“48 Arabs” – Arabs, not Israelis

August 20, 2006 at 8:58 pm (Arab society, Arabs, Israel, Middle East)

Another interesting discovery: it seems that a number of Israeli Arabs refer to themselves not as “Israeli Arabs” but as “48 Arabs” or “Arabs 48” and other like permutations, and that this appellation is used by other Arabs to refer to Israeli Arabs. “48” refers to 1948, when the State of Israel was established. Evidently “48 Arabs” means “Arabs according to 1948, before the State of Israel was established.” This is evidently used to focus that they aren’t Israeli as much as they are Arab.

What significance could there be in the fact that these Arabs identify not with Israel but with pre-Israel Palestine?
Is it any wonder that Israeli Arabs (especially their politicians) are wont to ignite storms of criticism by Israeli society, accusing them of treason or undermining the state?
What does this say about the possibility of non-Arabs (primarily Jews) and Arabs coexisting in the same state?



  1. Christopher Taylor said,

    I don’t know exactly what they are thinking (although its not hard to guess) but they clearly are ingrates. Israeli Arabs have the highest standard of living and most liberty of any Arabs in the region.

  2. Ami Isseroff said,

    “48 Arabs” is usually the designation of disdain used by Arab Palestinians and Arabs outside Israel for the Arab citizens of Israel. If an Israeli Arab calls himself or herself ’48 Arab’ it is like Dave Chappelle calling himself a “ni**er.”

    Nationalistic Israeli Arabs usually call themselves Palestinians.

    Despite the rhetoric of politicians, 73% of Israeli Arabs said they prefer Israeli citizenship to all others. 85% say they would not want to live in a Palestinian state. And the fact is that there is net migration of Arabs into Israel – not the other way ’round. They vote with their feet.

    Ami Isseroff

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