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Arabs Have Right To Full Citizenship

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Arab citizens have a right to full citizenship in Israel

The affirmation of Katanji Brown Jackson as a Supreme Court justice is a most recent application of the lofty goal of full citizenship rights and responsibilities as declared in our U.S. Declaration of Independence.

For much of U.S. history, equal citizenship was a distant dream for African-American persons. Here’s our Declaration of July 4, 1776:

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the 13 United States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

From the beginning of our history, Africans were NOT treated as “equal” in regards to citizenship rights and responsibilities. They were bought and sold as property, as slaves.

May 14, 1948, is the day Israel declared its independence as a sovereign State.

Here is her Declaration of Independence:

ACCORDINGLY, WE, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the Zionist movement of the world, met together in solemn assembly today, the day of the termination of the British mandate for Palestine, by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish and of the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations,

HEREBY PROCLAIM the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called ISRAEL.

WE HEREBY DECLARE that as from the termination of the Mandate at midnight, this night of the 14th and 15th May, 1948, and until the setting up of the duly elected bodies of the State in accordance with a Constitution, to be drawn up by a Constituent Assembly not later than the first day of October, 1948, the present National Council shall act as the provisional administration, shall constitute the Provisional Government of the State of Israel.

THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open to the immigration of Jews from all countries of their dispersion; will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew Prophets; will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex; will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education and culture; will safeguard the sanctity and inviolability of the shrines and Holy Places of all religions; and will dedicate itself to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

The key concept is highlighted in bold print. From the beginning, Israel has treated the indigenous people of Palestine as unwanted holdovers from the Ottoman empire. When as many as 20 percent of the Arabs refused to leave in 1948, they were given second-class citizenship rights. From the beginning, the State of Israel has NOT promoted the “development of the country for the benefit of ALL its inhabitants … uphold(ing) the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex” (Declaration text).

Kairos West Michigan joins with countless organizations, calling for Israel to extend full citizenship rights to that 20 percent of her Arab citizens.

We are happy when the U.S. more fully complies with her standards. We call upon our friends the Israelis, to do likewise.

John Kleinheksel,

Kairos West Michigan

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At Kairos West Michigan, we work to unify and mobilize West Michigan Christians to take a stand for peace in Israel/Palestine. We believe that the time is right and that God is preparing the way for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine.

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