presented is not factual, others must speak out.
The author of  a recent article, “Israel must be held accountable internationally” discusses unequal treatment of Arabs and Muslims. This not only ignores the reality that Arab citizens of Israel have the same rights as all other citizens ­— including equal opportunity for political representation — but it also equates a religious group with Arabs, as if they were interchangeable. The terms Muslim and ‘Arab’ are not synonymous by any definition. Further, there is no Israeli law or policy that discriminates against Muslims. Period.
Israel does not want to “permanently ensure the discrimination against an entire ethnicity and religion.” Rather, Israel wants to be recognized as a legitimate state. Its transparency and willingness to cooperate on the international level illustrate this goal. Israel has had this goal since its inception in 1948, but being surrounded by countries and factions that seek its destruction imposes onerous defense requirements. In the context of the proposed loyalty oath, the author claimed that it has been passed. In reality, it had been proposed and is in the process of being debated. It does not affect Israeli Arabs and does not imply, as the author says, that having people in Israel called  “exclusively Jewish.” It is a controversial issue within Israel itself and is being debated by the Israeli public. The wording of the proposed legislation changed recently in that any proposed oath would apply to all prospective citizens, Jew and non-Jew alike.
Israel has always permitted freedom of religion, and has always had a substantial population of Muslims and Christians. However, from the time of the Balfour Declaration, there has been international acknowledgement that Israel is a homeland for the Jews and is the only country in the world that has a Jewish majority, where everyday life reflects its Jewish character.
In response to the author’s claim that he has “personally witnessed” acts of violence by Israeli settlers against Arabs, we state that so has everyone who has a remote connection to the Middle East. What about the families whose homes have been destroyed by missiles launched from the Gaza Strip? Over 8,000 rockets were launched from Gaza since 2000, and the resulting destruction has caused appalling and fatal physical and psychological damage, as well as significant economic losses.
He asked, “Is it just for the government to hijack a centuries-old identity in a quest to solidify an expansionist colonial occupation?” In response: Israel is not an expansionist colonial state. Modern Israel was created by pioneers and was recognized in the decision of the UN in 1947. When Britain and France obtained mandates to govern the former provinces of the Ottoman Empire, the British mandate for Palestine noted the relevance and role of the Jewish presence there in the Balfour Declaration. All through the 30-year British Mandate, the Jewish presence developed. All the other mandates in the Middle East became Arab nations: Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Further, it’s wrong if someone believes that Jews appeared in Israel out of nowhere after the devastation of the Holocaust. Jews have always been either a majority or a large plurality in the land of Israel.
The author brings up a “centuries-old identity” he is referring to the people known today as Palestinians. However, people today known as Palestinians obtained this name in the last few decades. Beforehand, they were referred to as (and considered themselves to be) Arabs. In fact, the term Palestinian in the early 20th century referred to people living in the Ottoman-controlled territory, later to become the British-controlled Palestine during the Mandate period — including Muslims, Jews and Christians. The term Palestine has passed from ancient roots to the modern usage and has referred to many different groups of people living in this territory.
It is apparent that when discussing the politics of a country or of a region in general, there are many opportunities to express relevant opinions. We hope that those who wish to express such opinions about Israel or any state present facts in an honest manner instead of using incorrect wording, which lessens the value of any discussion on an issue and jeopardizes the readers’ abilites to retain knowledge.



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