There are 22 country members of the League of Arab States. In what Middle Eastern country do Arab citizens have the greatest civil and political rights? I think the correct answer must be a non-member of the league. I’m thinking of Israel. In his Impromptus this morning, Jay Nordlinger observes:
Every now and then, I think of the status of Arabs in Israel, contrasted with the status of non-Arabs in Arab countries. And years ago, I was arrested by a news story. I read — I am going from memory — “Prime Minister Sharon’s speech in the Knesset on Thursday was interrupted by heckling from Arab legislators.” And I tried to imagine parallel reports: “President Assad’s speech to the Syrian legislature was interrupted by heckling from Jewish legislators.” “President Mubarak’s speech to the Egyptian parliament was interrupted by heckling from Jewish legislators.” “King Abdullah’s speech to the Saudi parliament was interrupted by Jewish members.” Etc., etc.
Those men couldn’t even be interrupted by Arab and Muslim legislators!
Well, here is an article in the Jerusalem Post: “New Balad party MK Haneen Zuabi, the first woman to be elected to the Knesset as a representative of an Arab party, has welcomed Iran’s growing influence on Palestinian affairs and praised Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon as a means of offsetting Israel’s regional military edge.” (Complete story, go here.)
Lovely, just lovely.
No matter how you slice it, Israel is an extraordinary country — with legislators like that, rooting on the regime pledged to the destruction of Israel.
This is an area in which we may lag Israel slightly. Israel may have MK Haneen Zuabi, rooting on the regime pledged to the destruction of Israel, but we have Reps. Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee and others whose support for the enemies of the United States is less direct than Zuabi’s is for the Israel’s enemies. But the views of the mainsteam of the Democratic Party on this score is closer to Lee’s and Kucinich’s views than the views of Israel’s primary parties are to Zuabi’s.