VII. HOW IT WORKS
Sabri Jiryis is a Palestinian lawyer who practised in Israel and is now living in Beirut. In his definitive book, THE ARABS IN ISRAEL (17) he provides a number of examples of how the system works. Tobacco is a major crop of Arab farmers. As in many countries, the marketing of tobacco is regulated by the government. Arab tobacco bought by "jewish" colmpanies, was paid for at a rate of 64.4% less than what was paid "Jewish" farmers. The difference is accounted for by the fact that "Jewish" farmers dispose of their crop to Alei Tabac. Alei Tabac is owned by the Jewish Agency/WZO. According to Jiryis,
The Jewish Agency does not deny the practice, claiming that it was created to hlep Jews and no one else.(18)
Jiryis says the same condition prevgails for two other important crops, olives and olive oil. In a state where by law the government is a partner with an institutional infrastructure committed to serving one part of the population on the basis of its religious faith it is not surprising that discrimination is not limited to the market place. Social and political attitudes are also affected. In a Forward to the Jiryis book, Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at MIT provides an acurate summary:
Responsibility for development is assigned in large measure to the Jewish Agency (JA)....that operates in the intersts of Jews with a budget on roughly the scale of the development budget of the government. By such means as these, the state has succeeded in directing resources to Jewish citizens WITHOUT TECHNICALLY INTRODUCING LEGAL DISCRIMINATION, THOUGH IN FACT...SEGREGATION ANDVOTHER DISCRIMINATING PRACTICES ARE FOUND IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM ITSELF.(19)
In the Zionist state, as indeed in many countries, application of "law" is not always determined by the language employed in "the legal system." Administration of the law can, and very often does, bend the intent of the system, even where the intent is to distribute the benefits and powers of teh state equitably among its citizens. In the Zionist state the very intent, BY DEFINITION, is to favor the maintenance and reinforcement of the "Jewish character" of the society. The treatment of the Arabs in the Galilee is one of the most flagrant examples. The demographic facts, including the higher birthrate among Arabs than among Jews, presented a grave threat to the continued domination of the state by Zionist ideology, with its primary concern for "Jewish people" nationaolity. Israel's Northern District Commissioner of the Ministry of Interior noted that in 1976 " the natural growth of the Arab population is Israel is 5.9% in comparison with 1.5% of the natural growth of the Jewish population per annum (20) Ominously, for planner of a ZIONIST state, with this disparity in the growth rate, "the Arabs will constitute more than 51% of the population of the district in 1978." [Note the grave concern almost two decades ago, and the same concern now.-Z] The Koenig Plan recommended several strategies for making the lives of the Arabs of the Galilee SUFFICIENTLY DIFFICULT TO ENCOURAGE THEIR EMIGRATION. One of these was "to limit the number of Arab employees to 20%" in any "factory....in critical regions." (21) Another stragey was to be applied in the field of education:
To make it easy for the Arabs to go abroad for studying and to make it difficult for them to return and to find a job, that policy might help their emigration.(22)
The economy and the educational system of the Zionist state are heavily subsidized by the WZO/JA funds from abroad. They are allocated, according to the Status Law and the Covenant, by the prescribed combination of representatives of the government and the Agency. The government is, therefore, party to such recommendations offered by one of its appointed officials. The cities of Acre, and Nazareth, with concentrated Arab populations presented the most imminent threats to Zionist-state lanners. In Nazareth, the government/ZO combined, using discriminatiory allocation of ZO/government funds, put in place some of the most seere forms of discrimination against Arabs. SOME ISRAELIS SPEAK QUITE CANDIDLY OF THE RESULTS AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF "JUDAIZATION OF THE GALILEE". The keystone of the plan to "Judaize" the Galilee was to build what came to be called "Upper Nazareth". In 1948-49, Nazareth was almost totally an Arab city. UPon the hills surrounding the old city, the government and the JA employed Zionist funds, designated for the aparently harmless purpose of building "Jewish" housing, to construct the new city.
It was built upon thousands of acres of land which were expropriated high handedly...taken by force from the Arab settlements, particularly Nazareth and neighbouring Rana."(23)
Not a single unit of habitation has been built in Arab "old Nazareth" since 1966. In Uper Nasareth meanwhile, JA/government funds have constructed a plethora of new housing. No Arab is permitted to purchase or rent any of the units despite the fact that, at least until recently, a number of them have been uninhabited. In old Nazareth, by contrast, "there is a grave and chronic housing crisis." The government even "offered publicly to buy any flat in Upper Nazareth which 'becomes empty' at any price offered for it so it will not fall into Arab hands."(24) Consequently, "old Nazareth" has become a virtual slum. The condition is intended to be a "persuader" helping to dislocate Arabs from one of their more concentrated population centers in the Galilee. And, ever conscious of "public relations", the contrast between "Jewish" Upper Galilee and the old city is an example of Arab "inferiority" which ZEALOUS TOUR GUIDES DO NOT HESITATE TO MAKE CLEAR TO THE INNOCENTS ABROAD IN THE "HOLY LAND". Despite this built in bias, which is consistent with the Covenant and the Status Law's commitment to "ingather the exiles," the state is failing in the attinment of its "central task" Emigration, not immigration figures are at a peak. In August of 1980 YEDIOT AHARANOT, a popular Israeli newspaper, reported that there are "100,000 Israeli passpport holders living in Los Angeles, Ca. alone". "A senior consular offical" of Israel in that city complained because 2,000 emigres arrive "each month". (25) An AP story datelined Tel Aviv, reported in December that,
Jewish immigration, a cornerstone of Israel's existence, has fallen to the lowest level in 12 years and the number of Jews leaving Israel is on the increase. (26)
The same report noted the official figures of the MNinistry of Immmigration revealed that 22,000 immigrants "are expected this year, 1980," compared with "37,200 in 1979". A lengthy article in Ma'ariv, usually considered to be Israel's most conservative newspaper, and perhaps the most widely read, on September 10th, inventoried some of the benefits offered "Olim" (Jewish immigrants) in an effort to increase JEWISH immigration. (1) Supplementation of up to 90% of the average wage in the market for one year after entry and in most cases for five years or more. (2) Housing benefits held out as bait for new immigrants (27) (3) Rental of flats to olim at rates way under market value (28)
In a monograph published in 1969, Jiryis detailed other exajmples of Zionist discrimination against Israeli Arabs during thyears 1948-1966.(29) (1) Failure ot extend electicity lines to Arab villages. (2) Failure to provide post offices to most Arab villages while ome Arab vilages have no postal service whatsoever. (3) Only 1/4 of all Arab villages had telephone service. (4) Inferior health care services.
In a more complete study published in 1976, Jiryis admists some improvements had been made for some Arabs in some of these services but the fundamental disparity remains. Jiyis consludes the later volume, saying"
A basic fact that emerges from a study of the history of the last quarter century is that the Arab in Israel has been and continues to be a "different" citizen, "non-Jewish", belonging to the goyim and excluded from the rights enjoyed by Jewish citizens. This distinction, which affects every aspect of Arab life, has bben OFFICIALLY IMPLEMENTED from the establishment of Israel to the present.(30)
The Zionist state, in other words, consistently puts a higher national interest priority on absorption of "the Jewish eople", those who have already come from a wide disparity of national backgrounds as well as those still to be recruited from "exile" than upon equality for the "non Jewish people" nationals who remained in the state after 1948-49. And this "central task" of the WZO/governmetn combine is certtainly rated a highert national priority than the inalienable right of any of the displaed Palestinians, now scarttered among many nations in enforced "exile." Jiryis sees this declared central purpose of teh Zionist stateas a major factor which has
helped to keep the Palestine problem alive both inside and outside Israel. The Palestine question seems to have returned to its point of origin, prving to the Arabs in Israel that their problems cannot be solved until the case of Palestine as a whole is resolved. (31)
(17) Monthly review press NY and London 1976. See esp p. 161ff (18) Ibid: p.216 (19) Monthy Review Press, NY and London, l197 p. XII. (20) This report is unofficially known as "The Koenig Plan", after Israel Koenig, the comissioner of the district. The report was supposed to have been secret, but ws leaked to the press in Israel. The complete text, in translation, has been published in a pamphlet "Palaces of Injustice". (21) Ibid. p 11 (22) Ibid p 13 (23) For details see The Non-Jew in the Jewish State, p. 73. This is a collection of articles published in the Israel press, edited and prepared and privated distributed in translationk, by Dr. Israel Shahak. Prof. of Chemistry at the Hebrew University. (24) Ibid. p 74 (25) Yediot Aharonot 8/29/80 (26) AP 12/16/80 (27) Uris Davis and Walter Lehn, "And the Fund Still Lives", Journal of Palestine STudies Summer 1978 op. 23 (28) At the time of writing the Israeli poiund = 2-3 cents of American money, with an inflation rate of 135% per year. (29) Sabri Jiryis, The Arabs in Israel (30) Ibid p. 235 (31) Ibid p. 239