Arab teens in “Apartheid Israel” want citizenships

Posted: March 5, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Israeli Palestinians

State of IsraelWe have discussed the “Israeli Apartheid Week” yesterday, and today’s Jerusalem Post article just about proves it… Or not:

A government program to distribute identity cards to high school pupils continues to enjoy surprising success in east Jerusalem, where anti-Israel sentiments periodically flare up, and where violent demonstrations were a near-daily occurrence during Operation Cast Lead.

“After the first year, we had a huge influx of [east Jerusalem] schools saying they wanted to participate in the program,” said Hagit Weiss, the Interior Ministry employee who runs the project.

“This year was similar as far as the numbers go, but we were pleasantly surprised that so many pupils were still enthusiastic about it, even after the violence in Gaza and the demonstrations that took place in east Jerusalem.”

Though east Jerusalem residents hold Jordanian citizenship and overwhelmingly identify themselves as Palestinians, they are considered permanent residents of Jerusalem by the government and municipality. As a result, east Jerusalemites are entitled to an Israeli (blue) ID card.

But of course, in most cases, it’s not because they want to be part of the State of Israel. No, they want to be citizens of the “apartheid state” for the sake of benefits:

Others, however, made it clear that the ID card was simply the key to better opportunities, and that neither Israeli citizenship nor acceptance of the Jewish state was on the minds of east Jerusalemites.

“I have a house in the [Palestinian] territories, but I moved to Jerusalem in 1994,” said east Jerusalem resident Badea Ismael, who drives a taxi. “Do you know why? So that my children would have an ID card. It’s everything, it’s health care, it’s the ability to work, it’s like money in your pocket. Those that don’t have them can’t do anything.

“I’m dying to move back to the territories,” he said. “But I stay here so my kids can have a better life.

  1. […] we have yesterday seen that in East Jerusalem, many Palestinian Arabs are hurrying to get Israeli IDs for the sake of […]

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