- Numerous previous articles exposed it, highlighting policies
affording rights solely to Jews, including a January 2010 Israeli Democracy
or Hypocrisy one accessed through the following link:
- It cited a same titled October 2007 Haaretz editorial,
calling for "debate about Israel's control over the lives of Palestinians
deprived of civil rights," saying its democracy is flawed for denying
Arab Israelis equality with Jews.
- In his December 10 op-ed titled titled, "The farce
of a secular and democratic Jewish state," Haaretz writer Gideon Levy
was equally critical, saying:
- "The debate over the conversion bill is deceptive."
The IDF bill aims to prevent municipal marriage clerks from refusing to
register marriages of people converted during military service. An estimated
2,500 occur annually, mostly among former Soviet Union immigrants. Orthodox
parties, like Shas, want the Sephardic chief rabbi to have sole conversion
authority. Secular ones want bill's language left unchanged.
- Levy believes the debate masks greater issues, fundamental
ones "that define our society and state." Whether military or
civilian rabbis decide who is Jewish is a distraction. "Ten times
more significant is....whether (we're) living in the only country on earth
where clerics determine the right to citizenship. No less important (is
the illusion that Israel) is a secular and democratic state."
- Imagine debates over whether to rent apartments to Arabs.
What about equal rights, democratic freedoms, civil liberties and justice.
Choosing who's superior, who's inferior, who gets rights and who doesn't
exposes Israel's real agenda, a theocratic-run Jewish state under religious
law, deciding who belongs and who doesn't, enforced by hardline officials
- "It's time to admit that this approach can only
be called racist," based on "the blood flowing through (one's)
veins....determin(ing) your status....Sixty-two years after (Israel's)
establishment, (it's time to) change this reality."
- It's time for "normalcy, for joining the enlightened
world, (and changing) distorted reality." Otherwise, it's ludicrous
calling Israel "a liberal and modern state" when growing despotism
better defines it. Non-Jews have experienced it for decades, under a repressive
occupation, and Israeli Arabs treated like second class citizens.
- On December 17, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority
Rights in Israel said a new report lists 20 new Knesset laws and draft
laws that discriminate against Arab minorities, threatening their rights
as citizens. In some cases, Occupied Palestinian rights are also violated.
- For example, a recently proposed Knesset "Bill for
Protecting the Values of the State of Israel (Amendment Legislation) 2009
requires organizations pledge loyalty to Israel as "Jewish and democratic."
In a November 4 press release, Adalah said the bill:
- "violates the right of freedom of association and
freedom of expression of all Arab organizations in Israel, which seek through
democratic means to change the political, legal and social status in Israel.
It asks those organizations to express their loyalty to the Jewish state
and therefore it is not just a discriminatory law but one that seeks to
oppress the rights of the Arab minority."
- It also limits and damages Arab organizations' work,
"put(ting) them under ultra-nationalist, ideological interrogation
and investigation, and (questioning) every serious action" they take.
The bill enforces a Jewish world view, delegitimizing and perhaps criminalizing
organizations not endorsing it. This and other bills mirror 1920s Italy
and 1930s Germany where democracy became fascism, including racist laws,
persecution and extermination.
- Institutionalizing Apartheid in Israel
- On October 29, Haaretz writer Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu
headlined, "Segregation of Jews and Arabs in 2010 Israel is almost
- The Knesset's "Amendment to the Cooperative Associations
Bill" bypasses High Court rulings in favor of instituting apartheid
- Ten years ago, Israel's Supreme Court "ordered the
town of Katzir to accept the family of Adel and Iman Kaadan, Arab citizens
of Israel, as members of the community. Seven years later," the Court
again ruled against the Rakefet Galilee village. Like Katzir, it's Jewish,
ordered not to discriminate against Arab citizens. The Knesset amendment,
however, lets communal village acceptance committees limit residency exclusively
to Jews, rejecting families that "are incompatible with the social-cultural
fabric of our community, and where there are grounds to assume that they
will disrupt the fabric."
- In other words, non-Jews are barred to let communities
preserve Jewish traditions. Earlier, anticipating the Knesset action, communities
like Yuvalim and Manof, in the Misgav area, mandated residence based on
declaring allegiance to the Zionist vision. In Mitzpe Aviv, applicants
must openly identify with Zionist values and the notion of Israel as a
Jewish, democratic state.
- In addition, in Upper Nazareth, Safed and Carmiel, senior
municipal officials call for dispossessing Arabs or preventing their integration
into the communities.
- As a result, "Segregation of Jews and Arabs in Israel
in 2010 is almost complete." Resident Jews take it for granted. Visitors,
however, can't "believe their eyes: segregated education, segregated
businesses, separate entertainment venues, different languages, separate
political parties, (and) segregated housing..contribut(ing) to the growing
mutual alienation of Jews and Arabs." In other words, Jim Crow in
the extreme, including violence and intimidation.
- To Israel's shame, segregation remains de jure, legislated
apartheid expected to pass its final version and become official in the
weeks ahead. It already is in practice despite High Court rulings prohibiting
the practice. The racist Knesset and Netanyahu government pay no attention,
doing what they please with or without legal right.
- Under present and past governments, core Judaization
policy is a dagger against minority Arab rights, dispossessing or prohibiting
them from land Israel wants exclusively for Jews. Cooperative associations
limited to 500 families effectively enforce this policy, limiting Arab
citizens to shrinking areas, comprising about 2.5% of Israel. Eventually
it may all be lost for total Judaization. In addition, all valued West
Bank and East Jerusalem land may be seized, confining Palestinians to resource-poor,
cantonized scrub lands.
- On December 16, Haaretz writers Jack Khoury and Jonathan
Lis headlined, "Israeli towns continue to rewrite bylaws to keep Arabs
- Circumventing Knesset and High Court actions, Jewish
"communities are....rewriting admission regulations in order to 'preserve
their Jewish and Zionist character.' " The idea, of course, is to
prohibit Arabs and other unwanted residents.
- A Misgav Regional Council proposal describes the "multigenerational
and variegated communal life that upholds Zionist values and seeks to maintain
Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of (Israel's 1948)
Declaration of Independence."
- The document also mentions community values "based
on tolerance, human dignity and reciprocal relations among members, who
pursue a communal lifestyle in an independent, democratic and voluntary
manner." Those values, however, are racist, excluding anyone not Jewish,
putting a lie to sham language without meaning.
- On December 26, Israel's High Court will decide whether
Ahmed and Fatin Zbeidat may live in the Rakafet communal settlement, barring
Arabs from residency. As in the past, however, Jewish communities may bypass
Court rulings, a testimony to Israel's institutionalized racism.
- Rabbis Endorsing Racism
- Racist rabbis affirm it, including leading ones wanting
renting homes to Arabs prohibited. Dozens of municipal chief rabbis endorsed
a religious ruling to do so, claiming Israel belongs to Jews, not goyim,
- Beit El settlement's Rabbi Shlomo Aviner said, "We
don't need to help Arabs set down roots in Israel." According to Rabbi
Yosef Scheinen, head of Ashdod's Yeshiva, "Racism originated in the
Torah. The land of Israel is designated for the people of Israel. This
is what Holy One Blessed Be he intended, and that is what the (sage) Rashi
interpreted." God intended Israel for Jews, he added, a notion only
bigoted hatemonger ones endorse. Doing so should get them suspended, denounced
and prohibited from distorting true Jewish dogma, teaching love, not hate,
- No shred of evidence exists that Torah or Talmudic doctrine
sanction racism or any other form of hate. Even Haifa's Mayor Yonah Yahav
was outraged, calling the ruling a "desecration of God's name."
Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy said, "We are all children of the land.
Both (sides) must search for common ground and not bring out escalation."
The rabbis, however, urged "neighbors and acquaintances (of Jews who
rent or sell to Arabs to) distance themselves (from them), refrain from
doing business with (them), deny (them) the right to read from the Torah,
and (ostracize them) until (they retract) this harmful deed."
- Racist rabbis offer more proof of Israel's sham democracy.
Most disturbing, however, is the extremist Netanyahu government, support
or no dissent from opposition leaders, and Israel's most right-wing ever
Knesset, flouting democratic principles one law or edict at a time. It
endorses, but hasn't yet passed, measures like Israel's Law of Citizenship
amendment, requiring non-Jews wanting it to pledge loyalty to "the
State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state."
- On October 10, Netanyahu's cabinet approved it (22 -
8) for new non-Jewish citizens. He, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman,
other Knesset hard-liners, and MK religious zealots support it.
- The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) expressed
concern about increasing anti-democratic Knesset measures proposed or passed.
They're "gaining momentum and, regrettably" the new session may
be worse, though at times, language in original submissions is softened.
- The last session was notably anti-democratic. If this
one's no different, enormous damage will be done. Apparently it's Israel's
chosen course, harming Arabs most of all.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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