In This Review
The Arab Minority in Israel, 1967-1991: Political Aspects

The Arab Minority in Israel, 1967-1991: Political Aspects

By Jacob M. Landau

Clarendon Press, 1993, 237 pp.

By the end of this decade, the Arab population of Israel-not including the occupied territories-will be near one million. These are Israeli citizens, with full political rights to vote, but they do not fit easily into a state whose primary mission is to serve as a homeland for Jews. The author has carefully studied the Arab community and presents a balanced picture of its economic status, social composition and political activity. His primary concern is that the denial of full equality to Israel's Arab citizens, combined with regional developments, has resulted in a radicalization of this rapidly growing population. Several possibilities lie ahead. Arabs could use their demographic weight to influence Israeli politics, seek autonomy within Israel, or seek to secede from the Jewish state. Like their cousins across the green line, Israeli Palestinians are young, politicized, and often attracted to Islamic political movements.

Landau's preference for the future is for real integration of the Arab minority, and he offers a few general and gentlemanly suggestions. They seem a bit bland in light of the nature of the problem. His own analysis leaves one with the strong impression that Israel will have an "Arab problem" even if it succeeds in negotiating peace treaties with its neighbors.