Ahead of President Shimon Peres’s visit to France to discuss the Middle East peace process instructions were issued that there be “no blacks or Arabs” among the baggage-handling staff, because “no Muslim employees should greet the Israeli head of state”. It follows on the heels of Air France being fined for taking a student nurse off a plane to Ben Gurion on the grounds that she was “not Jewish”…
Something stinks in the state of Israel says Israeli citizen Ilene Prusher. That something is racism, both the assaults on non-Jews by Jews and the wider refusal to give such racism its proper name. The irony of Israel, whose existence as an ethnic state has been justified as a defence against racism, should have spawned new generations of young racist gangs is lost on no-one – except for those who refuse to know that it’s there, and active, and violent.
‘Beitar is a symbol for the whole country’ says one fan of the football club – which is bad news for those appalled at the naked racism of the fans against the ‘Arabs’ (i.e. Muslim players) dropped into Beitar after arcane deals between Russian-Chechnyan despot Ramzan Kadyrov, and Arkady Gaydamak, Russian Israeli businessman and President of Beitar.
Using soldiers’ own Tweets and Instagram photographic pages, Ali Abuminah collects disturbing evidence of IDF soldiers exalting in violence, in killing Arabs, in taking aim at children, in getting out of their heads on marijuana. These are the men who enforce the occupation. The soldiers have deleted these pages. So far there has been no report that they have been reprimanded let alone excluded as unsuitable for Israel’s army.
The football club Beitar Jerusalem is notorious for the racism of its fans and the fact that it has never signed an Arab player. However, it has signed two Muslim players from Chechnya. Fans screamed abuse at them at their first training session. The offices of the club have been set alight in an arson attack. The core racist group, La Familia, perceives itself as defending the character of Israel as a Jewish nation.
Here is new form of hate crime against Muslims in Israel which shouldn’t be too difficult to solve. Israeli police confess ignorance. As in most cities, drivers wanting to sell their cars leave a note in the car window on with their phone number. The number on several such cars connects the would-be buyer to a profane, anti-Islam message recorded by a man speaking Arabic with a Hebrew accent.
The official – if barely legal – policy of the mayor of Jerusalem is simple and brutal: keep the ratio of Jews to Arabs at 70 to 30. Ben White describes the measures taken to ensure this result. An extract from Israel’s founding declaration, on equality for all, is included at the end.
It’s one thing to deplore vacuous messages about peace – see post below this one – quite another to offer an utterly racist message about murderous Palestinians as the staff at Israel’s Dublin embassy chose to do. It reveals not just how they think – but also their unthinking belief that others share their viewpoint.
Although he has been facing indictment on serious charges for some time, Avigdor Lieberman was still juggling with his pre-election team until the last minute – which was on Friday. With a reputation as a bully and a racist the foreign minister had a few admirers outside Israel but inside he stood for the most anti-Palestinian voters in the country,
One lot of Israeli citizens is to be expelled from its village in the Negev to make way for another lot of Israeli citizens. The first is made up of Bedouin who cannot get building permits and whose village is to be demollshed. It will be replaced by a new-build settlement for Jews. Adalah’s appeal against the decision by the National Council of Planning and Building was rejected. Reports from Ynet and Adalah.
Although, as Jesse Benjamin points out, foreign media have had little to say about the Jerusalem lynching (it doesn’t fit the stereotype, good Israel bad settlers) Israelis have responded with horror, anger and a recognition that the dominant political culture has poisoned youth values. The idea that all Arab (alien) men want to have Jews’ (owners) women is a familiar feature of racist and misogynist societies in which the ethnically dominant men should be lords of all. 6 items.
London student Jakril Hoque is shocked when he is interrogated, imprisoned and deported from Ben Gurion airport. Why? He is the wrong colour. He is most shocked when his interrogator tells him happily that Israel alone is alllowed to practise racial discrimination because it is ‘special’. From justifying paranoia and racism to implementing fascism is not, it seems, beyond possibility.
Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, which controls visits to the oPt and Israeli citizenship, has embarked on the mass round-up and expulsion of Africans (‘infiltrators’) from Israel. According to Eli Yishai, Interior Minister, Israel is ‘for the white man’. As we have remarked before, such racism seems to draw little opprobrium in Israel, despite Arab citizens and neighbours
Both Jews and non-Jews are often taken aback at how the powerful, racist and military-loving people who are dominant in Israeli politics see themselves as frail victims of – just about everyone else. A cartoon by Mysh found by Richard Silverstein expresses this paradox perfectly, leading him to meditate on the sort of psychosis which can create such a warped and deluded self-image.
Arutz Sheva, a right-wing (‘religious zionist’) media outlet popular amongst settlers, about one sixth of whom are the non-infiltrating sort of immigrant, viz American, reports on the latest anti-immigrant outburst; CNN’s Frida Ghitis is taken aback by Israeli racism.
Shapira in south Tel Aviv, has long been a dumping ground for the poor and immigrants from Africa and Asia (items 4 and 5). Last Thursday molotov cocktails were thrown at flats housing asylum seekers. They started fires but did not injure anyone (1,3). The following day, an anti-racist protest was held (2,3). All residents complain that their area has long been neglected by state bodies. Ynet and 972mag
Gilad Atzmon, Israeli ex-pat, is now better known for his obsession with his own Jewishness than his jazz playing. His attempts to cover this obsession with support for Palestinians has now been denounced by American Palestinians in the name of their principles of solidarity, self-determination, justice, human dignity, and equality.
Extract from a lengthy report on racial discrimination in Israel (not included here) and the occupied territories. Although critical of racism in Israel toward Bedouin and Palestinians, the UN body, CERD, reserves the designation ‘apartheid’ to describe how the occupied territories function, and urges Israel to make substantive and legal changes by changing domestic legislation and acknowledging international law.
Much of the information in this article will be familiar. Its significance is that it marks the growing disquiet in EU countries towards the prevailing racism in Israel, as well as the breaches of international law on human rights.
Ben White’s latest book, on Palestinians in Israel, earned him, and Knesset member Hanin Zoabi the bogeyman epithet of antisemitism. Ramzy Baroud tries to disentangle what values lie behind this, followed by Ludwig Watzal’s review of the book.