Dr. Walid al-Arid, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Ottoman History, said: “The research on the policy of racial discrimination in the Zionist entity is complex and of manifolds, because it pertains to the main aspects of life, such as race, colour, religion, education, work and daily social life.” Furthermore, He stressed that the confiscation of Arab lands and properties, as well as subjecting Arabs to housing restrictions, in addition to the systemic racism of education, come at the forefront of these racist dangers aimed at Judaizing Palestine and expelling Arabs by various means.
Al-Arid’s statement was made during a lecture organized by the Union of Palestinian Academics, on Saturday evening, 17 October 2020, on Zoom entitled: “Zionist Racism in Palestine after 1948: Land Confiscation and House Demolitions as a Model.” The lecture was moderated by Dr. Ahmad al-Kayali, Vice President of the Union of Palestinian Academics, who run the discussion held by a group of academics, researchers, and interested people.
Al-Arid stated that the volume of Jewish immigration between 1932 and 1939 amounted to about 50% of immigration to Palestine between 1919 and 1948; He attributed this to the fact that the British Mandate’s authorities enabled the Jewish immigration by all means.
Al-Arid pointed out that racism against Arabs took an upwards trajectory until it reached its climax in 2017-2018, with the slogan "hatred until death." The marginal Jewish groups, he said, have become a main component of the Jewish public debate in the Zionist entity, while anti-Arab slogans continue to be posted onto social media every two seconds.
Moreover, al-Arid pointed to the danger threatening the Arab identity, stressing that there is hateful racism against veiled Arab women in particular, as to hamper these women’s efforts at joining the Israeli labour market.
Al-Arid addressed the extent of discrimination against Arabs which lies at the heart of the demolition policy compared to the Jewish community and the occupation policy of Judaization, since the occupation’s government controls 93% of the land. He added: “These areas are immediately owned by the state, or semi-government committees authorized by the state to develop the land, such as: the Development Authority and the Jewish National Fund, noting that all these lands are managed by the Israeli Land Administration.”
In the context of the policy of discrimination against Arabs compared to Jews, al-Arid stated that the Zionist entity is working hard to establish new Jewish towns while it does not recognize Arab villages, even the ones established before 1948, adding that the occupation’s state and the Israeli Land Administration adopt a specific land distribution policy, refusing to market the lands intended for construction to Arab citizens in small Jewish towns and cities.
Presenting the conclusion of a research paper he conducted earlier, he stressed that: "There is an unacceptable discrimination in dealing with the Arab minority in the state of (Israel).”
Al-Arid inferred this from the findings of Sikui Organization, which monitors discrimination, as it showed a sharp rise in racial discrimination between Arabs and Jews in (Israel) in various areas of life in its 2009 equality report. Al-Arid presented some of the report’s points, saying that discrimination against Arabs amounted to 5.3% since 2006, in favor of the Jews, and the implication being that "the Israeli government built subsidized apartments 13.6 times more in Jewish communities than Arab ones.”
Al-Arid revealed that the housing crisis tops the list of issues, and he attributed this to the fact that Arabs are denied expanding planes and structural maps of their villages, which have turned into something like “cigarette boxes”, because the Israeli occupation considers the lands in the Galilee a security issue and a historical right for the Jews.
He listed some of the ongoing government aid that settlers enjoy, including: financed housing, education, and infrastructure, such as, building private roads.
Al-Arid stated that demolitions affected entire villages, and went on to say: “The (Israeli) government does not intend to properly solve the problem of house demolitions. On the contrary, it seems that its intention is to continue this policy, even more forcefully, ignoring the serious violations of basic human rights.”
Quoting a 2018 report by Haaretz, al-Arid demonstrated that the number of Arab buildings demolished in the Negev in 2017 reached 2,220, which is double the number of homes that were demolished in the previous year, which reached 1158.
Al-Arid called for changing the difficult reality that Arabs endure in the occupied historic Palestine through available legal and planning means, expanding the influence of Arab municipal authorities, and urging human rights and Arab organizations to confront the lands confiscation and homes demolition policy.