With Israel’s Independence Day, the battle of the narratives over Israel’s creation begins anew with mainstream Muslim Israeli Arabs remaining highly critical of the state, despite living standards that dwarf those in Arab states bordering Israel, such as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

Yet with with the rise of Islamists and the persecution of minorities, especially Christians, in the region gaining steam in recent years, some of Israel’s minorities say they are thankful that they are Israeli citizens and not living elsewhere in the region.