For its own good, Israel must stop marginalising its Palestinian ...

World

For its own good, Israel must stop marginalising its Palestinian citizens

ANALYSIS | Arab parties are inching towards a new degree of effectiveness which could see a unified pushback

Hussein Ibish

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict often seems like a nightmarish Groundhog Day of endless repetition. And indeed Hamas and Israel are yet again battering each other. In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority is impotent and paralysed, while Israel advances the aggressive building of Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank.

Yet one usually overlooked group may be taking on a bigger role this time: the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Also known as “Arab Israelis”, at almost two million they comprise about 20% of Israel’s citizenry, but face significant discrimination. Almost six million Palestinians in the occupied territories, also ruled by Israel, have no citizenship.

Arab Israelis have historically played a marginal role in Israeli society and the Palestinian national movement. But with strong forces pulling in each direction, that may soon change. It may not have much impact on the current fighting, but it could transform the shape of the struggle going forward...

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