Arab American Journalist Joseph Farah makes some interesting and relevant points about Israel:
- Far from being mistreated, the Arab population in Israel and in the territories administered by Israel has been freer than the population in any Arab state. Arabs in Israel vote. They elect leaders to the Knesset. They have their own political parties. They have their own newspapers. They have full rights to citizenship. They are free to speak their minds. As an Arab-American journalist who has spent a good deal of time covering the region, I can tell you there is more freedom for Arabs in Israel than in any Arab state.
- Land cannot possibly be the contentious issue as the Arab and Muslim states in the region already have 800 times as much territory as Israel. The Arabs have 50 times the population of Israel. The Arabs have all of the oil reserves of the region. They have 21 states of their own – all varying shades of police states. It's difficult to imagine how one more will bring peace to a region that has known some of the most devastating and costly wars of the last century.
But, to top it all off, I seem to be the only observer asking pointed questions about the Arab-Israeli conflict: If conditions for Arabs are so bad in Israel, why is the Arab population exploding -- and I don't mean because of suicide bombers? Why do Arabs continue to flock to the tiny Jewish state from virtually every Arab and Muslim land in the world?
In 1949, the Arab population of Israel was about 160,000. Today, it is over 1.2 million.
This is hardly attributable to higher birth rates. Most of the growth in Arab population is due to migration. In other words, Arabs are picking up stakes in Arab lands and choosing to live in Israel.
This trend, of course, doesn't include Arab Jewish migration to Israel. No one talks about the staggering number of Arab Jewish refugees – as many as 1 million – who fled the Muslim world with little more than the clothes on their backs to reach the safety and security of the Jewish state in the last 50 years.
We're led to believe Arabs hate Israel – and, indeed, it's true there is an irrational, inexplicable form of virulent anti-Semitism growing in the Arab and Muslim world. But when they vote with their feet, Arabs seem to love Israel. They continue to choose it as a place to live over life in their native countries as they have for the last half-century.
I'd love to hear one of the Arab nationalists explain this phenomenon.