European Jewish Congress (EJC) President Moshe Kantor condemned the content of a secret report prepared by European Union officials on the gaps between the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel.
An EU working paper mentioning that EU ambassadors in Israel are concerned over Israel’s treatment of its Arab minority was recently disclosed by daily newspaper Haaretz
“This report is one-sided and is lacking in credibility,” he said.
“That the report uses Adalah as a primary source says more about the report’s credibility than it does about Israeli society,” he added.
He added: “Adalah, an extremist organization on the margins of society, openly declares a radical political agenda to change the nature of the State of Israel and has worked alongside some of the most radical elements in the region. It is like using sources from Front National to understand French society or the British National Party to understand British society.”
The confidential 27-page brief outlined a large number of indicators suggesting that Israeli Arabs “suffer from economic disparities, unequal access to land and housing, discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.”
The brief also outlines “policy instruments” and “leverage” that it is suggested can be utilized to pressure Israel on these issues.
It says “stalemate in the peace process, and the continuing occupation, inevitably has an impact on the identification of Israeli Arabs with Israel.”
“It will be more difficult for Israeli Arabs to be wholly at ease with their identity while the conflict with the Palestinians continues.”
The document says that “this should not be used as an excuse for hostile behavior by Israeli Arabs which alienates the Jewish majority, or for failure by Israeli government to achieve genuinely equal treatment of Israeli Arabs.”
According to Kantor, “the fact that the drafters of this document issue veiled threats against Israel to adopt the maximalist demands of one side in the Middle East conflict demonstrates how partial some European diplomats have become, making their role less than useful in finding a long-standing solution.”
“Rather than deal with the real human rights abuses and intolerance in the Middle East, the obsession of some European officials, who had few words to say about decades of repression towards minorities, constantly turn their ire towards the only democracy in the region,” the EJC President continued.