Riots Shatter Veneer of Coexistence in Israel’s Mixed Towns
Mr. Sweetat is ready to compromise in a country where few are ready to do so. He believes that cooperation in the pursuit of shared prosperity, as difficult as it is, is the only way forward. “If we don’t like it,” he said, “we can pack our bags and go to Switzerland.
I asked him if he felt like an equal citizen in Israel.
“Of course I don’t feel equal,” he said, “but I can achieve anything I want.”
Yet, he said, “I don’t see any new Arab villages being built. I don’t have enough space in my own village. I wanted to buy land near Tarshiha, but I couldn’t. I want my 2 year old son to grow up here. Ask the country why I can’t find land here.
” So you can not achieve whatever you want? I asked.
“There are things you cannot change, but we can improve them. Change can start with people.
Overcome mutual incomprehension
When Tal Becker, the legal adviser to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, drafted the preamble to the Israel-UAE normalization treaty last year, he expected a step back on this clause:
“Recognizing that the Arab and Jewish peoples are the descendants of a common ancestor, Abraham, and inspired, in this spirit, to foster in the Middle East a reality in which Muslims, Jews, Christians and peoples of all faiths, denominations, beliefs and nationalities live in a spirit of coexistence and are committed to it.
There was no dissent, despite the wording making it clear that Jews and Arabs belonged to the Middle East.
A common view among Palestinians and in the Arab world has long been, on the contrary, that Israel and its Jewish population represent an illicit colonial projection in the Middle East that will one day end.
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