Thursday, November 8, 2007

Jerusalem's Arabs Asking for Israeli Citizenship

Ynet News published a very interesting article last week, describing how hundreds of Palestinians in Jerusalem are rushing to apply for Israeli citizenship so that they won't have to experience the joys of living in an independent state of Palestine under the rule of (at best) the Fatah kleptocracy (or, of course, possibly the Islamist neo-Taliban style of government under Hamas). Obviously, they have recognized that the supposedly "evil apartheid state" of the Zionists will provide a better quality of life for them and their children.

Israel should welcome these residents as new citizens; after all, if large numbers of Arab residents of Jerusalem voluntarily request Israeli citizenship, then there is an even stronger case against relinquishing this territory to any Palestinian state. And if it is determined that this can indeed be forced on Israeli Arabs, then why can't Israel cede Umm al-Fahm and vicinity to a Palestinian state as well, given the hostility shown to the Jewish state by the Arab population of that area?

However, this also provides an opportunity to ensure that citizenship isn't just a free ride to Western-style health care, education, and social services. You want to become a citizen of Israel? Great-- first you pledge your allegiance to the Jewish state rather than its enemies. Then you do national service-- it doesn't have to be the IDF, but young Arab men and women will also have to serve their country while their fellow Jewish and Druse citizens protect them. (And yes, this writer fully supports ending exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox as well).

Privileges are valued a lot more when they are won by effort, rather than just handed out.