Sunday, December 9, 2007

Racism rises

Old arches on Salameh Street with the new police headquarters in the background.

And on the fifth day of Channuka I woke up to the heartening news that racism against Israel's Arab citizens has dramatically increased in the past year. According to a survey taken by the The Association for Civil Rights the number of Jews expressing feelings of hatred toward Arabs has doubled. According to the June 2007 Democracy Index of the Israel Democracy Institute, for example, only half the public believes that Jews and Arabs must have full equal rights.

Later on I happened to be listening (it's my day off) to a phone in programme ("There's who to talk to") on the radio. A caller, young and intelligent, was complaining about the way the results of the survey had been presented in the media , "as though it was something terrible," whereas the really worrying phenomenon was the fact that the so-called "racism" figures were so low. It was extremely disturbing to him that such a large percentage of "Israelis" as opposed to "Jews" were cozying up to the Arabs who were our enemies and from whose ranks terrorists were springing every day. And who could blame them. We've taken their land and they want revenge. This is something the "Israelis" need to learn . There's a cultural war going on between the "Israelis" and the "Jews" (to which camp he belongs ). Are we not, after all, celebrating the the Channuka festival whose story is played out against the background of the cultural inter-Jewish battle between the mityavnim ( assimilationist, pro-foreign Greek influence) and the "true" Jews? The "Israelis" need to follow the natural reaction of the "Jews", recognise that Israeli Arabs are our enemies and "act accordingly."

The sentiments expressed in this chilling monologue, aired freely (in the interests of free speech), and hardly interrupted by the moderator, were essentially that all Israeli Arabs should be transferred out of the country. The caller did not go so far as to call a spade a spade, (there's a limit to free speech) but the sub-text came across loud and clear.

Fifty per cent of the Jewish population of Israel, namely, to generalize, the "Jewish" i.e. religious-hawkish (let's call a spade a spade) population, agrees with this line of thought . The other 50% (at very best) consisting (+/-) of assimilationist, cosmopolitan, mityavnim non -"Jewish" "Israelis" with no sense of Jewish identity and pride , besotted by so-called "human rights", should be deeply disturbed.

I am.

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