The so called ‘Mosque Law’, aiming to limit the volume of mosque loudspeaker systems calling for prayer early in the morning and during the day, and suggested by Member of Knesset Anastasia Michaeli, will not be passed. And if it will be passed, it is highly unlikely that it will ever be enforced. As the innocent Russian emigrant to Israel who tried to buy a house in the Arab village of Aeblin, and as the young Arab couple who wishes to settle in the Jewish village of Rakefet learned from their experiences, the law is applied differently when it comes to different populations.
Two days ago, lawyer Alla Khiader, manager of the Centre for Environmental Justice for the Galilee, attacked Michaeli’s proposed law calling it “The continuation of the separation and persecution of Israel’s Arabs” and an attempt “to hurt the already fragile status of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel.” Not Israeli Arab minority, God forbid – Palestinian Arab minority. Not that anyone from this minority will ever want to let go of the Israeli state’s feeding udders and live in the State of Palestine if and when it is established.
According to Khaider, “in my eyes, as in the eyes of many Arab citizens, the call of the Muazin is not only a call for prayer, it is a declaration of presence.” And I innocently thought that Israel’s Arabs already show plenty of presence, actively and visibly. From the green neon lights on mosques and in coffee shops and restaurants, to PLO, and sometimes Hezbolla, flags raised in the centres of Arab Israel’s villages and along main roads passing through them, to the incitement in gatherings held by the Northern Stream and the extreme nationalist Arab members of Knesset on the ‘Day of the Land’.
It is high time the inhabitants of Jewish towns and villages learnt to declare presence. Huge Israeli flags on every Israeli home, business, restaurant and garage, loudspeaker systems aimed out from the villages’ fences that will play early every morning the national anthem Hatikvah, the song Jeruslaem of Gold and recordings of David Ben Gurion reading Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and on Independence Day itself, flag carrying civil marches, gatherings and speeches in every Jewish town and village and along every highway in the land, especially in areas where the declaration of Israeli Jewish presence is vital, are but a few ideas to start them of.