"It's natural and legitimate for an Arab to identify with Nasrallah because this is not a war that threatens Israel's existence," he explains. "Why shouldn't I identify with him when I don't get all my rights from this country, when I'm surrounded by a militaristic society and when Israel is attacking him so fiercely?"I don't know whether most Arab Israelis really share Kiwan's views. I have heard from some Arab Israelis who, despite their opposition to the war, would never identify with Nasrallah. I also have a friend who supports the war and actually does view it as a threat to Israel's existence. (How can missile attacks that shut down the entire north of the country NOT be an existential threat?). On the other hand, while walking through the Muslim quarter of the old city in Jerusalem last week, I overheard a 14-year-old boy (the child of one of the shopkeepers there) stopping an American tourist, asking her whether she understood Hebrew. When she responded in the affirmative, he told her with a broad grin that חיזבאללה בדרך - "Hizbullah is on the way." Then again, the views held by Palestinians from East Jerusalem are not necessarily identical to Arabs in Israel proper.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Arab Israelis and the War
Ha'aretz, which features Ghaleb Kiwan, the news reporter for Arabic-language broadcast on HOT (Israeli cable network), suggests that some Arab Israelis actually want to see Israel lose the war against Hizbullah. I can understand opposition to the war because of the deaths of Lebanese civilians, but I am baffled by statements such as these, made by Kiwan while touring Haifa: