Ben-Ari to protest in Nazareth for Arabs to join IDF

National Union MK's protest is expected to create a backlash and counter-protests from the Israeli-Arab sector.

July 8, 2012 22:40
1 minute read.
National MK Michael Ben-Ari in Knesset.

National MK Michael Ben-Ari 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Police confirmed on Sunday that they have approved a request by far right leaders National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari, Ben Gvir, Baruch Marzel and about 80 followers to hold a protest in Nazareth against the fact that Israeli-Arabs do not serve in the IDF.

Ben-Ari said that Israeli-Arabs also have an obligation to serve and that they should equally bare the burden of military-national service born by all Israelis.

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The protest is expected to create a backlash and counter-protests from the Israeli-Arab sector.

Ben-Ari and his followers have launched similar protests in the past and the police have limited the scope of their activities sin order to try to reduce the potential for clashes between opposing groups.

Against the backdrop of the push to integrate the haredi sector into military-national service, Ben-Ari said that he believes Israeli-Arabs must accept burdens along with the rights they receive.

But many officials and academics believe that the Israeli-Arab sector actually suffers from job discrimination and that they do not in reality receive equal rights. Former Finance Ministry director general Yoram Ariav has expounded on the issue in the past, stating at a 2011 conference that discrimination is behind the low rate of labor force participation in the Arab sector.

“We somehow manage to find solutions for the haredi (ultra-orthodox) community, and that is because it is less comfortable for us to deal with the real problem connected to the Arab sector, which is discrimination and prejudice,” he said.

Ariav referred to a research study which showed that 40 percent of young Arabs between the ages of 18 and 22 are not studying or working.

“It is comfortable for us to speak about the Arabs’ motivation to join the work force, but we have to ask, what happens to this Arab after he starts working? What are his chances for promotion? How many Arab department heads are there, not to mention CEOs? Here we arrive at the real problem, that we are not comfortable talking about, which is discrimination. It is simply discrimination,” he said.

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