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On Faith: Israel offers Arabs 'a genuine future'

June 04, 2011|By Mark S. Miller

Joseph Farah, an Arab author, wrote: "As an Arab-American journalist who has spent a good deal of time covering the region, I can tell you there is more freedom for Arabs in Israel than in any Arab state."

Salma Abedallah, an Israeli Arab-Muslim, echoed: "We are very happy being Israeli Arabs. Israel has so much freedom of speech, even more so than in America. Israeli Arabs are the only Arabs that have any rights anywhere in the Middle East."

While the Lebanese cannot freely condemn the Syrian occupation of their country; while Saudi Arabian women are threatened with beatings for attempting to drive a car; while Libyans are indiscriminately fired upon by their own government and the Syrian civilian death toll mounts daily; while Yemenis languish in a virtual state prison; while the Egyptian military subjected female protesters in Tahrir Square to "virginity tests;" while Arab Morocco keeps the Saharawi Arabs in refugee camps in the most inhospitable desert as probably the poorest people on Earth, the 1.4 million Arabs of Israel enjoy life in a democracy that prizes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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Only in Israel can Muslim Arabs find any assurance that other Muslim Arabs will not blow up their mosques, dynamite their marketplaces, and gun them down as they travel on pilgrimage. Only in Israel can Christian Arabs find any assurance that their churches will not be attacked by Muslims, as they are in today's Egypt.

Only in Israel can Arabs appeal to an independent judiciary and expect justice. Only in Israel can Muslim and Christian Arabs worship freely. Only in Israel can Arabs speak their minds openly. The sole Arab parties in the Middle East participating in free elections send members to the Israeli parliament, where they can criticize Israel and praise Iran and 22 Arab police regimes, theocracies and tyrannies.

Even movements opposed to Israel's national existence are represented in the Knesset. Whereas every Arab country practices sexual apartheid against women, all Israeli men and women are equal before the law. Israeli Arab women can work in fields of their choosing.

Israeli Arabs are beneficiaries of the same state-run education system as all Israelis and learn in Arabic, an official language of the state. They have complete access to Israel's modern health care facilities. The only independent Arab press in the Middle East is in Israel.

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