Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Time to take stock

The appointment of Israel's first Arab minister is a breakthrough, but more challenges lie ahead before all citizens can achieve equality.

Alex Stein
Raleb Majadele has finally been approved as the first Israeli-Arab minister in Israel's history.

This is undoubtedly an important breakthrough, although it will be received cynically in some quarters. Those who do not believe that a Jewish state can guarantee equality for all its citizens will portray the appointment as a fig leaf that disguises Israel's innate racism. Those of a more optimistic bent, however, will use it as a time to take stock.

Israel now has Arab ministers, judges and footballers. This does not mean that the Arab minority is integrated into the state. On the contrary, Israeli-Arabs remain de facto second class citizens, torn between their desire to play a full part in Israeli life and their self-identification as part of the Palestinian people.
Full essay


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