A short animated video released by the Baladna Association for Arab Youth last week criticizes a proposed law expected to take effect in May which aims in part to recruit Palestinian citizens of Israel to military and civic service.
The video skewers the slogan “sharing the burden,” used by proponents of compulsory recruitment of Palestinian citizens while the latter are deprived of basic social and political rights by the state. The video lists the myriad ways in which Palestinians in Israel, which has separate privileges for Jews versus non-Jews, are specifically discriminated against by government policy.
Incidentally, Israel’s “institutional and societal discrimination” against Palestinian citizens was taken up in the US State Department’s newly-published annual human rights review.
Baladna has been actively campaigning against national service for Palestinian citizens for the past several years, as The Electronic Intifada reported last year.
Baladna leader Nadim Nashif told EI:
This matter is no less dangerous than in 1956 when a similar law was forced on the Palestinian Druze community to do the military service … We have to work to stop this law. Can you imagine 28,000 Arab youth annually doing the national service, going through a brainwashing process and regarding the State of Israel as a Jewish state? Where does that leave the Palestinian identity? We cannot let that happen to our youth. We are joining forces as organizations and individuals to stop this law.