Israeli-Arab students seen at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Israeli arab

“Those who accuse Israel of apartheid naturally fear that once exposed, the truth will prove their allegations are at best empty at and at worst incitement,” Smadar Bat Adam writes.

By: United with Israel Staff

Israel haters will have you believe that Arabs and other not-Jews living in the Jewish state are persecuted, degraded and are faced with racism, an apartheid regime and other hardships.

However, a review of actual facts shows that the truth is completely different.

Writing about this phenomenon, Smadar Bat Adam wrote in the Israel Hayom daily that since 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has led a process of unprecedented advances in quality of life for Israel’s non-Jewish citizens.

“This important process is still in full swing. That is a fact,” she writes.

For instance, the legend that sewage “flows freely through the streets of Arab towns and cities has long been a lie,” she says, as “the sewage infrastructure in the [Arab] sector had been replaced, thanks to unprecedented government funding and loans.”

She conceded that “up until the last decade, the state was to blame for the neglect of the Arab communities, but so too were the Arab community leaders, who for their own reasons, chose not to collect property and water taxes from their constituents.”

‘A Deep Sense of Satisfaction’

In May, Israeli financial daily The Marker interviewed Aiman Saif, the recently retired head of the Administration for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druze and Circassian sectors.

The senior Arab official spoke of Netanyahu’s work to increase the state budget for the Arab sector and lauded the government’s 2015 decision to allocate between 12 billion and 15 billion shekels [$3.3 billion to $4.1 billion] to Arab communities.

He said that he left his position “with a deep sense of satisfaction that here, the government is acting to integrate Israeli Arabs [into society].”

A quick glance at the numbers gives a clear picture of the vast efforts undertaken by Israel to bring about civil equality for all its citizens.

The government has allocated 350 million shekels ($96 million) toward assisting weak Arab students, with a similar sum going toward the Druze sector, which as a result now enjoys the highest matriculation rate in Israel.

In Arab communities, the matriculation rate has increased from 57 percent in 2015 to 66 percent in 2017.

A decade ago, there were very few community centers in Arab communities, but now there are dozens.

Billions of shekels were allocated toward multiyear plans for the development of Arab Bedouin, Druze and Circassian communities, and billions more were allocated for the economic and business development of those sectors, including to improve transportation and roads as well as create tourist infrastructure.

Israel Haters Want to Conceal the Truth

“All of this information can be found online. All one needs to do is look and more importantly, want to see it,” Bat Adam notes.

She further writes that “one can understand why” Israel haters “want to conceal the truth.”

“Those who accuse Israel of apartheid naturally fear that once exposed, the truth will prove their allegations as at best empty at and at worst incitement,” she concludes.

Arab Israelis have the highest life expectancy in the Middle East when compared with the populations of 21 Muslim and Arab countries, a December survey by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel on the issue found.

In 2015, the average mortality rate among Israeli Arabs was 79, higher than wealthy countries such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, and equal to that of the general US population.

Israeli Arabs have access to one of the most advanced medical systems in the region, and enjoy all services provided by the Jewish state.

Not surprisingly, a recent poll shows that the vast majority of Israel’s Arabs, 73 percent, feel a sense of belonging in the Jewish state and 60 percent are proud to be Israelis.

Anyone living in Israel knows that Arabs are employed by and receive service at all government offices. They study at all universities, including Ariel University in Samaria, and serve as judges, doctors, IDF officers and parliamentarians.

They have good reasons for being proud to be Israeli and happy to live in Israel.

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