On the Arabic in Israel

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Shehadeh , H 2019 , ' On the Arabic in Israel ' , Annals of Language and Literature , vol. 3 , no. 1 , pp. 27-42 .

Title: On the Arabic in Israel
Author: Shehadeh, Haseeb
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Cultures
Date: 2019-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Annals of Language and Literature
ISSN: 2637-5869
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/304882
Abstract: In this article an attempt is made to shed light on the unique status of the Arabic language, both spoken and written, in Israel; the first which is a certain modern dialect is the mother tongue of an Arab, whereas the second is the national language of Arabs. Arabic was de jure the second official language in the State of Israel until the 19th of July 2018, but de facto it has been always marginal. By 1948 Hebrew had become in fact the only official and domi-nant language in Israel. In the 1950s all the Jewish attempts to persuade the Arabs in Israel to write their literature in Hebrew, to learn only Hebrew or to write Arabic in Hebrew characters failed. In the summer of 2008 right-wing Jewish members of the Knesset also failed to strip Arabic of its status as an official language. Almost every aspect of life in Israel contributes to the Hebraisation and Israelisation of the Arabs in Israel. By law, learning Hebrew is compulsory in Arab Israeli public schools starting in the third grade and is obligatory on matriculation exams. The Arabic language has low prestige even among many Arabs by comparison to Hebrew and English. Arab youth in Israel view Hebrew as a symbol of high status and the key to medenization and progress. Subsequently, it is little wonder that Arabic is being invaded by Hebrew. In the State of Israel this Arabic has been called aribiyya / arbaniyya / airbiyya or arvrit, meurvetet, meaning Arabic mixed with Hebrew. The Hebrew language has infused Arabs’ minds and hearts, not merely as a language, but also as a concept and an attitude. This state of affairs could indicate the first steps to the extinction of spoken Arabic in Israel. The status of Arabic in Israel reflects the unique socio-political situation of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel and the lengthy Arab-Israeli conflict. If Israel desires to join the new Middle Eastern context, then it must first respect the Arabic language and its native speakers within its borders of 1967 and treat them as equal citizens. This ought to be the first step in the so-called the peace process between Israel and the Arab world.
Subject: 6121 Languages

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