Monday, November 19, 2007

Time to decide

What's wrong with this picture?

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee unanimously decided Saturday to reject Israel's demand that the Palestinians recognize it as a "Jewish State" as a part of the peace negotiations. The Palestinians have also announced that they reject the Israeli demand.

The decision was made at the Committee's meeting in Nazareth after Hadash and the Israeli Communist parties demanded that an official stance against the Israeli demand be taken prior to the upcoming Annapolis conference.

[ ... ]

The demand was made due to fears that defining Israel as a "Jewish State" would bring about "a worsening in the condition of Arab-Israelis and will hinder the realization of the Palestinian refugees' Right of Return."

I hate to break the news but Israel already is and has been defined as a Jewish State since its inception. That is, after all, the point. Recognition of this fact by any arab palestinian entity is the issue here, and such recognition is virtually on a par with recognizing Israel's right to exist, which is why it's sort of a key element to reaching a "peace agreement" with these people. But wait.

What exactly is the "Higher Arab Monitoring Committee?" And who do they represent? Actually, it's a pretty much self-appointed body that claims to represent Arab Israelis. Israeli Arabs. Israel's Arab citizens. Except that there are strong hints that it defines its constituency in other terms.

Former Knesset Member Mohamed Naffa (Hadash) said: "We have no expectations of the Annapolis conference. Nothing good will come out of the White House. This is an important decision primarily for the Palestinian population inside Israel that comprises a significant percentage of the Palestinian people and will be the first to be affected by it."

Hadash Party leader MK Mohammad Barakeh said: "This decision is a new stage of our battle to stay in our homeland."

Some people have called the HAMC the clearest manifestation of a fifth column mentality among Israel's Arab population. MK Avigdor Lieberman recently called for the group to be outlawed for its consistent attempts to undermine Israel from within. If that's their goal, they certainly don't make any effort to hide it.

At some point, Israel's Arabs are going to have to make a decision as to whether they want to be "Arab-Israelis" or "the Palestinian population inside Israel." It's their insistence upon opting for the latter and aligning with those who seek to destroy Israel that's responsible for any "worsening" of their condition. And it's way past time they figured that out.