What apartheid?

editor Thursday 13 September 2018 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By Smadar Bat Adam.. Despite what the Arab Higher Monitor Committee would have you believe with its decision to organize protests against Israel’s “racism” and “apartheid,” ever since 2009, the right-wing governments of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have led to unprecedented advancements in the quality of life of the country’s non-Jewish citizens. This important process is still in full swing. That is a fact. [Photo top right: Engineers are working underground, building a new set of sewage pipes in Netanya. On Sep 6, 2011. The huge tunnel pass under one of the busiest roads in Israel. Photo by Chen Leopold/flash90]. The urban legend that holds that sewage flows freely through the streets of Arab towns and cities has long been a lie. While it is true that in the past, outdated cesspools typical of the unplanned construction common in the Arab sector did not contain the sewage, by the 18th Knesset, which governed from 2009 to 2013, the sewage infrastructure in the sector had been replaced, thanks to unprecedented government funding and loans.

Once the new sewage infrastructure was set up, sidewalks, traffic circles and vegetation were quick to follow. All Israeli citizens have a right to the infrastructure their communities require. Yes, up until the last decade, the state was to blame for the neglect of the Arab communities, but so too were the Arab community leaders, who for their own reasons, chose not to collect property and water taxes from their constituents.

In May (2018), Israeli financial daily The Marker interviewed the recently retired head of the Administration for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druze and Circassian sectors Aiman Saif in a piece headlined “Bibi [Netanyahu] is good for Arabs.” In the interview, this senior Arab official spoke of Netanyahu’s work to increase the state budget for the Arab sector. He lauded the government’s 2015 decision to allocate between 12 billion and 15 billion shekels [$3.3 billion to $4.1 billion] to Arab communities. Read the full story.



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