Arab citizens of Israel are non-Jewish Israeli citizens whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab. The traditional vernacular of Arab citizens, irrespective of religion, is the Arabic language, or more precisely, the Palestinian dialect of Arabic. Most Arab citizens of Israel are functionally bilingual, their second language being Modern Hebrew. By religious affiliation, most are Muslim, particularly of the Sunni branch of Islam. There is a significant Arab Christian minority from various denominations as well as Druze, among other religious communities. Israeli Mizrahi Jews are not considered to form part of this population.
According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, the Arab population in 2010 was estimated at 1,573,000, representing 20.4% of the country's population. The majority of these identify themselves as Arab or Palestinian by nationality and Israeli by citizenship. Many have family ties to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Negev Bedouins tend to identify more as Israelis than other Arab citizens of Israel.
Most of the Arabs living in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967, were offered Israeli citizenship, but refused, not wanting to recognize Israeli sovereignty. They became permanent residents. They are entitled to municipal services and have municipal voting rights.
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“We Americans are the peculiar, chosen peoplethe Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world.”
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“As the Arab proverb says, The dog barks and the caravan passes. After having dropped this quotation, Mr. Norpois stopped to judge the effect it had on us. It was great; the proverb was known to us: it had been replaced that year among men of high worth by this other: Whoever sows the wind reaps the storm, which had needed some rest since it was not as indefatigable and hardy as, Working for the King of Prussia.”
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“Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace.”
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