“I would rather cut off my right arm than build an Arab school,”

“Over the past few years, well-to-do Arab Israelis, both Muslim and Christian, have been driving their minivans 10 minutes up the hill from the ancient, overcrowded nearly all-Arab city of Nazareth and snapping up sweet but pricey five-bedroom, four-bath houses.

Many of the homes are worth a half-million dollars or more, and Arab citizens of Israel count for 18 percent of the 50,000 residents in “Upper Nazareth,” as it is translated in English.

They are welcome here, the mayor says, as long as they remember one very important rule.

“This is a Jewish city,” said Shimon Gafsou of his adopted home town, “now and forever.”

To be more specific: “I would rather cut off my right arm than build an Arab school,” the mayor said in an interview on his terrace at city hall.

Ditto mosques. “No, no, no. No mosques, ever,” Gafsou said. No churches. Or Ramadan lanterns or manger scenes. “And no Christmas trees,” said the mayor of a town that abuts the largest Arab city in Israel, celebrated as the childhood home of Jesus.

“Everyone can live here, that is the law, as long as they understand this is a Jewish city,” Gafsou said. “And in that way we are a microcosm of the state of Israel.”

He said that “95 percent of Jewish mayors think the same thing. They’re just afraid to say so out loud.”

The situation here in Nazareth Illit may be a bit stark, even a little cartoonish, according to some critics of the colorful mayor, who is up for reelection next month. He has been temporarily sidelined from office after being indicted Tuesday by the Israeli courts for allegedly accepting bribes, a charge he denies and says is politically motivated.

No matter, because he still appears to be the front-runner. And his town does reflect a central tension in Israeli society. In the current round of peace talks brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demands is that Palestinians not only accept Israel’s right to exist, but also recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The parallel challenge is determining what Israel should do for the 21 percent of its citizens who are Arab, and what the Arab Israelis should do for Israel.

Arabs comprise large minorities in Jerusalem and in the southern Negev desert. Here in the northern district, not including the coastal metropolis of Haifa, there are more Arabs than Jews.

Israel guarantees its Arab citizens full and equal rights. But report after report documents the fact that spending for Arab citizens is lower, on average, in education, housing, business development and other areas.

Nazareth Illit is a classic Israeli “development,” or new town, built with government support starting in the 1950s as a home for Jews on expropriated lands, according to historians.

But now, as elderly Jews die and young Jews move to Tel Aviv and its environs, the annual growth of the Jewish population in northern Israel has slowed to just 3 percent, according to the government’s 2010 census reports. At the same time, the Arab Israeli population was climbing 11 percent annually in the north.”

 

Read More Here,

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/high-above-nazareth-an-israeli-mayor-wants-to-keep-his-city-jewish-now-and-forever/2013/09/19/1a3fd172-2157-11e3-ad1a-1a919f2ed890_story.html

 

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20 Comments

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20 responses to ““I would rather cut off my right arm than build an Arab school,”

  1. Christopher Proudlove

    I disagree with the Jewish mayor of Nazareth, just as I am horrified with Mahmoud Abbas saying the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) future will see no Jews in the territory. Trevor Barclay keeps quite about this apartheid intention. At least Arabs can live in Nazareth and enjoy a better life than in the PA areas

  2. Christopher Proudlove

    Further to my comment above, thank goodness Israel has a Supreme Court which can overrule officials such as this mayor.

  3. “I disagree with the Jewish mayor of Nazareth”

    Can you be more specific as to what you disagree with?

    “just as I am horrified with Mahmoud Abbas saying the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) future will see no Jews in the territory.”

    We can discuss that when and if it happens.

  4. Christopher Proudlove

    When Jordan was created under the British Mandate after the First World War its first action was to ban Jews. Since Israel’s rebirth in 1948 Jews were persona non grata in the Middle East and North Africa. They expelled an estimated 950,000 Jews, some whose families had lived in these countries for thousands of years. Jewish assets worth many billions of pounds were confiscated by Muslim nations.

  5. As per usual you totally fail to answer the question. Please answer the question?

    Also, can you cite a source for the following?

    “When Jordan was created under the British Mandate after the First World War its first action was to ban Jews.”

    I can’t find anything relating to your claim from that period. As i understand it, the British forbade Jews from settling in Jordan.

  6. Christopher Proudlove

    So, 78% of the old Palestine was for Arabs, the rest was intended as a homeland for Jews. Israel was deprived of part of its traditional homeland east of the River Jordan. Churchill illegally ceded the Golan Heights to the French Mandate when he was Commonwealth Secretary. He should have obtained permission from the League of Nations for this act. As we all know, Syria subsequently used the Golan to fire rockets at the Israeli villages below.
    During the 1967 War, Israel regained the territory and annexed it in 1981. The Druze, who live in the area, now say they prefer to be under Israel’s rule than Syrian.
    When Syrian President, Bashir al-Assad’s father threatened Israel with war after war. He reasoned Israel only had to lose one war and then the Arabs would wipe them off the Middle East map. That’s why Israel has always to be militarily vigilant.
    If the Syrians had continued past the Golan during their brief ascendency in the 1973 Yom Kippur War there is no doubt they could have advanced to the Mediterranean. Why did they halt their tanks? May be God had a hand in it. Like the time a band of Israeli soldiers found themselves in a minefield at this time. Then, a mighty wind blew. All the landmines were exposed and the soldiers were able to progress unharmed. They believe the wind was an act of God.
    It is interesting to note that Israel is now treating casualties of the Syrian civil war in its hospitals. Yet when American military action against Assad looked a possibility, the Syrian President said he would respond by attacking Israel.
    Whenever there is a major natural catastrophe in the world Israel is usually the first nation to respond with medical and other aid, even in Muslim countries, such as the tsunami in Indonesia.
    Indeed, Muslims from surrounding countries go to Israel for medical treatment but make a secret of it. Palestinian Arabs get this treatment as a matter of course. Palestinian Arab and Israeli medics work together in harmony in the health service, which is rated better than the UK’s.
    One Palestinian woman who had life-saving treatment so upset the local regime that she was forced to become a suicide bomber and blow up those who had treated her. Fortunately, she was found out by the security checks Israel brought in after the first and second intifadas.

  7. Christopher Proudlove

    Answer the question. Surely, it is obvious.

  8. I’ll take your reply as a refusal to answer the question or to cite sources for your claim that,

    “When Jordan was created under the British Mandate after the First World War its first action was to ban Jews.”

  9. Christopher Proudlove

    There are very few Jews left in the Middle Eastern and North African countries. They were all forced out post-1948. In Israel there are one million Palestinian Arabs living under Jerusalem’s rule.

  10. Why are you refusing to answer?

    Also, did you say before that Jews are banned from living in Jordan?

  11. Christopher Proudlove

    What did Mohammed say: No two religions should exist in Arabia. That’s why Muslims persecute Jews.

  12. Can you give any sort of rational explanation as to why you refuse to answer any of the questions here?

  13. Christopher Proudlove

    Haifa diarist Stuart Palmer writes:
    Once again Israel is coming under attack from a foreign government financed NGO, this time claiming Israel is ignoring its humanitarian obligations with regard to the taking care of the health of the Palestinians.
    In spite of the constant calls for Israel’s destruction and the culture of hatred and demonization that permeates Palestinian society at all levels, Israel is, in fact, meeting its humanitarian obligations in respect of the Palestinians, albeit under circumstances fraught with danger.
    FACT – Israel Hospitals Took Care of Nearly 220,000 PA Arabs in 2012, including Suhila Abd el-Salam, the sister of Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, accompanied her husband for treatment in Israel. Her husband was admitted to Bellinson Hospital, in Petach Tikvah, for immediate medical treatment following a serious heart condition. Haniyeh’s sister and her husband requested permission to travel to Israel to receive the necessary medical treatment because Gaza hospitals could not properly treat the condition. This was not the only time that a Gaza resident was treated in Israel.
    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel-hospitals-took-care-of-nearly-220000-pa-arabs-in-2012/2013/07/30/
    FACT – in the same WHO report referred to by MAP, published in 2012, there is a description of the coordination and liaison efforts invested by Israel and COGAT to facilitate the entry of Palestinian patients from the Gaza Strip for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. The key data presented in the report show that 91.5% of the applications which were filed, asking for medical treatment in Israel, were ultimately approved, 7.2% are pending security check and only 1.3% of the applications were rejected, demonstrating the importance and urgency ascribed to such applications by Israel.
    FACT – there was a 10 percent increase in the number of Palestinian Authority Arabs who received treatment in Israeli hospitals in 2012. The total number of 219,464 patients, 21,270 of them children, includes the companions accompanying the patients in Israel.
    FACT – 197,713 patients were treated in Israeli hospitals in 2011
    FACT – 144,838 were treated in 2008.
    FACT – COGAT, a military unit which is responsible for implementing the Israeli Government’s policy in Judea and Samaria, stated, “The Civil Administration, through its health department (HDCA), works closely with the Palestinian Ministry of Health to support the medical needs of the Palestinian population throughout Judea and Samaria.” The HDCA manages all issues relating to Israeli-Palestinian healthcare coordination, primarily the transfer of Palestinian patients to hospitals in Israel.
    FACT – The HDCA further works to enable professional medical training for Palestinian Authority Arabs by Israel through the encouragement of medical conferences and the training of Palestinian medical staff in Israeli hospitals. Training sessions take place several times a year, initiated by both the HDCA and the Palestinian Authority. In 2012, the Civil Administration paid $560,000 to send PA Arab doctors, nurses, and paramedics for training in Israel.
    FACT – The Civil Administration has also set aside a budget to finance critical medical procedures for patients who are not covered by Palestinian or UNRWA health insurance and are not able to pay privately.
    FACT – during 2012, the Civil Administration financed life-saving medical treatments for 20 Palestinian children (marrow transplants, kidney transplants, purchase of a pump for P.N.T., prenatal diagnosis, impaired intestine surgery and baby obstruction) and more medical treatments worth more than 1,500,000 NIS per year.
    FACT – in March this year, a 15-year-old boy in Gaza was transported to the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot after suffering from severe burns and shrapnel injuries from an alleged rocket launching pad that was set up in Jabalya, a neighborhood in northern Gaza.
    FACT – The Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. Hanni Abadin, paid an unprecedented visit to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem at the beginning of this past May. Dr. Yuval Weiss, director of the hospital, reported that at any given moment there are some 60 Palestinian Authority medical personnel in training at the hospital. Dr. Abadin thanked Hadassah for the opportunity to visit and for its services, visited Arab children hospitalized at Hadassah and gave them gifts. The Civil Administration Health Department declared that it will continue in 2013 to cooperate closely with their PA counterparts and international organizations in Judea and Samaria to advance healthcare for the benefit of all residents in the region.
    Why is it necessary to review all requests for medical treatment?
    There is abuse of medical documentation by Palestinians
    On several occasions, Gaza Palestinian patients have taken advantage of medical certificates giving them the right to travel to Israeli or West Bank hospitals, to prepare suicide or other attacks. A dossier of these plans has been published on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website in a report dated 20 January 2008 , entitled ‘Abuse of Humanitarian Policy for the Purpose of Terrorist Activity’. For instance:-
    • In June 2005, 21 year old Wafa Al-Biss was arrested at the Erez Crossing point out of Gaza with an explosive belt strapped to her body. She was an outpatient at Israel ‘s Soroka hospital, whose emergency unit had saved her life some months earlier following serious burns injuries she had suffered in an accident in her kitchen. Al-Biss confessed to planning to bomb the hospital during one of her outpatient appointments – a plan which prompted widespread outrage (see Briefing 146, quoted above)
    • In September 2004 Suhad Aslan, was sent by the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the Gaza Strip to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel , after she required medical treatment in the Al-Muqaddas hospital in Jerusalem . The plan had been for her to rendezvous with the bomb planners at the hospital who would instruct her where to go to carry out the attack. Israeli security personnel arrested her before the attack could be carried out
    Such incidents compel the Israeli authorities carefully to check the requests of Palestinian patients seeking to enter Israel for hospital treatment. The bureaucracy and delays that regrettably result are entirely the responsibility of those who abuse the medical treatment route into Israel to plan terrorist attacks.
    Israeli shuttle service to Jordan or Egypt for Palestinians denied entry
    As a result of the security vetting procedures which Israel has no choice but to apply, 10%of Gaza Palestinians applying for permits to enter Israel have been refused entry (statement by head of COGAT, reported in Jerusalem Post, 1 April 2008 ).
    It was also confirmed that all Palestinians who are denied entry into Israel are given the opportunity to take an Israeli shuttle to the Allenby Bridge and cross into Jordan , or else go down to the crossing with Egypt .
    World Health Organisation accusations, and Israel ‘s refutation
    In March 2008, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a report which accused Israel of being “inhumane” in its dealings with Gaza Palestinians who wish to enter Israel for medical treatment.
    The WHO report was launched by the head of WHO in Gaza who relied upon five case studies of Palestinians allegedly allowed to die by Israel as a result of them being denied access to the country. The head of COGAT, responded the next day by holding a press conference (which was reported in the Jerusalem Post on 1 April 2008) where he demonstrated that all five of the Palestinians allegedly allowed to die had in fact received permits to enter Israel for medical treatment.
    Press explained that two of the Palestinians cited by WHO had been treated in Israeli hospitals. The other three never used their permits due to what Press described as “internal Palestinian considerations”.
    Why do the Palestinians or Hamas use the health of the citizens as a political tool?
    a) Hamas accused by the Palestinian health ministry of seizing fuel destined
    for Gaza hospitals
    Palestinian policies not only make it harder for Palestinians to access Israeli hospitals, but they even harm Palestinian hospitals. Hamas was recently accused of diverting fuel destined to be delivered to Gaza hospitals. The condemnation was issued not by Israel , but by the Palestinian health ministry :
    “Members of Hamas in the Gaza Strip opened fire on Sunday 29 April on fuel trucks that were full of fuel destined for hospitals in the territory….”
    (Press release by the Palestinian Health Ministry, and reported by AFP (Agence France Presse), 29 April 2008 )
    b) EU condemnation of Hamas for aggravating the humanitarian situation
    The EU recently issued a statement (reported in the Jerusalem Post, 28 April 2008 ) condemning Hamas for its role in worsening the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians in Gaza :-

    “Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza have their share in aggravating the humanitarian situation, including through carrying out attacks on the crossing points… the EU president condemns such actions, which only lead to further suffering of the population…”
    c) Other Palestinian actions which damage the Palestinians in Gaza
    Many other Palestinian actions harm the Palestinians of Gaza, including the cutting off or diversion of fuel supplies from Israel; the smuggling into Gaza of explosives under cover of EU humanitarian relief; and the use of hospitals and school premises in Gazan towns to assemble weapons, and launch missile and other attacks.
    d) Hamas Prevents Arabs in Gaza from Medical Treatment in Israel
    Hamas punishes Gaza’s citizens for its row with Fatah by refusing to allow them to receive medical treatment in Israel.
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/158186#.UiuZjDYy2M4

  14. Christopher Proudlove

    I’ll answer your questions when you answer mine

  15. Firstly. I’d thank you not to post up entire blogs written by other people on my blog….Especially ones that have nothing to do with the topic at hand…You have your own blog for the sort of muck you post. If however you see parts of a blog that are RELEVANT to your argument [and on topic] then feel free to post up whatever paragraph is RELEVANT then leave a link to where you copy/paste from.

    Secondly “I’ll answer your questions when you answer mine”

    What question are you wanting me to answer?

    FACT;You can’t respond to any questions i’ve asked you over the past few days and you know it.

    So again i’ll ask you. Can you be more specific as to what you disagree with regarding the mayor?

    Ps I would be grateful if you would wrap quotation marks around the copy/pastes you post….It’s good manners to do so.

  16. Christopher Proudlove

    What treaty superseded the 1922 San Remo Treaty giving the right for Israel to settle Jews between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea? When did the San Remo Treaty cease to be operative?

  17. Christopher Proudlove

    It’s also good manners not to write about others in a viciously offensive manner which you, Trevor Barclay, is wont to do.. The Stuart Palmer blog is relevant to your cut-and-paste blog about the Mayor of Nazareth. It shows the real side of Israel that Trevor Barclay never writes about. He only dishes up the dirt.
    As to the mayor, he is not following the golden rule of loving his neighbour etc.
    I see you don’t believe in freedom of speech. I am not going to kow-tow to all your instructions. Your unflattering dictatorial nature is surfacing again.

  18. Christopher Proudlove

    I attribute the writer rather than putting in quotation marks.

  19. “What treaty superseded the 1922 San Remo Treaty giving the right for Israel to settle Jews between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea? When did the San Remo Treaty cease to be operative?”

    I’ve already answered that question but you can’t accept being caught out spreading lies so you ignore it.

    This time i’ll reply by quoting something you posted.

    ” Israel actually has a better claim to its existence, having been created by the U.N. rather than by the whims and national interests of the Allied victors.”

    That’s a quote you posted.

    If you want to reply to this comment i suggest you do so in the relevant blog. Here’s the link

    https://christiansforzionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/israels-real-legitimacy/

    If you post a reply here about San Remo your comment WILL BE DELETED.

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