To the Editor:
Yousef Munayyer's convoluted op-ed misrepresents the societal status of Israeli-Arab citizens, distorts the history of Israelís 1948 War of Independence, and fails to contextualize the unfortunate hardships facing Palestinians within the framework of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Munayyer seems to be unaware (or unwilling to acknowledge) that, while there certainly exist challenges with respect to discrimination, Israeli Arabs are afforded the same equal rights and opportunities as the rest of Israelís citizens. In fact, many Arabs have prominent positions in Israeli society, including within the government, court system, academic world and business community.
Munayyerís contention that Israeli forces bear the responsibility for the emigration of Arabs from Israeli cities and town during Israelís War of Independence is flawed. Most scholars agree that while a small percentage was forced out, most fled to neighboring Arab-controlled areas due to fears associated with war, some at the encouragement of Arab leaders.
A large percentage of their descendants currently reside in Palestinian-controlled West Bank and Gaza, and their unfortunate situation is due to the intransigence of Palestinian leadership who repeatedly failed to accept the numerous peace proposals offered by successive Israeli governments, denying refugees and their families the opportunity to improve their lives.