Global Politics

Arab Israeli village caught in between

This Israeli village sees itself as a symbol of tolerance. Mass is still celebrated in the church in the village. The rest of the town's residents are Muslim Arabs. The village has been in Israel since the 1948 War of Independence. The town found itself at the front line but the people of the town had good relations with its Jewish neighbors and decided to stay in Israel. Today the village is known mostly for restaurants which bring busloads of tourists. The government shows off the village says this local man. But he's worried that the town's economy are under threat because a new station for the border police might be built in the center of town. This man says if a police station was built it would change the whole character of the town. He says the border police have a reputation as anti-Arab. He'd much rather the hilltop site be used for a museum. Arab citizens of Israel are in a delicate situation the man says. More than a million Arabs hold Israeli citizenship and it's a tense time for them. This village resident says this is a big problem for the residents of the town. A patrol spokesman said the station would only hold officers patrolling the northern section of Israel's separation barrier with the West Bank. He said the citizens of the village, whom he considered model Israelis, would benefit from the extra security. Arab members of Parliament have opposed the plan.

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