Posted by: Lister | January 29, 2008

Growth of Nazareth

I found a stat in an article by Ellen Davidson Arabs Need Not Apply. First, I’d like to point out that the title is based on jobs which are advertised as suitable for those leaving the military. Arabs can enrol in the Israeli army, although they are allowed to refuse the military service which is compuslory for most Jews. A relatively small number of Arabs do join the Israeli Army, according to wiki.

Many social services such as student and housing loans are predicated on having a military service number. Since Palestinians are exempt from military service, few Israeli Arabs have this number. Orthodox Jews are also exempt from military service, but they can go to the military service office and get assigned a number, giving them the same access to the privileges associated with military service. Many help-wanted ads specify that the position is open to candidates “after military service,” another way of saying, “Arabs need not apply.”

The growth of Nazareth is the topic of the next section:

Institutional discrimination crops up in community development plans, where Palestinian neighborhoods are held to existing land allocations, while Jewish neighborhoods grow unchecked. In the Arab city of Nazareth, for example, the population of 13,000 Palestinians in 1947 lived on 3,000 acres. In 2007, with a population of 70,000, the city occupies only 3,100 acres, with strict limitations on any expansion.

On the hilltops surrounding it, the mainly Jewish city of Nazareth Illit (built on confiscated Palestinian land) with a population of 50,000, sprawls across 11,250 acres. When the original Palestinian owners of the land went to court to protest the confiscation of their property for “public” purposes, arguing that they were also the public, the court ruled that absorption of immigration was the main “public purpose” of the time.

The population of Nazareth has spread beyond Nazareth — including to Nazaret Illit. This ZMag article by Leila Khaled Mouammar makes a similar point to Ellen Davidson but adds data on the movement of Nazarenes:

For example, Israel founded the colony of Nazaret Illit in 1957 on a hilltop overlooking the largest Palestinian city in 1948 Palestine, Nazareth. It began as a settlement of 300 people with the last official census of 1983 counting 21,000 residents, largely Jewish immigrants, 3,700 of whom were born in Europe or America, 5,000 in North Africa, 1,200 in Asia.

Nazaret Illit has prevented Nazareth from expanding to accommodate the natural growth of its population of 70,000. Nazareth’s development has also been impeded through municipal underfunding – with Arab municipalities in 1948 Palestine receiving 1/4 of the funding of Jewish municipalities.

In the late 1960s, Palestinians began moving into Nazaret Illit. In 1972, they numbered 600, or 4 % of the total; in 1989 they were estimated at 3,400, or 13.5% of the total.

The article also makes the point on military service:

Mandatory military service is required of all Israeli Jews, with some religious exceptions. Of non-Jewish citizenry, mandatory military service is required only of the Druze and Circassian communities, eventually leaing to the voluntary enlistment of some Bedouins.

Thanks for the first link to ATW, who also blogs a Haaretz article: Racism reaching new heights in Israel, civil rights group says.


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