In testimony to the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) on Wednesday, Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer, a well-known Israeli legal expert, warned that if Israeli Arabs are allowed to participate in a referendum on the future of Jerusalem, it could spark a civil war in Israel.

Right-wing Israeli Knesset members have vowed to oppose any referendum that could result in Jerusalem being split, preferring the current practice of ethnically cleansing the indigenous Palestinian population while moving Jewish Israeli settlers in.  The current Israeli government policy is to attempt to reduce the size of the indigenous Palestinian population of Jerusalem using a variety of methods, with the goal of making Jerusalem "90% Jewish, and 10% Arab" by 2010.

 

Kremnitzer said in his testimony, “If such a referendum comes down to an extremely close vote, especially if the Arab public is allowed to take part in it, then certain segments of the Israeli public might very well dispute the legitimacy of the referendum results and resist them through violent means."

 

His statement brought out the very real conflict between Israel's claims to be a 'democracy', while at the same time favoring its Jewish citizens over the indigenous Arab population that still remain in Israel (not to mention the nearly 6 million Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza).

 

The Knesset committee rejected the idea of holding a referendum on Jerusalem, saying that they had never even considered the privately-sponsored bill proposing the referendum.

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