Lessons from the Or Commission: Rethinking the Ideological and Religious Dimensions of the Israeli Arab Riots of October 2000

, February 1, 2004

No. 512    February 2004

  • In mid-September 2000, two weeks before Ariel Sharon’s Temple Mount visit and the outbreak of widespread Israeli Arab violence, Israeli Knesset member Abdel Malik Dehamshe told a meeting of the Supreme Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership that “the Arab public is on the verge of a new, massive, and popular intifada.”

  • Palestinian human rights leader Bassem Eid noted, “There is no difference between Dehamshe and Saddam Hussein. Both men, Arab Muslim leaders, sacrificed the real interests of their constituencies and believed instead that nationalist incitement against Israel is a key to their political success.”

  • Since his arrival in Gaza in 1993, Arafat has made it a strategic goal to “export” the Palestinian revolution to the Arabs living inside Israel’s 1967 “green line” and undermine Israel’s sovereign authority.

  • Tens of thousands of Israeli Muslims have rallied to the Northern Islamic Movement, whose green flags and radical messages have been effective in helping to shape a Palestinian Muslim identity that now claims a majority among Israeli Arab Muslims.

  • Druze leader and former MK Zeidan Atashi noted that “the activities of the Islamic Movement in Israel, the Hamas in the Palestinian territories, Hizballah in Lebanon, and the Islamic Jihad leave no doubt that the conflict is religious in its essence.”

  • The October 2000 riots were to a great degree the result of incitement and ideological radicalization of the Israeli Arab sector by local Arab political and religious leaders, the Palestinian Authority, the Islamic Movement in Israel, and foreign radical Islamic groups.

On September 2, 2003, the state-appointed Or Commission published an 860-page report on its investigation into the Arab riots of October 2000 that resulted in the deaths of 12 Israeli Arab citizens, a Jewish Israeli citizen, and a Palestinian resident of the territories. The three-member panel had been appointed in November 2000 and included former Supreme Court Justice Theodore Or, professor of Islamic studies and former Ambassador to Egypt Shimon Shamir, and Israeli Arab Nazareth District Court Justice Hashim Khattib.

According to the report that included the testimony of 377 witnesses, “thousands of demonstrators paralyzed the country, destroying Jewish property and attacking Jewish citizens on Israel’s main roads. In a number of instances Jewish citizens were just inches from death at the hands of an unrestrained mob.”1 One elderly Jewish man, Jan Bechor, was stoned to death as he sat in his car at an intersection on one of Israel’s main roads. The report also documented the use of firebombs, gunfire, rocks, and slingshots against both Israeli citizens and police.2

Despite the unprecedented violence by thousands of Arab demonstrators, the commission placed the lion’s share of the blame on former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, former Public Security Minister Shlomo Ben Ami, and a number of senior police officials for mishandling the crisis and not preventing the use of lethal weaponry to quell the riots.3

The commission also concluded that the state’s longstanding neglect of and discrimination against Israel’s Arab sector was the central underlying reason for the mob violence.4 While the commission concluded that incitement by Arab Knesset members and leaders of Israel’s Northern Islamic Movement had further “inflamed” an already radicalized Israeli Arab community, the report avoided recommending taking action against the country’s local and national Arab leadership.

Following the publication of its findings, the Or Commission has been harshly criticized by a range of public figures.5 Former Prime Minister Barak, who had appointed the commission in November 2000, reportedly expressed his strong dissatisfaction with the conclusions of the commission to a local Tel Aviv newspaper a short time after the report’s publication.6 Former Meretz MK Amnon Rubenstein noted that “the Or Commission’s credibility was damaged by its refusal to recommend action against Arab MKs Abdel Malick Dehamshe, Azmi Bishara, and Um el Fahm Mayor and Northern Islamic Movement leader Raed Salah for inciting the Arab sector.”7

Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens wrote in Ha’aretz, “It is difficult to believe that the Or Commission ignored the rapid rise of subversive activities and incitement against the state that occurred among a part of Israel’s Arab community since the Oslo Accords.”8 Druze MK Ayoub Kara said, “Israel must stop ‘touching up’ an ugly picture: the Israeli Arabs engaged in a civil rebellion to demonstrate their national solidarity with the Palestinians.”9

In fact, a closer look at the ideologically-based incitement by local Arab leaders and the Palestinian Authority prior to the outbreak of violence would suggest that an explosion among Israel’s large Arab Muslim minority was unavoidable. Moreover, the penetration of outside radical Islamic groups into Israel’s Arab community since the late 1990s indicates that growing numbers of Arab citizens are becoming involved in these hostile organizations and are participating in terror activities against the Jewish state.10

Al Aksa: A Flashpoint for Palestinian Nationalism on Both Sides of the “Green Line”

On September 29, 2000, a day after then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount, hundreds of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in the Temple Mount compound hurled stones and blocks onto Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall below in the initial act of violence in a war that has lasted more than three years.

The Or Commission concluded that “the timing of the outbreak of violence on both sides of the Green Line was not a coincidence.”11 However, even stronger evidence suggests that Jerusalem and Al Aksa are two unifying symbols of Palestinian nationalism for both Palestinians in the territories and for Israeli Arabs that their respective leaderships exploited to ignite and fan an armed conflict with Israel.12

Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid noted that public charges by Israeli Arab leaders that Sharon “defiled” Al Aksa provided the pretext for Muslim Arabs in Israel to spark a local intifada. The ensuing Israeli Arab violence was an act of national solidarity with the Palestinians in the territories, not a demonstration against socio-economic disenfranchisement.13

Incitement by the Israeli Arab Leadership

While the Or Commission made general mention of some of the hostile activities of Israeli Arab leaders before and during the violence, a review of the chain of events that preceded the riots underscores the critical roles played by Israeli Arab political and religious leaders in rousing the ideological ire of the Arab community.

  • On September 18, 2000, two weeks prior to the outbreak of violence, more than 35,000 Israeli Arabs attended the seventh annual Northern Islamic Movement “peace” rally on the theme: “Al Aksa [Mosque] is in Danger,” hosted by Um el Fahm Mayor Sheikh Raed Salah. While the Or Commission declined to recommend legal action against Salah despite proven inflammatory statements before and during the crisis, he is currently in Israeli police custody for allegedly passing large sums of money to the Hamas terror group. Salah reportedly told the crowd, “the Islamic world has exclusive rights to all the holy sites in Jerusalem and Israel has none.” The crowd responded with the chant, “In spirit and blood, we shall redeem Al Aksa.”14 Islamic affairs expert Dr. Guy Bechor noted that the entire rally took place as an act of incitement against the very existence of the State of Israel.15

  • On August 16, 2000, a clash was avoided between Palestinians and Jews near the Temple Mount during the traditional Ninth of Av commemoration of the destruction of the first and second ancient Jewish temples. Knesset member Ahmed Tibi led a large Palestinian crowd chanting, “with blood and fire we will redeem Palestine,” while physically blocking an annual police-approved pilgrimage of the Jewish Temple Mount Faithful group to enter the Temple Mount Plaza via the Old City’s Dung Gate.16

  • In July 2000, MK Abdul Malik Dehamshe visited Jerusalem’s Al Aksa Mosque at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem. Dehamshe, an attorney who has represented Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, declared there that he “would be prepared to lead the martyrs in the defense of Al Aksa.” In mid-September, two weeks before the outbreak of widespread Israeli Arab violence, Dehamshe told a meeting of the Supreme Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership that “the Arab public is on the verge of a new, massive, and popular intifada.”17

  • Dehamshe said immediately after the outbreak of the riots that “this is a war that every Muslim will take part in. There is no ‘green line’ at Al Aksa, and it will be continued throughout the State of Israel.”18 Palestinian human rights leader Bassem Eid noted, “There is no difference between Dehamshe and Saddam Hussein. Both men, Arab Muslim leaders, sacrificed the real interests of their constituencies and believed instead that nationalist incitement against Israel is a key to their political success.”19

  • In June 2000, Arab Knesset member Azmi Bishara addressed hundreds of mostly secular, educated Israeli Arabs attending a “Hizballah victory festival” in Um el Fahm, the headquarters of the Northern Islamic Movement. As Professor Dan Scheuftan noted in an article on the Israeli Arab leadership, “Standing next to Palestinian flags, Bishara commented on Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon the month before.20 He said, “Hizballah has won: for the first time since 1967, we have tasted victory. Hizballah has every right to be proud of its achievements and to humiliate Israel. Lebanon, the weakest of the Arab states, has presented a miniature model, and if we examine it closely we will be able to draw conclusions for success and victory.”21

The incitement voiced by Arab Knesset members in the weeks leading up to October 2000 were not isolated incidents. According to Scheuftan, the Israeli Arab leadership as a whole has been working since the early 1990s to undermine the Jewish character of the state and substitute an Arab character.22 Scheuftan also points out that the intensity of anti-Israel incitement by Arab Knesset members caused Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to remark that it was creating unwanted exposure for the Palestinian Authority.23 Former Public Security Minister Uzi Landau referred to Israel’s Arab MKs collectively as “agents” of the Palestinian Authority, while Commerce and Trade Minister Ehud Olmert similarly denounced them as “foreign agents.”24 Moreover, in 2001, Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein formally accused MKs Ahmed Tibi, Taleb al Sana, Mohammed Barakeh, and Abdel Malik Dehamshe of incitement and sedition.25

Cooperation Between the Israeli Arab Leadership and the Palestinian Authority

PLO Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti would later admit his key role in igniting the violence in the West Bank and among Israeli Arabs. In an interview with the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat, Barghouti said, “I knew that the end of September [2000] was the last period (of time) before the explosion, but when Sharon reached the Al Aqsa Mosque, this was the most appropriate time for the outbreak of the intifada.” On September 29, 2000, Barghouti traveled to the Arab “Triangle” in Israel to participate in a conference. He noted, “While we were in the car on the way to the Triangle, I prepared a leaflet in the name of the Higher Committee of Fatah, coordinated with the brothers (e.g., Hamas), in which we called for a reaction to what had happened in Jerusalem.”26

Both the Or Commission and news reports have also documented how Arafat has been involved in manipulating and financing the political activities of Arab MKs.27 Maariv reported that Arafat has transferred over $9 million to Israeli politicians since 1999, while sources in the Palestinian Authority and in Israel have indicated that Arafat may have funneled at least $500,000 to a bank account held for MK Azmi Bishara by a Jordan-based Palestinian businessman.28

Arab MKs have been welcomed as honored guests by Arafat during their frequent visits to his Ramallah compound that have continued unabated throughout the period of Arab violence. MK Ahmed Tibi, a former senior Arafat advisor, led a delegation of Arab MKs on a solidarity visit to the PA leader immediately after Israel’s cabinet decision to expel him, following a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.29 Tibi told the Washington Post in March 2003 that he spoke with Arafat daily.30

Arafat’s “Palestinianization” of the Israeli Arab Sector

Since his arrival in Gaza in 1993, Arafat has made it a strategic goal to “export” the Palestinian revolution to the Arabs living inside Israel’s 1967 “green line” and undermine Israel’s sovereign authority.31 Documents captured by the IDF in 2001 during Operation Defensive Shield include a letter from Arafat to Israeli Arab notables, calling on them to rise up against the state to mark the first year of the “Al Aksa Intifada.”32

Arafat has also nurtured the Palestinian identity of Israel’s Arab youth since the early 1990s through the PA’s financial sponsorship of joint sporting, educational, and cultural events. Arafat sends official PA delegations to attend Israeli Arab high school graduations in Jerusalem and the Galilee, where the PA flag appears and the Palestinian national anthem is played. In 1999, the Palestinian Authority made sure that the winner and six of the ten finalists in its “Miss Palestine” contest were Israeli Arabs.33

The Palestinian Authority also produces television and radio broadcasts that incite against Israel that are seen and heard in many Israeli Arab homes. Some broadcasts showed Palestinians dressed up as Israeli soldiers raping and murdering Palestinians, while religious programming from PA-funded mosques call on Muslims to kill Jews “wherever they are found.”34 These broadcasts can be accessed by some 70 percent of Israeli Arab homes that have satellite dishes. Moti Zaken, Arab Affairs Advisor in the Public Security Ministry, asked the Communications Minister to take steps to prevent the penetration of PA broadcasts into Israel.35

The Northern Islamic Movement

During the violence of October 2000, the main areas of confrontation inside Israel focused on Arab towns and villages in the northern part of the “Triangle” and in the Galilee where the Northern Islamic Movement is strongest. Over the past eight years, the movement’s green flags and radical messages have been effective in helping to shape a Palestinian Muslim identity that now claims a majority of Israeli Arab Muslims.36

Ever since the Arab riots of 1996 that followed Israel’s opening of an exit for an ancient Hasmonean tunnel near the Temple Mount, the Northern Islamic Movement has incited the Israeli Arab community against Israel, which it has called an illegitimate, enemy state. Arab Affairs Advisor Zaken noted that “Islamic pamphlets and speeches have regularly presented Jews as monkeys whom it is legitimate to attack, while the influence of mass media and Internet has influenced [Israeli Arabs] to stake out even more militant and separatist positions.”37 The Or Commission termed “unbelievable” charges by Islamic Movement leaders that Israel planned to destroy the Al Aksa Mosque to make way for the building of the third Jewish Temple.38

As a result of growing nationalist sentiment, there have been an increasing number of terrorist actions by individuals in the Israeli Arab community. A suicide bombing in the bus terminal of the northern Israeli city of Nahariya by Israeli citizen Muhammad Shaker on September 10, 2001, that killed three people and wounded 90, was linked ideologically to the Northern Islamic Movement, as were two car bomb attempts in Haifa and Tiberias in 1999 in which three Israeli Arabs were killed when their explosives detonated prematurely.39

On March 15, 2003, police arrested Sheikh Raed Salah, mayor of Um el Fahm and leader of the Northern Islamic Movement, on charges of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas. The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported that Israeli security officials recorded conversations between Salah and radical Islamic clerics including Egyptian Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradhawi of the Qatari-based Muslim Brotherhood leadership, who has issued fatwas (Muslim religious rulings) used by Osama bin Laden and Hamas in favor of suicide bombings.40 Druze leader and former MK Zeidan Atashi noted that “the activities of the Islamic Movement in Israel, the Hamas in the Palestinian territories, Hizballah in Lebanon, and the Islamic Jihad leave no doubt that the conflict is religious in its essence.”41

Meanwhile, popular Israeli Arab support for the Islamic movement continues to grow. For each of the past seven years, tens of thousands of Israeli Arab Muslims have rallied at the Northern Islamic Movement’s “peace” festivals, whose central themes have been “Al Aksa is in danger” and “Islam is the answer.”42 A major point of contention with Israel’s Arab Muslim community has become the continued efforts to construct a new, large, and unauthorized underground mosque as part of the Temple Mount complex, a project being funded and supervised by the Northern Islamic Movement.43

The Islamic movement’s political power has also grown appreciably since 1988 when it gained control over five local Israeli Arab municipalities.44 Since 1989, Islamic Movement members have regularly stood as candidates for the head of five or six municipalities during local elections, while 50 Islamic movement members have been elected or appointed to numerous local councils.45

In 1997, the Northern Islamic Movement caused an international uproar when it began illegally erecting a mosque on church property in the city of Nazareth until the Israeli courts ordered it removed. In 1998, Islamic Movement members gained control of the traditionally Christian Nazareth City Council, which has heightened tensions with the Israeli Arab Christian community.

Israeli Arab Cooperation with Radical Islamic Groups

The penetration of the Israeli Arab sector by outside radical Islamic groups in recent years is another disturbing trend. Israeli Arab Kais Obeid, 30, from Taibe, appears to have played a key role in the kidnapping of Israeli Elchanan Tannenbaum, who was held by Hizballah in Lebanon from 2000 until his release on January 29, 2004, in a prisoner exchange. Obeid, believed by Israel’s General Security Services to be a Hizballah agent, is now living in Lebanon.46 His grandfather, Diab Obeid, was an Israeli Knesset member from the Labor party from 1961 to 1973.

The growing participation of Israeli Arabs and Arab residents of Jerusalem in terror activities is an additional cause for concern among Israeli security officials. On November 20, 2003, the Haifa District Court convicted three Israeli Arabs for conspiring with Islamic Jihad to carry out terror attacks in Israel.47 Three Arab residents of East Jerusalem with permanent Israeli residency status were arrested in October 2003 on suspicion that they were recruited by Hamas and participated in at least three suicide bombing attacks in Jerusalem since May 2003 in which 40 Israelis were murdered.48 According to police sources, “about 70 Arab residents of Jerusalem have already been connected to nine terror attacks in the capital during the past two years.”49

In April 2003, Israeli security forces discovered a bomb laboratory and arrested several Israeli Arab residents of the Arab towns of Jaljulia near Tel Aviv and Kfar Manda in northern Israel on charges of joining Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad cells from the West Bank and Gaza to carry out terror attacks in the Haifa area.50 According to Israeli security officials, Hamas and other radical Islamic groups have recruited Israeli Arabs during pilgrimages to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.51 In 2001, 30 Israeli Arabs from towns in northern Israel admitted that they were recruited by Hizballah and Hamas to carry out attacks. Former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer even warned in 2001 that Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden was seeking local Arab recruits and intended to establish a local terror infrastructure in Israel.52

According to Israel’s General Security Services, in 2003, 43 Israeli Arabs were arrested for membership in 26 local terror cells that resulted in four lethal attacks. Forty-five Israelis were killed and 227 wounded in these attacks. These numbers do not include the scores of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem arrested for terror links in 2003.53 In 2002, more than 35 Israeli Arab terror cells were discovered, as were 25 in 2001. Only eight cells were discovered in 2000.54 Senior security officials noted that the slightly lower number of Israeli Arabs directly involved in terror activities in 2003 is due in large part to the construction of the West Bank security fence and ongoing IDF preemptive military operations in the territories.55

The Or Commission concluded that all Israeli governments have discriminated against the Arab minority. However, the October 2000 riots were to a great degree the result of incitement and ideological radicalization of the Israeli Arab sector by local Arab political and religious leaders, the Palestinian Authority, the Islamic Movement in Israel, and foreign radical Islamic groups.

Former Israeli Minister of Justice and Finance Dan Meridor told this writer that Israel’s new security fence, that will separate pre-’67 Israel from most of the territories, may help release Israeli Arabs from some of the radical ideological pressures coming from Palestinian groups in the West Bank. The latest government figures showing a drop in Israeli Arab terror activity for 2003 would support this contention.56 It is also possible that in the context of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Israel may propose to exchange territories that might include relinquishing Israeli control of certain Arab towns such as Um el Fahm to the Palestinian Authority. Such proposals may have already encouraged moderate Israeli Arab leaders to express greater loyalty to the state.57

Despite the radical shift in self-perception of many Israeli Arabs who identify themselves now as Palestinian Muslim residents of Israel, the Or Commission is correct to recommend that Israel take what Meridor calls “affirmative action,” including more equitable infrastructure development, government budget allocations, and state land distribution. At the same time, Israel would be advised to take steps to prevent incitement among some of the Israeli Arab leadership and public against the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

*     *     *

Notes

1. Or Commission Report, Introduction, English translation, Ha’aretz, September 2, 2003; www.adalah.org/eng/commission.php
2. Ibid.
3. Or Commission Report, Summary.
4. Or Commission Report, Part One, Chapter A, p. 7.
5. Interview with Professor Dan Scheuftan, October 3, 2003. See also Dr. Eran Lerman, “Making Sense of the Or Committee Report,” American Jewish Committee, September 4, 2003.
6. Amnon Rubenstein, “The Discrimination of the Or Panel,” Ha’aretz, October 5, 2003.
7. Ibid.
8. Moshe Arens, “Three Strikes and You’re Out,” Ha’aretz, September 16, 2003.
9. MK Ayoub Kara, Press Release, September 29, 2003.
10. Zeidan Atashi, “The Islamic Minority in the Jewish State,” Jerusalem Viewpoints, No. 480, June 16, 2002.
11. Or Commission Report, Official Summation, pp. 1-2.
12. Reuvan Paz, “The Arabs in Israel: Defending Al-Aksa or Fighting for Equality?” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Peacewatch, No. 281 October 3, 2000. See also “Marwan Barghouti, Fatah Tanzim, and the Escalation of the Intifada,” Jerusalem Issue Brief, Vol. 1, No. 16, January 24, 2002.
13. Interview with Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid, September 25, 2003.
14. Gil Sedan, “Islamic Movement Radicalizing Israeli Arabs,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 18, 2000.
15. Michael Widlanski, “Israel’s Own Arabs Emerge as Threat to Israel’s Survival and Jewish Character,” The Media Line, www.themedialine.org, September 23, 2002.
16. Baruch Kra and Amira Hass, “Police Bar All Visitors from Temple Mount after MK Ahmed Tibi Leads Crowd Chanting: With Blood and Fire We Will Redeem Palestine,” Ha’aretz, August 16, 2000.
17. Dan Scheuftan, “Voice of Palestine: The New Ideology of Israeli Arabs,” Azure, No. 14 (Winter 2003):91.
18. Scheuftan, “Voice of Palestine,” pp. 90-91.
19. Interview with Bassem Eid.
20. Scheuftan, “Voice of Palestine,” p. 73.
21. Ibid.; see also Sheldon Kirshner, “Israeli Arab MKs Increasingly Outspoken,” Canadian Jewish News, May 30, 2002.
22. Interview with Professor Dan Scheuftan, Senior Fellow, National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, October 3, 2003.
23. Interview with Dan Scheuftan.
24. Kirshner, “Israeli Arab MKs.” Ehud Olmert told this author that Israeli Arab MKs are foreign agents, in an interview for “The Bottom Line with Dan Diker,” Jerusalem Post Internet Radio, May 2001.
25. Kirshner, “Israeli Arab MKs.”
26. “Marwan Barghouti, Fatah Tanzim,” Jerusalem Issue Brief.
27. Or Commission Report, “Radicalization of the Arab Sector,” Para. 85. See also Widlanski, “Israel’s Own Arabs.”
28. According to a leading Israeli expert on the Palestinian Authority, October 3, 2003.
29. Khaled Abu Toameh, “Supporters Rally Around Arafat,” Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2003.
30. Scheuftan, “Voice of Palestine,” p. 83.
31. Joel S. Fishman, “Ten Years Since Oslo: The PLO’s ‘People’s War’ Strategy and Israel’s Inadequate Response,” Jerusalem Viewpoints, No. 503, September 1-15, 2003. The PLO’s interest in revolutionizing the Israeli Arab community was also noted in an interview with Pinchas Inbari, author of The Palestinians: Between Terror and Statehood, on September 25, 2003. See also Itamar Marcus, Director of Palestinian Media Watch, “Teaching Israeli Arabs to Love Palestine,” Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2003.
32. Arafat’s letter appears in English and Arabic at the Israel Defense Forces website: www.idf.il/gilui/site/english/main_index.stm.
33. Marcus, “Teaching Israeli Arabs.”
34. Excerpts of PA media incitement from “Arafat in His Own Words,” video distributed by Peace for Generations, www.shalom4kids.org. See also “Seeds of Hatred” video series, published by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
35. Interview with Moti Zaken, Arab Affairs Advisor, Ministry of Public Security, March 2003.
36. Or Commission Report, Section A, Part Three, “Political and Ideological Radicalization,” Paras. 85-101; http://or.barak.net.il/inside_index.htm. See also Zeidan Atashi, “The Islamic Minority in the Jewish State,” Jerusalem Viewpoints No. 480, June 16, 2002.
37. Widlanski, “Israel’s Own Arabs.”
38. Or Commission Report, Hebrew version, Section A, Part Three, Para. 104.
39. Ellis Shuman, “First Arab Suicide Bomber Sparks Political Furor,” Israel Insider, September 10, 2001.
40. Daily Alert, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, August 29, 2003.
41. Atashi, “The Islamic Minority.”
42. Sedan, “Islamic Movement Radicalizing Israeli Arabs.”
43. Widlanski, “Israel’s Own Arabs.”
44. Ibid.
45. Or Commission Report, Section A, Part Three, Para. 93.
46. Mathew Gutman, “Israeli Arab ‘Sold’ Tannenbaum for $150,000,” Jerusalem Post, October 14, 2003. See also “Tannenbaum, The True Story,” Maariv, October 23, 2003.
47. “Three Israel Arabs Convicted of Assisting the Enemy,” Ha’aretz online, November 19, 2003.
48. “Identification, Not Identity; Israeli Arabs Support Terror,” Arutz 7 Israel National News, October 9, 2003.
49. Jonathan Liss and Amos Harel, “Three East Jerusalem Residents Held for Involvement in Bus Bombings in Capital,” Ha’aretz, October 10, 2003.
50. “Iranian-Backed Islamic Jihad Gains Support among Israeli Arabs,” Middle East Newsline, April 4, 2003.
51. Ibid.
52. “Hizbullah, Bin Laden Trying to Recruit Local Operatives in Israel,” International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism, June 26, 2001.
53. As relayed to the author by Dan Seaman, Director of Israel’s Government Press Office, October 27, 2003.
54. Widlanski, “Israel’s Own Arabs.”
55. Israel Line, Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, December 19, 2003; http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0o330.
56. Interview with Dan Meridor, October 30, 2003.
57. This is also the view of Hebrew University professor Raphael Israeli, as expressed in Widlanski, “Israel’s Own Arabs.”

About Dan Diker

Dan Diker is a foreign policy fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a research fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at IDC Herzliya.

He can be reached at diker@jcpa.org