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August 04, 2002
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Fact 77: Jews in West Bank are "Settlers", Arab Muslims in Israel are "Citizens"

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This week's fact is Fact 77: Jews in West Bank are "Settlers", Arab Muslims in Israel are "Citizens".

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Posted by David Melle at August 04, 2002 03:48 PM
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Fact clarification 77a. You have to have a "state" before you can have "citizens" of that state. People moving into a land not recognized as a "country" are in fact, "settlers". This post brought to you by the symbol ".

Posted by: Wah on August 7, 2002 08:07 AM

we heard there was 144,000
jews on the west bank.Is this true?

Posted by: marilyn smith on December 9, 2002 03:23 PM

Hi Marilyn,

As far as I know there are today about 182,000 Jews living in the West Bank and Gaza – that’s about 5.5% of the total population of these territories. They are generally referred to as “settlers” and Palestinians from the Islamic Jihad and Hamas try to murder them almost daily.

On the other hand, there are about 980,000 Muslims living in the State of Israel. They are about 15% of Israel’s population. They are referred to as “Israeli Citizens”, have political parties of their own represented in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and have the right to vote.

For more information check out the Democracy and Stats pages under “Facts”.

Posted by: David Melle on December 9, 2002 04:43 PM

Hi David,

I think your comments are just a bit oversimplified - and slanted to pursued the obviously uninformed Marilyn. Your statement "They...have political parties of their own represented in the Knesset and have the right to vote," may be a (simplified) "fact," - but not a current reality. The Likud controlled govt. makes if hard for "Arab-Israelis" to exercise any rights (including voting - which would only allow them to choose between the Ashkenazi controlled far-right to moderate-right candidates). Also, most Arab-Israeli politicians reside in East Jerusalem and their offices have either been raided, closed or destroyed.

Posted by: J on December 11, 2002 11:29 AM

Hi J,

>The Likud controlled govt. makes if hard for "Arab-Israelis" to exercise any rights
>(including voting - which would only allow them to choose between the Ashkenazi
controlled far-right to moderate-right candidates).

The Israeli Arab/Muslims can vote to whatever party they wish, including to their own Arab/Muslim/Communist parties which they have created. The fact that they would prefer a moderate leftist candidate or a communist in power but their preferred candidate is not currently elected is irrelevant - this is true in all Democracies. In France there has never been a Communist Prime Minister - does this mean that the French Communists do not have any rights? Bullocks.

>Also, most Arab-Israeli politicians reside in East Jerusalem and their offices have either
>been raided, closed or destroyed.

That is simply a lie. The Knesset’s (Israel’s parliament) website is found at http://www.knesset.gov.il/index.html . They provide versions in Hebrew, English and Arabic; at the following page:

http://www.knesset.gov.il/mk/eng/mkindex15_eng.asp?view=1

You may find the list of the current Members of the Knesset by parliamentary group (or political party). There are currently 5 Arab/Muslim/Communist parties represented in the Knesset:

Hadash, with 3 members: Mohammad Barakeh, Tamar Gozansky and Issam Makhoul
United Arab List, with 3 members: Abdulmalik Dehamshe, Talab El-Sana, and Hashem Mahameed
National Arab Party, with 2 members: Muhamad Kanan, and Tawfik Khatib
Balad, with 1 member: Azmi Bishara
Ta-al, with 1 member: Ahmad Tibi

At the above link you will find links to all Knesset members with a picture, bio and additional information.

None of the offices of the above Arab/Muslim members of the Knesset have been raided, closed or destroyed. I see the above Knesset Members on TV and listen to them on the radio almost daily - whoever told you that the Arab/Muslim Knesset Members have had their offices closed is simply lying.

Posted by: David Melle on December 11, 2002 01:39 PM
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(According to digits.com)