Credit where credit is due. Israel intends to allocate NIS 700 million for accelerating economic growth in 10 Arab, Druze and Circassian communities who comprise 30% of Israel’s total population of minorities. Cynics will say that similar promises made in the past were never fulfilled. But even so it’s encouraging to see that the welfare of Arab citizens is present at least in the discourse of Israel’s ruling coalition.
There are people in Israel, however, who oppose the plan. Where are those people, you’ll ask? In the settlements? In the Talmudic academies? No: in the very same ruling coalition. As Ynet reported:
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov slammed Saturday a multi-annual aid plan for the non-Jewish sector to be debated in the cabinet on Sunday.
The plan calls for roughly NIS 800 million (about $220 million) to be invested in 10 Arab communities in the next four years.
“Government aid to minorities must not be granted to communities whose public leaders’ loyalty lies with the State of Israel’s enemies, while not being granted to communities loyal to Israel such as the Circassians, Druze, and Bedouins,” the minister said. “This program is distorted and rewards disloyalty.”
So that this Moscow-born politician has no issue with submissive natives who behave well and fight Israel’s wars of aggression. His problem is with the bad natives, the ones who get assertive and dare to denounce the State discrimination against their community, and sometimes even speak Arabic over the cell-phone while on a Jewish bus. For those Arabs, he recommends the collective punishment that the State has already been inflicting on them for the past 60 years, i.e. the most absolute neglect and underfunding.
It’s good that someone in the State of Israel has realized that the State needs to invest more in its Arab community. It’s bad that the real test –implementation– is likely to be failed once again by the State. It’s even worse that the only concrete outcome from all this will probably be the Tourism Minister’s racist outburst.

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