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Dr O’Brien (Irish Examiner, Letters May 27) distorts the reality of Israel and its minority Arab population whom he falsely calls “Palestinians” when in fact they are Israeli Arabs, citizens equal in law to Israeli Jews.
Israeli Arabs who make up about a fifth of the population serve in the judiciary, the civil service, they take important positions in the police and the army, actively participate in politics and the press and are represented by all-Arab parties represented in the Knesset.
There are Arabs who live below the poverty line, but that is not because of segregation, but rather it is because of cultural habits and choices. In fact, differences are more due to culture than to ethnicity: Israeli Arab Christians are academically more successful than Orthodox Jews and consequently have a higher standard of living.
Israel’s record for treating minorities is infinitely better than in neighbouring countries where tyranny and Islamic fundamentalism are inflicting mass slaughter and displacement of Christians, Yazedis and Muslims perceived as ‘false Muslims’ by other Muslims.
Polls among Israeli Arabs show almost all of them prefer to live in the Jewish State rather than moving to any other Arab country or to a future Palestinian state.
Dr O’Brien’s conclusion to boycott the Jewish State is a sad reminder of all the boycotts against Jews throughout history, and we all know what that eventually led to.
Embassy of Israel
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