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January 09, 1987 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-09

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Continued from preceding page

And while they appreciate the
democratic values of Israel,
they are frustrated by their
failure to achieve equality.

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"I see my task and my du-
ty as twofold," says
Darousha. "'lb do what I can
to achieve peace in the area —
which includes finding a just
solution to the Palestinian
issue — and to gain equality
within Israeli society for my
Most Israeli analysts —
Jews and Arabs — agree that
Israel's willingness to allow
complete social, political and
economic integration will
have a great, possibly
decisive, influence on the
political positions that will be
adopted by a growing Arab
minority in the coming
"If you compare the posi-
tion of Israeli Arabs today to
their situation 20 years ago,
it is clear that their
achievements have been
remarkable," says Hareven.
"Twenty years ago, at least
half the population over the
age of 14 was illiterate. By
1981, there were 2,000 Arab
university graduates and
some 4,000 students in

universities in Israel and
"Israeli Arabs are highly
visible in the Israeli media,
theater, sports, medicine and
education — but there is also
a less visible army of high
school and university grad-
uates who have been unable
to find employment to match
their educational achieve-
"This is, in part, the result
of a reluctance by many
Jewish employers to hire
Arabs and, in part, because
the military-security jobs
(which account for approx-
imately one-third of the
economy) are virtually barred
to those who have not
undergone military service."
Most Jews, says Alouph
Hareven, see no urgent need
to seek solutions to the prob-
lems of Israel's Arab minori-
ty. They have enough pro-
blems of their own.
But, he warns, Israelis will
have to confront the problem
soon: "Relations between the
Jewish majority and the
Arab minority will inevitably
be one of the central, critical
issues in the second genera-
tion of Israel's existence."

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articipating in the
one-year program at
Hebrew University in
Jerusalem has fulfilled my
strong desires to live in Israel
for two reasons: First, I was
able to continue my education
with emphasis on my Jewish
heritage; and secondly, I was
able to expand my knowledge
of my culture in an objective
and informative manner.
Spending my junior year in
Israel has been an invaluable
learning experience and one
which I will cherish for the rest
of my life.
Besides enjoying the free-
dom to travel extensively all
over the country, two unparal-
leled experiences stand out in
my memory: volunteering for
"Yad Lekashish" and par-
ticipating in a 2 1/2 week Gadna
training program at the Tzal-
mon army base near the Sea of
My volunteer work took me
outside the university and into
the community where I worked
with the elderly. Yad Lekash-
ish —"Lifeline for the Aged" —
is an organization of 400 el-
derly "employees" who work in
14 different workshops making
crafts which they sell to the
public. Whether working
alongside them in the ceramics
shop, knitting room or bakery,
I chatted with them in Hebrew
and listened to their many

stories about the creation of
the Jewish homeland. I felt
warmly received and always
went home feeling good.
My experience in the Israeli
Army was different. I had al-
ways been in awe of the
soldiers I saw on the streets or
sat next to on the bus, because
the Israeli Army always held a
certain mystery for me. For a
young American woman,
learning to shoot an M-16
while lying face-down in the


"My volunteer
work took me
outside the
university and into
the community."

mud, was something to write
home about. During this time I
felt a wide range of emotions,
including pride in finally con-
quering my nemesis, running
and jumping over a ten-foot
brick wall, to sympathy for all
the young men and women who
comprise this integral part of
Israeli society.
Idealistic biases I brought
with me to Israel were disspel-
led in the year's time. Living in
the Middle East broadened my
awareness of the world, espe-
cially politically, and I have re-
sumed my studies as a senior at
the University of Michigan as
a far more broad-minded per-

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