Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Israeli Arab Victims of Jewish Terror Cannot Receive Government Support

The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MOD) ruled today that the families of the four Israeli Arabs murdered on August 5 by Eden Natan-Zada, a 19-year-old member of the Israeli Defense Forces, are not eligible to receive the monthly payments other victims of terrorism are because there killer was Jewish and not an "enemy of the state," as required by Israeli law. The families will instead be offered a one-time payment, in an amount that has not been publicly specified.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called Natan-Zada's attack "a despicable act by a bloodthirsty terrorist." He even requested that the victims be treated as terrorism victims.

The Israeli MOD's decision has strong hints of prejudice against the country's Arab population (which numbers over 1 million or 1/5 of the state's citizens). It also brings into question what exactly the Israeli government considers Jewish terrorists if not "enemies of the state." Do the actions of religious fundamentalists like Natan-Zada not threaten the Israeli state or its reputation?

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