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Submitted by John D on Wed, 18/01/2017 - 23:58

Facts are always selected, can be cherry-picked, presented out of context - and they can also be outright lies.
Mathew presents his as though Israel and its citizens include Arabs who live over the 1949 armistice lines.

But no Israeli citizen is legally hampered in any form of travel whatsoever. This is so self-evidently true and verifiable by any observer that it is pointless to refute. We have left the world of reality and are floating in a miasma of fantasy.

I myself have served with non-Jewish citizens, indeed, not a few. Bedouin, Christians (very committed ones), ex-Russians of very dubious tradition, whatnot. My children's generation serve in a much more integrated framework. Our grandchildren's generation would look upon such nonsense with justified disgust and a maybe a call for men in white coats.

The key, of course, is that Mathew sees a need to justify Israel's existence, and finds none.

But here are some other cherry-picked facts about Israel (sources available if required). Are they not relevant? Out-of-context? Sheer outright lies? Or could they indicate something of the social/political/educational direction in which Israel is moving?

Quotes:

Today, Israeli Arabs comprise 21 percent of the Israeli population and 23 percent of Israeli doctors. More generally, Arabs comprise 16 percent of first-year students in higher education, compared to 8 percent a decade earlier. (My guess is about 80% of pharmacists).

Between 2005 and 2011, inflation-adjusted Arab net family income increased by 7.4 percent. As a result, the share of Arab families that were “very satisfied” with their economic conditions rose from 40 percent in 2004-2005 to 60 percent in 2010-2011. Indeed, recent surveys show Arab families have virtually the same level of satisfaction with their lives as Jewish families.
These gains have made integration into Israeli society a realistic goal for many within the Arab populace.
(. . . The government has) dedicated to Arab towns 40 percent of the transportation budget for the next few years, particularly in Bedouin areas.
. . . the Education Ministry’s goal of increasing by 500 the number of Arab teachers in Jewish schools whose subject of instruction is not language is moving forward. This fall, the increased number reached 300, so that for the first time, a majority of Arab teachers in Jewish schools taught subjects other than Arabic.

Arabs now comprise 28 percent of students at Technion University and more than 4,000 are employed in the high-tech industry compared to less than 400 eight years ago.

A decade ago, the government approved the opportunity for young women to enter National Service where, for one year, they engage in social service activities. For the first few years Arab participation (was self-limited to) Bedouins, Christians, and Druze. (Currently) it has become a personal choice that is no longer stigmatized, leading to a broader participation.

My only personal appearance in court ever was in Hadera, in front of an Arab judge. Whose facial expression told me he'd heard every weird excuse that there was, and don't try any nonsense with him. I won my case.

In 2000, Jewish police fired on Arab protestors, killing 13. In response . . .initiated changes in police training and the integration of Arabs into the national police force. By 2010, almost 100 Arab towns had some Arab police, up from less than a dozen a decade earlier.

. . . As more participate in national service and police forces, Israeli Arabs will be further integrated into the national fabric.

As someone who was sent to many countries in the course of my work (medical diagnostic software) I developed my own rule of thumb for judging the safety of the streets. Basically, after dark, can you see unconcerned/lone women and children on the street. Well, this is Israel and yes you can. Lots. All the time. Most everywhere. And lots of them are easily identified (by dress) as Arabs. From Yakutsk to Chicago and New Orleans, via Glasgow and Cape Town, this is the country where women citizens feel safe by right in every public arena.

Mathew, your views and facts are off the wall. I propose you read Tony Judt "Thinking the 20th Century" as a corrective.

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