THEY MUST GO Page 201
Chapter 9: Time Runs Out
 
 
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Time Runs Out 201

bTime runs out. Twenty years ago—fifteen years ago—Toubi bwould never have dared say such a thing. It is a different Arab bIsraeli world today. It is a world of groups that challenge Rakah bas not being sufficiently radical. Groups such as Bnei Hakfar with btheir Progressive National Movement and the leftist, nationalist bAbna-el-Balad are strong challenges to Rakah for the minds and bsouls of Israeli Arab youth and intellectuals.

bThat segment is already radicalized, and nothing Israel can bpossibly do will change the stark fact. Back in February 1978 a bgroup of fifty-six Israeli Arab intellectuals from Nazareth and blarge villages of the Triangle issued a public statement demand- bing official recognition of the “Palestinian Arabs living in Israel” balong with full political rights. In addition, they demanded the breturn of all Arab property and declared their recognition of the bPLO as the sole legitimate representative of the “Palestinian” bpeople. It is a new era.

bAlongside the rapid growth of secular nationalism is a bstartling return to and growth of Muslim fundamentalism, at bleast as nationalistic and bitterly anti-Israel. There is little bdoubt that the rise to power of Khomeini in Iran gave tremen- bdous impetus to the religious insurgence among Arab Israelis. bIn a January 1979 symposium on Islam among the Arabs of bEretz Yisrael, Moshe Sharon pointed out that “Islam is the out- bstanding expression among the Arabs of Eretz Yisrael of their bnational entity.” He pointed to a spontaneous religious revival bamong Israeli Arabs as a form of national identity. This in- bcluded a rash of new mosques and a large number of young bArabs sprouting beards and traditional clothing (à la the bMuslim Brotherhood) and seeking to study in the Muslim Col- blege in Hebron.

bBut religious or secular, bearded or beardless, town or vil- blage, the Israeli Arab dreams of his own sovereign Arab bPalestine. And in the meantime he shapes his political struggle bby stages.

bZayad gave one of the most significant Arab speeches on bMay Day 1976, when he demanded that the State of Israel im- bplement the full equality for Arabs that is pledged by the Decla- bration of Independence. Specifically, he demanded that in pro- bportion to their (then) population, the Arabs be allotted eight- been Knesset seats and three cabinet ministries, as well as a pro- b 

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THEY MUST GO Page 201
Chapter 9: Time Runs Out