Friday, August 10, 2007

Playing Against Type

Christian Evangelicals supporting Israeli Arabs, under the tutelage of an Orthodox Rabbi. Not what we are used to hearing about but perhaps a hopeful development.

According to an article in Haartez the National Fellowship of Christians and Jews, headed by Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein and funded primarily by Evangelical Christians - including Pat Robertson -, approved this week the expansion of the group's operations in 20 Bedouin and Druze municipalities by NIS 1.7 million, in addition to the NIS 9 million it already supplies to other Arab municipalities.

Too bad the initiative is limited to only the "good Arabs" - i.e. Bedouin and Druze - usually perceived as more loyal to the State of Israel, and therefore more deserving of government services, then the majority of "stam"Arab citizens of Israel.

The article describes, by the way, one of the many systematic means by which Arab municipalities in Israel are discriminated against.

In order to receive funds from the Welfare Ministry, local authorities are required to match a certain percentage of the payment. Since most Arab councils are in dire economic straits, they often cannot make this payment and do not receive their welfare allotment. The charity's donations are expected to help them fulfill this requirement and subsequently be eligible for government assistance."


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