Devout Israeli Jews moving to Arab-Jewish cities
ACRE, Israel (AP) — Orthodox Jewish Israelis, the driving force of the West Bank settlement movement, have begun to turn their attention inward to Israel itself, moving into Arab areas of mixed cities in an attempt to cement the Jewish presence there.
Before dealing with a charge of racism, think about this:
When modern Zionism began in earnest, in the mid-1800s, there were only four cities in which Jews lived (of course, in previous centuries, there were more Jewish communities and neighborhoods, but that's for another post). They were Arab. So, based on what the thrust of this article is implying, its subliminal message, is that 'here we go again, those Jews are moving into Arab land'.
Some more details:
Activists say that in recent years, several thousand devout Jews have pushed into rundown Arab areas of Jaffa, Lod, Ramle and Acre, hardscrabble cities divided between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. Their arrival has threatened to disrupt fragile ethnic relations with construction of religious seminaries and housing developments marketed exclusively to Jews.
And the racism:
"Israel has to act as the state of its citizens," said Mohammad Darawshe, co-executive director of The Abraham Fund Initiatives, a nonprofit group that promotes co-existence between Jews and Arabs in Israel. "Ethnic preference is clearly inappropriate, violating the principles of democracy."
About 20 percent of Israel's citizens are Arabs. Most live in Arab towns and villages, with some notable exceptions, especially Haifa, the port city that is Israel's third-largest.
Am I, and you, to understand that Jews shouldn't move into Arab areas?
And can Jews prevent Arabs from moving into Jewish areas?
What is going on?