Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely_311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely decried Balad leader Jamal
Zahalka’s call for Israeli Arabs not to do civilian service
“Zahalka is teaching Israeli Arabs to be freeloaders, to take as
much as they can without giving anything to the country,” Hotovely said,
referring to the MK’s statement on Saturday that requiring Israeli Arabs to do
civilian service is a “campaign to thwart [their] national
According to recommendations by the the Peri Committee,
Israeli Arabs will not be required to do civilian service.
government will set target numbers of Arabs serving: 3,000 in 2014 and 6,000 in
Zahalka spoke at a conference of the Arab Higher Monitoring
Committee, where Arab parties and religious leaders expressed unequivocal
opposition to civilian service, rejecting equality in the burden of service as a
condition for receiving equal rights.
The Monitoring Committee declared
that the idea of service for all is based on a militaristic society and is an
attempt to assimilate Arab youth into Israeli society.
“We must stand up
against the national civilian service in a clear, determined way. It is not a
topic for discussion, it’s grounds for a battle, and we can fight,” Zahalka
said, according to an Army Radio report.
The Balad leader said that any
Arab youth who does civilian service will be excommunicated.
does national service should be embarrassed,” Zahalka stated. “A girl should
know that if she does national service, there is a good chance that no man will
want to get engaged with her and she will be boycotted. The same goes for
Hotovely spoke out against Zahalka, saying that “over the years
since the State of Israel’s establishment, Israeli Arabs enjoyed health
services, National Insurance Institute benefits, infrastructure, education and
other civil services.”
“Israeli Arabs must carry the burden through
civilian service,” Hotovely stated. “They cannot demand equal rights
without equal obligations.”
National Civilian Service Administration
director Sar- Shalom Djerbi called the Monitoring Committee “disconnected from
processes happening on the ground and a continuing rise in the number of [Arab]
“We will act to protect 3,000 Arab volunteers, whose only
sin is to contribute to the Arab community and Israeli society, from any danger
and use any legal means we can to fight threats of physical and verbal violence
and boycotts of the volunteers,” Djerbi stated.