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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Arabs are important to Israel

Allan G. Ross | Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the quad-city times

Sgt. Major Ihab Khatib, an Israeli Arab Druze soldier, was murdered on Feb. 10 in a terrorist attack by a senior Palestinian policeman. Yes,  an Israeli… Arab …  Druze …  soldier.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy like this to remind us that Israel is replete with loyal Muslim, Christian and other minority citizens who make contributions and sacrifices for their country.

Besides serving in the military (some as generals), Israeli Arabs—including women— have the right to vote, their own

political parties, religious freedom and serve as doctors, lawyers, judges (even on the Supreme Court), ambassadors and members of parliament.

While this integration is not perfect yet and much work needs to be done, surveys reveal that most Israeli Arabs want to remain Israelis instead of becoming citizens of any future Palestinian state and 77 percent would prefer to live in Israel than in any country of the world.

As we mourn Sgt. Khatib, let us be proud of all citizens of Israel who protect and support the only democratic country in the Middle East and a strategic ally of the United States.

Allan G. Ross

Jewish Federation  of  the Quad-Cities

Rock Island