THEY MUST GO Page 61
Chapter 3: Of Declarations and Independence
 
 
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Of Declarations and Independence 61

b250,000 [sic]—that it will become rapidly assimilated to the bprevailing Jewish culture. . . . In Israel the Arab has little bchance of maintaining his identity.”

bIt seems incredible that Israelis once really believed that.

bBy 1967 it was clear that the Arab was not going to fade baway, but he was still not a “problem” to the average Israeli. bNor, for that matter, was he a problem to the “nonaverage” one, bthe intellectual who always has so much to say on subjects bwhether they are within his field of expertise or not. Not only bwas the myth of the quiescent Arab still prevalent, but Israelis bwere certain that Ishmael was content.

bA few months after the Six-Day War, Midstream magazine, ba house organ for the Jewish Agency in New York, carried a bsymposium on “Prospects for Peace.” Among the participants bwas Professor Ephraim Urbach, Talmudic researcher and arch- bdove, once nominated by the National Religious Party to be its bcandidate for president of Israel. His comments prove that a bcandidate for the presidency of Israel can be just as obtuse as bmere mortals. Said Urbach: “I am referring to the question of bthe Arabs in Israel—an area where we have already done a great bdeal. . . . What we have managed to accomplish for the Arab bminority in terms of human rights and social, cultural, and eco- bnomic conditions—what we have done has never been done be- bfore in the world. This has been a human and cultural enterprise bof the first magnitude. Without any desire to assimilate this mi- bnority we have given it economic, social, and cultural conditions benabling it to prosper, conditions which the Arabs in neighbor- bing lands still do not enjoy. . . . But for some reason this great bhuman enterprise has been played down.

bUltimately one has to admit that the Arabs in Israel have to a degree bbecome reconciled to their situation.”

bProfessor Urbach notwithstanding, the Arabs began to bshow disturbing evidence of nonreconciliation. By 1971 there bwas a troublesome rise in the number of Israeli Arabs who were bfound to be participating in terrorist groups and in terrorist ac- btivities. (Until the Six-Day War there had not been a single re- bcorded instance of an Israeli Arab joining a terrorist group.) bAfter a booby-trapped hand grenade exploded in Tel Aviv and bthe perpetrators were traced to the Israeli Arab village of Tira, bIsraelis grew upset. “Not to worry,” said Shmuel Toledano. b 

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THEY MUST GO Page 61
Chapter 3: Of Declarations and Independence