Ugly Israeli Realities Emerge - by Stephen Lendman
Revelations about Israeli crimes.
On December 16, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "Secret EU paper aims to tackle Israel's treatment of Arab minority," saying:
Haaretz obtained parts of "a classified working paper produced by European embassies in Israel...."
The "unprecedented document" addresses internal Israeli issues. It was written without Israel's knowledge. It also covers Israeli peace process intransigency, its self-characterization as a Jewish, democratic state, and how it treats its Arab population.
Removed from its final version were suggestions for EU action measures, including:
- filing official protests each time discriminatory Arab bills pass second Knesset readings; and
- ensuring all Arab towns have completed urban plans, "with each member state potentially 'adopting' a municipality to this end."
Developed over the past year, it was written for EU foreign ministers to debate, advise, consent, or object.
After failed efforts to achieve consensus, it was softened and designated a "food for thought" document, not a report.
Among other concerns, repressive occupation and failure to advance peace talks equitably leave Israeli Arabs especially marginalized and at risk. According to the document:
"The stalemate in the peace process, and the continuing occupation, inevitably has an impact on the identification of Israeli Arabs with Israel. It will be more difficult for (them) to be wholly at ease with their identity while the conflict with the Palestinians continues."
The document also urges EU member states discuss Jewish-Arab relations with Israel, stressing its obligation to resolve inequality issues.
"We do not believe that recognition of Israel as a Jewish State should detract in any way from the vision of equality for all its citizens enshrined in its founding documents."
"It is in the interests of all Israelis to demonstrate that Israel is not only Jewish and democratic (sic), but tolerant and inclusive, and that these are patriotic values. We believe in common with most Israelis that Israeli nationality is an inclusive concept which can accommodate equally those of other faiths and ethnic origins."