Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tiny minorities and even tinier ones

By now no one denies the existence of a deeply racist segment within the Israeli Jewish society, which operates with a freedom unseen in any other advanced democracy. Belgian priests signing a document against intermarriage with Muslims, for instance, or American politicians suggesting that Mexicans should not be allowed in certain neighborhoods, would be met not only with oprobium, but also with legal actions. Not so in Israel, where the housing minister can claim that the Arab and Jewish populations should not mix with hardly an eyebrow being raised.

The standard Zionist line of defense is that such elements are a tiny minority in Israel, and that the vast majority of Israeli Jews repudiate their discourse.

The events last Monday in Bat Yam, a suburb of Tel Aviv, would, however, suggest otherwise. As the Jerusalem Post reported:

Hundreds gathered at a demonstration in Bat Yam on Monday evening to protest the presence of Arab residents in the suburb south of Tel Aviv, and to warn against what they said was a worrying trend of Arabs “defiling” Jewish girls there and across Israel.

Posters advertising the protest said “The Arabs are taking over Bat Yam, buying and renting apartments from Jews and taking Jewish girls, whom they defile.” They also stated that “15,000 Jewish girls have been taken to [Arab] villages!” and “What would you do if an Arab man hit on your sister? We’ll put an end to this!”

The demo got the support of extremist politicians:

Far-right MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) attended the rally with his aide and fellow activist Itamar Ben-Gvir in tow. Ben-Ari said he had come “to see the Jews who are standing up for themselves. We are standing before a disaster, and our politicians are more concerned with ideas like democracy, ideas that our enemies exploit in order to attack the State of Israel.”

Moshe Ben-Zikri, a community administrator from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, who recently waged a campaign against the quarter’s Arab residents, told The Jerusalem Post, “Today, the Arab enemy is taking over all over Israel. They act innocent, they say we’re only here to rent an apartment, and then they take over house by house. Our girls fall victim to their temptation. Not only that, but crime and drugs, all of it comes with the Arabs; none of that stuff takes place in a Jewish area until the Arabs come.”

Like so many political loonies, these gentlemen had a conspiracy theory to explain it all: the Arabs are undermining Jewish society by taking their unwitting women.

Ben-Zikri said Arabs posed a special threat to innocent Jewish girls, who were easy prey.

“These Arabs, they speak Hebrew, they look just like us and they tempt our women,” he said. “Some guy named Arafat says his name is Ofer, and so on. Our girls don’t know these guys are Arab and they fall victim to them and families are destroyed. They [the Arabs] don’t have to kill people to destroy families.”

But according to their own probably inflated figures, just 15,000 Jewish women, of a total of some 3,000,000 in the country, are married to Arabs -- i.e., one-half of one percent. Irrational fears of minorities have always been a specialty of racists.

It's not that the Jews have any obligation to be more moral than other peoples, but if anything remotely close to this gathering had taken place in Western Europe or North America it would have been instant news worldwide; and if the target of the speeches had been the Jews the outrage would have been universal. Double standards anyone?

Ah, but what about the Jewish reaction against this atrocious demonstration? It did take place -- but see:

A counter-protest was held a few hundred meters away, where several dozen demonstrators chanted such slogans as “Bat Yam: A city for everyone” and “Down with racism.” One protester there held a sign reading, “I love Arabs, ask me how,” while another placard showed a picture of a smiling couple under the words “I married an Arab!”

Barak Sella, a 25-year-old organizer for the southern branch of left-wing youth group Hano’ar Ha’oved Vehalomed, said he had come with several other group members “in order to show our opposition to the other protest, but also to get across our message of unity, which is that we will keep Bat Yam Jewish and democratic.”

As can be seen, opponents to the racist gathering could be counted in the dozens, while the racists themselves could be counted in the hundreds. There's an order of magnitude of difference between the hateful camp and the tolerant one, which would suggest that if the former is a tiny minority, the latter is downright marginal. Furthermore, the tolerant gathering was made up of those people no one would think of as representative of Israel, and who are often described as self-hating Jews.

However they try to spin it, the phenomenon of unabashedly racist (and highly vocal) Jews in Israel is there to stay, to the shameful inaction of the rest of the society.


Gert said...

What to say, Ib? Israel gets off the hook on so many issues. You only need to look at their government: parts of it are the Judaic equivalent of the many Far Right parties (BNP, NF, FN, various ‘Freedom’ parties, etc) that are ascending in Europe and cause such worry here. When the BNP gets an invitation to Question Time, the whole country talks about it and questions are asked in parliament, in Israel these guys are part of the government!

Press TV (via AFP) reports another shooting in Gaza ‘buffer’ zone:

Press TV...

Anonymous said...

Yes, Gert. Add PVV (Geert Wilders). And: ten Palestinians shot this year n that 'zone'.

Gert said...

Yeah, Geert 'I'm in love with Israel' Wilders. He was nearly prohibited from entering Britain, but I doubt if they would consider that with the 'spiritual leader' of Shas...

saim said...

That’s an interesting point of view you’ve got there. Really makes me think and re-evaluate my priorities. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Anonymous said...

Mocking the Holocaust is all the pathetic POS who runs this blog does. He even pretends to be an Arab “Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf” but his real name is:
Alberto J. Miyara, Facultad de Ingeniería - Universidad Nacional de Entre Ríos
Note he’s a teaching assistant without a phone number
There are 2 addresses for that name in Rosario, Argentina and they both look like slums.
So does Facultad de Ingeniería - Universidad Nacional de Entre Ríos.