March 31, 2006

Israeli councillor is not racist ...... but

Here's an article from the Arab Association for Human Rights in Israel. Titled Racist law proposed in Nazerat Illit to 'judaize' city it's about proposals to restrict Arab rights in Nazaret Ilit.
Nazerat Illit is located in the Galilee and was established in 1953 on lands that were confiscated from the Arab city of Nazareth and the surrounding villages of Ein Mahel and Reineh. Recently, the ethnic composition of Nazerat Illit has become more mixed thanks to the increase of Arab families that have moved there from Nazareth and its surrounding villages. Furthermore, Nazerat Illit's jurisdiction expanded to include Arab neighbourhoods that were formerly part of Nazareth.

The number of Arab residents in Nazerat Illit presently stands at between eight and nine thousand, concentrated mainly in Al-Kurum (HaKramim) and Har Yona (originally Jabal Sikh). In spite of the Arab population's increase in the city, the recent administrative elections produced an absence of Arab representation at the municipal level.

Some Jewish political activists interpreted Nazerat Illit's growing Arab population as an invasion of the city. In October 2004, Avraham Maman, a member of the local council said, “Many Arabs from Nazareth are taking over more and more apartments in Nazerat Illit. There is not even one road in the city where 20 to 30 Arab families cannot be found; the leaders of the city must stop this invasion before it stops being Zionist and national… I am not racist and I have never been, but, many Jewish families are afraid of possible relationships between the Arabs and their daughters. Unfortunately, this thing has become common".

In September 2005, Maman, forced to sell his house because of heavy debts, said he would not accept any offer to sell his house to an Arab.

Recently, many people in the city have been calling for its 'judaization', based on a vision to increase the city's Jewish character. One voice representing those ideals is a member of the local council, and Likud member, Shimon Gabso. Gabso proposes a racist law, one that would forbid selling homes to Arabs, and would prevent Arabs from buying Nazerat Illit lands. The law would also implement name changes of neighbourhoods and streets – from Arab names to Jewish ones. In addition, under the proposed law, services to Arab neighbourhoods would be severely cut.
From Roland Rance.

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