The widening gap between Israel's Jewish majority and Arab minority is worrying and poses many questions as to the country's Arab-Jewish coexistence
Nearly every day statements are heard from senior figures concerning the legitimacy of Arab citizens, and unbridled attacks have become routine: MK Israel Hasson of Yisrael Beiteinu is talking about a second War of Independence against the Arab citizens in Israel, MK Otniel Schneller of Kadima is talking about establishing task forces to examine the possibility of population exchanges and the head of the Shin Bet security service is talking about the Arabs as a strategic threat.
Public opinion polls show that more than half of the Jewish respondents support government encouragement of Arab emigration, and a high percentage of those surveyed think Arab citizens do not deserve full equality. To put it simply, a significant segment of the Jews does not believe in real partnership with the country's Arab citizens.
The "lynch" atmosphere of recent weeks and the unprecedented verbal attacks on the Arab leadership in particular and the Arab public in general is intolerable. Many Arabs see the investigation of former Balad MK Azmi Bishara as political persecution whose aim is to deal with Arabs who constitute a strategic threat - as defined by the head of the Shin Bet. The latter has declared that the Shin Bet "will take care of" any attempt to change the Jewish nature of the state, even if this is done by Arabs using democratic means.
Why is Israel after my brother?