In some of the more startling words of Mark Regev, formerly the voice of PM Netanyahu, the new ambassador to the UK confused the profound difference between Jews and Israeli citizens. He appears quite unaware of his mistake, Ben White reports.
It was noted at the time that the large J14 movement for social justice and lower prices would discuss anything – except the cost and injustice of the occupation says Jessica Apple. But a new protest is developing says Uri Baram. It is against the venomous racism spreading through Israel. It is for a different kind of Israel. 2 Haaretz articles on the state of Israel just before the invasion.
Had a boy been burned alive because of his ethnicity in any ‘civilised’ country in the world, it would have provoked a national outcry and soul-searching at such savagery. Not in Israel says Uri Avnery. Though some Israelis are perturbed at the displays of racism in their country, most appear to be indifferent or morally frozen.
David Harris-Gershon has been nourished since childhood by the belief in Israel as a light unto nations, a haven for Jews whom all others wanted to exterminate. Learning about the expulsion of Arabs and the Occupation strained his progressive zionism – but the racism of young Israelis has so horrified him he doesn’t know what to believe.
An angry Uri Misgav writes in Haaretz about ‘why I no longer want to live in the most racist state in the free world.’ The state has developed a racist hierarchy of groups. The rankings and exclusions are ‘like the Nuremberg Laws, only in reverse’. For Jews who do not wish to be claimed as members by The Jewish State, One Democracy has launched a petition to make this public.
Racism exists in most countries. What makes the difference is whether the media and the government endorse the racism. In most western countries governments have decided more or less to reject racism and to incorporate ‘multiculturalism’ into the national identity. Not in Israel. There the obverse is true. The self-proclaimed ‘Jewish state’ cannot embody non-Jews into its nationhood. This sets Israel apart from all western nations. The endorsement by StandWithUs of this open racism is decidedly unAmerican.
Firing back at all pressure, even from the best of friends, with cries of ‘antisemitism’, ‘delegitimisation’ and ‘existential threat’ governments of Israel have set the state on the road away from democracy and equal rights – and away from their one-time defenders who feel subverted by Israel’s racism. Zeev Sternhell has a long and distinguished intellectual history, giving weight to this deceptively simple and heartfelt article .
Mitchell Plitnick thinks we’re all missing something if we think the Occupation alone is responsible for the racism, violence and inequality of Israeli society. Also playing a major part are neo liberal policies – which have brought huge wealth to an elite and growing poverty to the rest wherever they have been applied from the USA and UK to Israel.
The flight of people from east Africa in particular has caused problems for African and European countries – but none has reacted with such rejection as Israel, people and government. Donald Macintyre reports, 1. Political black Americans have taken up their plight, connecting it to US-Israel colonialism (2) – which may cement the pro-Israel fervour of tea-party Christians. The official solution to the racism is the vast prison compound being built in the Negev, 3.
Unlike EU countries and the USA, it appears quite OK for political figures in Israel to issue hate speech against black people and Muslims. The violent attacks on a poor district in Tel Aviv last month broke out in Jerusalem this week with an arson attack on Eritreans. Quotes from +972, Ynet on Ministerial incitement, Netanyahu’s plan for mass expulsions, Harriet Sherwood on growing intolerance
After a bus accident in which nine Palestinian children were killed, ‘the internet roiled’ as Israelis, using their own names and Facebook photos, rejoiced, ‘spewing forth nauseating, hate-permeated racism that seemed to exceed anything seen here previously’. Gideon Levy cries out against this shameless descent into barbarism.
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