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Poll: Israelis support discrimination against Arabs, embrace the term apartheid

A majority of the public wants the state to discriminate against Palestinians, says a poll published in Haaretz. The findings don’t reflect a failure in education, as some might argue, but rather the inherently discriminatory nature of the state and the result of decades-long occupation.

Far right-wing activists and local residents protest against what they claim to be a growing trend of Arab men courting Jewish women in the city of Bat Yam, near Tel Aviv, December 20, 2010. The Hebrew on the signs reads: “Jewish girls belong to the Jewish People.” (photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

Gideon Levy reports in Haaretz today the findings of a survey that reveals deeply-rooted racism in Israeli society, and a desire of most of the Jewish public to practice ethnic segregation between Arabs and Jews. This is the front page story of Haaretz today. The poll was conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs, one of the respected pollsters in Israel.

According to the poll, a clear majority in the Jewish public (59 percent) wants the government to give preference to Jews in the admissions to jobs in the public sector, half of the public wants the government to generally treat Jews better than Arabs, and over 40 percent would like to see separate housing and classes for Jews and Arabs.

Palestinians make up 20 percent of Israeli citizens, and roughly 40 percent of the population under Israeli control (not counting Gaza). Almost half of Israeli Jews (47 percent) want Arab citizens stripped of their citizenship rights, and to be made part of the Palestinian Authority. It is an idea that Avigdor Lieberman and other elements of the right have been pushing for some time.

There was an interesting part in the survey about the use of the term apartheid. While some people who responded didn’t know it so well, only 31 percent objected to Israel being called an apartheid state (58 supported the use of the term), and 50 percent said apartheid is practiced in a few or in many fields. If the use of the term apartheid is anti-Semitic, as some of Israel’s PR agencies claim – then most Israelis are guilty of anti-Semitism.

Were the West Bank to be annexed, a clear majority does not want voting rights to be granted to Arabs. At the same time, most Israelis don’t support annexing the West Bank. The poll therefore reflects the Israeli desire to maintain the status quo, a fact I have written about here.

It’s a well known fact that religious views can predict positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Israel, but there seems also to be a direct link between religious positions and racism. The ultra-Orthodox population expressed the most racist views, followed by the national-religious. This fact explains why many professionals, journalists and diplomats are not aware of how racist certain elements in Israeli society are, because they don’t often meet members of those groups. It also should put an end to the unfounded hope that the ultra-Orthodox will desert Netanyahu’s coalition. They might support a centrist party if the right is denied a Knesset majority, but they would generally prefer to stay with their constituency.

A note about the meaning of this poll. From my own personal impression on life in Israel, the findings are very consistent with the views you encounter in the public sphere. They reflect the widespread notion that Israel, as “a Jewish State,” should be a state that favors Jews. They are also the result of the occupation, which has completely dehumanized the Palestinians in the eyes of Israelis. After almost half a century of dominating another people, it’s no surprise that most Israelis don’t think Arabs deserve the same rights.

These positions are the result of legal discrimination and the status quo on the ground. While the Israeli government is ready to try and advance Palestinians on some fields, the dehumanization narrative dominates the political conversation, and there is zero readiness to challenge the inherent discrimination in the system itself (not to mention the occupation). This poll is therefore not a failure of education – as some might want to see it – but a problem inherent in the system itself. Only an end to the occupation and a move towards an egalitarian model of citizenship – “a state for all its citizens” – can bring the desired change in attitude by Jews. When the system treats Arabs as equal, public perception will follow.

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    1. XYZ

      Here are some more poll questions:
      (1) How many of the “progressives” who poll here at 972 would want Haredim to live in their building?

      (2) How many Arabs living in Arab parts of the country would want Jews moving in to their towns and villages?

      (3) How many Arabs recognize the rights of the Jewish people to self-determination in this country?

      (4) How many Arabs would let their daughters date Jewish men?

      Reply to Comment
      • Carl

        Dead right as ever. If you can find another group with equally racist views then instead of making things twice as bad, they just cancel each other out. Honest.

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      • sh

        3 of your questions should be posed to Arabs not Jews because only they can answer them. From the sound of it, only Jews were polled so you’re out of luck. As for the only question of yours that applies to the Jews I, for one, would have no problem at all with having a haredi family living in my building.

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      • rsgengland

        Gideon Levy used the poll and its results very selectively .
        It is also very necessary to take into account his extreme anti-Israel bias
        A lot of the questions in the poll were hypothetical , and required further questions to clarify them .
        The questions never asked if Israel should , or should not , annex the West Bank . If they had the answers may very well have been different

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    2. The idea of asking a marginalised majority if they would be happy for Jews to move into their communities – which are mostly chronically underfunded, suffering state-sponsored discrimination – is a pretty disingenuous deflection. This is not about people’s preferences. This is about their power and their privileges, and Israeli Jews wield far more of both than does any Palestinian (citizen or not). Shared living space will become a possibility once those inequalities are dismantled, but not before. There’s a choice here: work towards that outcome, or keep on creating more hurt and more anger and more mistrust by not only supporting current policies against Palestinians but wishing they were more draconian.

      ‘Self-determination’ is often used as a code word for the maintenance of an ethnocratic state that discriminates against its minorities, so you’d have to clarify what you meant by that. As for the question about Arabs ‘letting’ their daughters date Jewish men, you posed the same question when you defended those horrific posters that were issued in the wake of the Jerusalem lynching (the ones warning that Arab men would ‘get hurt’ if they dated ‘our daughters’). I responded then that women aren’t property, and it isn’t the business of any man – Arab or Jewish – whether a woman from ‘his’ group dates an outsider. This code of conduct might be appropriate in a chimpanzee colony, but not anywhere else. Basically your whole defence here boils down to, “But I’m sure they would be racist misogynists too if they got the chance…” And white people said the same in apartheid South Africa.

      The question about charedim is just another but-you’d-do-it-too deflection. I also dislike the anti-charedi prejudice that I see in so many areas of Israeli society, but the question here is this: how much power do people with those views have over charedi communities? How many charedim are under occupation, forced to travel miles out of their way when they want to visit friends because the army has segregated their roads? I think it’s very important for people to be aware of and to challenge their own prejudices, even if they aren’t in a position to act on them, but that is a separate issue. These prejudices have a profound impact on Palestinian people’s lives, and that is the difference.

      Reply to Comment
      • conchovor

        [The idea of asking a marginalised majority if they would be happy for Jews to move into their communities]

        Yes, but historically Jews are the marginalised community, and Israel established as an act of Affirmative Action in favour of an historically dispossessed group.

        Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian nationalists have never or rarely acknowledged any legitimacy to a Jewish desire for return or restoration, and have resisted it, to the point of seeking to exclude, expel or eliminate Palestinian then Israeli Jews.

        It’s absurd to single out Israel for qualities allegedly apartheid which pretty much every Arab, Islamic state or society in existence, including the Palestine, has or has had with regard to Jews, for most of the last 100 years, or more.

        Israeli Jews cannot be expected to dissolve their state in the face of their historical enemies, who never accepted the right of the vast majority to come to the land in the first place.

        And to insist Israel dissolve itself for, as I said, qualities allegedly apartheid which pretty much every Arab, Islamic state or society in existence (i.e. Israeli Jews’ enemies) has with regard to Jews is not just.

        It seems to me more like injustice, masked as justice.

        I suspect all this will do is confirm Israel-haters in their desire to dissolve to the one Jewish state in the world, and confirm to most Israeli Jews that they must look to their own best interests.

        Ratcheting up the siege will simply make Israeli Jews feel more under siege, and more likely to act accordingly.

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        • “Yes, but historically Jews are the marginalised community…”

          I am not going to fall into the trap of conflating Israelis with Jews (and the Israeli state with Israelis). Nor am I going to get sidetracked into a discussion of Palestinian Jewish history. It’s a fascinating subejct, but it’s not relevant here. We are talking about a government that actively discriminates against its Palestinian citizens and conducts a military occupation of its Palestinian non-citizens, and the degree to which the Israeli Jewish population supports these measures. Your argument seems to be that discrimination Jews have experienced elsewhere in the world should give the current Israeli government a free pass to behave exactly as it likes towards Palestinians. It’s a particularly crude and ineffective use of the victim card – as is the conflation of a desire to have full civil rights with a demand for the state’s dissolution. That conflation only works if you feel Israel must remain an ethnocratic state. And no one anywhere has any right to expect to be privileged over others on the basis of their ethnicity, with the inequalities formalised in law, so don’t expect sympathy on that desire. I also can’t believe you would describe such policies as ‘affirmative action’, as though having a segregated road network in the West Bank and demolishing a few thousand homes here and there is on a par with trying to get more First Nations students into the Ivy League. That’s an interesting touch.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ac

            Vicky,
            Your responses have been incredibly insightful and somewhat uplifting. It’s rare to read comments of someone who is objective in thought.

            I completely agree with what I have read from you. The thought of “this is how it was” or “you did it, now I’m going to to do it” or “you would do it, too”..these arguments have never and will never help human beings evolve into better societies. If anyone hopes to be progressive for a sustainable amount of time, we collectively need to learn how to bury the hatchets and come together in a facet of respect.

            I find it amazing that people really, literally, are willing to degrade, dehumanize, and even kill people who think differently or were born into a different socioeconomic and/or racial class.

            Every one disagrees with selfish acts when our hindsight is able to see the massive amount of nothingness pursued in the hopes of being a “superior class”. Never in history do we look back and condone acts of bigotry, but in our own present day we are never able to get past those acts ourselves.

            Speaking as an Arab/American, it is absolutely disgraceful the way that Arabs have acted, how Israelis have acted, and how the United States has acted.

            At the end of the day, all of these nations being majority monotheistic and putting faith in the “Golden Rule” in some fashion or another, it becomes the ultimate act of hippocracy.

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    3. charles-jerusalem

      This article is misleading:
      - it is a known fact that jews don’t want to marry gentile. Mix marriage is a jew killer. Since I am a young kid, my parents repeated to me that they wanted me to marry a good jew girl from a respectable family with education and money. They did not want either any colored or sick or disabled girl (I disappointed them quiet a few times).
      What has changed since ? that we are more aware that it is a problem when the Israelis discover that applying this rule when one is a nation may lead to apartheid? OK
      It is also a known fact that since the russian immigration and the various intifadas and missiles rains from Lebanon and Gaza israelis are more radical. I still think that Israeli jews and Israeli arabs can live in peace. Sorry, we live in peace.
      In Europe, I can tell you guys that each time I approached a nice arab girl just for a dance, I was surrounded a few seconds after by her brothers who quindly invited me to dance with somebody else (it was when I was lucky). Why the other side does not adapt either ?
      Because we are at war with the arabs. War means that they want us to disapear in order to wash the disgrace of the naqba.
      Now we understand the origins of the problem:
      - jews live in fear of survival
      - there is no trust whatsoever between jews and arabs today.
      On this base it is not possible to build anything but it is easy to show agressive moves like extreme right demonstrations.

      Reply to Comment
    4. aristeides

      Jimmy Carter is owed an apology.

      Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        Lol

        Reply to Comment
      • This is no joke: Carter took considerable heat after his book “Peace, not apartheid,” including the resignation of more than one of the trustees to his Carter Foundation.

        Reply to Comment
        • aristeides

          It wasn’t meant as a joke. It was disgraceful to see the members of the Democratic Party in particular turning on their own senior statesman and the truth for the sake of an apartheid state.

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          • I remember the fear. Jimmy Carter is probably one of the few President to use the Presidency as a stepping stone to something higher. Maybe the only one. To see the resignations and attacks on his work made others silent, I think.

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      • Borukh

        “Jimmy Carter is owed an apology.”

        Jimmy Carter NEVER said that Israel within the Green Line was apartheid. His remarks applied (as he said over and over again in the face of negative reaction) reflected what was going on in Gaza (pre-pullout) and in the West Bank.

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    5. XYZ

      All you “progressives” out there….feels good being a ba’al lashon ha’ra about the Jewish people and spreading “dibat ha’aretz”, don’t it, even if it is exaggerated or not even true?

      Reply to Comment
      • RichardL

        Prove it is not true first and I will think about answering the question.

        Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        All you Zionists out there – how does it feel defending the increasingly obvious indefensible?

        Reply to Comment
        • The Rusty

          I imagine it feels the same for them as it feels for skinheads defending their position; they don’t even blink, because they “know” that their hatred is “right.”

          Reply to Comment
      • XYZ, the sign “Jewish girls belong to the Jewish People” is clearly identical in sentiment to the reified racial ideology of the Nazis. There is no way around this conclusion.

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        • XYZ

          No, it isn’t and you damn well know that it isn’t. When “progressives” stoop to the Israel = Nazis comparison, they know they have no real arguments to make.

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          • Mitchell Cohen

            XYZ, you can be rest assured if you were to use Nazi terminology to make your point you would be silenced immediately….

            Reply to Comment
          • I damn well know it is. “Jewish women for the Jewish People” entails as an immediate consequence to be used for the Jewish People; the woman cannot decide on her own life. And that is indeed the kind of reified racial ideology employed by the Nazis–”you are for the Aryan Race.” The functional use is identical in both cases.

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        • Mitchell, XYZ, where exactly do you perceive the difference? ‘[X] girls belong to [X] people’ is a recurrent idea in ethnic nationalist ideology. Note that it’s usually applied to women – you don’t get people taking to the streets with banners declaring ‘Jewish men belong to the Jewish people’, or see poster campaigns warning women they will ‘get hurt’ if they look at ‘our sons’. It comes back to sex, purity, and ultimately property: any man who trespasses on this territory is besmirching the community’s honour, and so we have vigilantes at beach resorts acting as the self-appointed vagina police, fending off the aliens. It’s toxic thinking that is very demeaning to women as well as racist. It happened in Nazi Germany, yes, but it happens in the streets of London too. This is a common mentality. Pretending that somehow it’s ‘different’ and more acceptable when my group embraces it is a cop-out, just a way of making myself feel more comfortable.

          Reply to Comment
          • Mitchell Cohen

            Vicky, you missed the point of my comment. I was simply pointing out the double standard that seems to be enforced on 972. Nazi comparisons are not supposed to be made here (it has been a while since I read the rules of this forum, so maybe they have changed), yet they are being thrown around all the time by no small number of posters. However, if someone whose views don’t jive with those of this site were to use Nazi comparisons to make his/her point, then he/she would be silenced faster than he/she could hit “submit”.

            Reply to Comment
          • Nazi ideology began as reified racial; and so is the poster statement above. If one if going to use the Shoah as a defense of the present, then examine closely as well the tools used to create it. Reified racial ideology exists in the US; it exists in Africa in terms of tribal descent. And it has been clearly expressed–even on this site–by some supporting the vanguard settlers. I assert that the State’s refusal to prosecute vanguard settler violence attaches hard Torah ideology to the State. This is ignored; instead my reference to similar Nazi logic induces howls. If you want to deny the tools of Shoah, deny the core motivator wherever it is found.

            The difference is simple: it is one thing to encourage your daughter to marry a good Jew (or Navajo, or Slav, or generic American); it is something quite different to say “Navajo women for the Navajo people.” The pivot of a woman’s choice is what liberates us from the tools making such things as Shoah. So now, condemn me, full righteous, having cleared the path. Path towards what?

            Reply to Comment
          • name

            Historically, the men of African tribes scarred the faces of their baby boys to prevent neighboring tribes from stealing them to use against their maternal tribes in war.

            Reply to Comment
      • SDK

        @Kolumn9 re: dissing Americans, progressives, humanists, Unitarians and others.

        I seem to recall a similar group of renegade Jews from Europe. They had crazy ideas about socialism and Jewish labor, about returning to Zion and building a new land, about leaving the oppression of Russia, Germany and Poland and creating a new political reality for a small group of people who had been kicked all over Europe like dogs.

        Have you heard of those folks? They revived the Hebrew language? Founded the State of Israel?

        American Jews may be lacking in the kashrut and shabbat departments but we’ve done a pretty damn good job of integrating Judaism with democracy. So, you know, if you ever have an interest in that topic, you might want to check in with us.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Danny

      To paraphrase president Obama – the 1980′s called, they want their apartheid back. Israeli Jews living in the past and seriously deluded if they think the world will allow them to get away with their racist and jingoistic attitudes towards the native population of Palestine, who, according to a recent government census poll, are in fact already a majority in greater Israel/Palestine.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Philos

      Obama gave us “Romensia” – what would be the appropriate word to describe the likes of XYZ who are presented with a factual poll yet claim it is a fabrication. Wingnut has already be taken.

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        They have the term at Mondoweiss – Zioncaine addict.

        Reply to Comment
      • Carl

        Me, I’m sticking with ‘dull’.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Aaron Gross

      Separate housing and schools for Jews and Arabs? Definitely! Nobody in Israel wants desegregation – not Jews and not Arabs. (Yeah, a handful of exceptions, I know.)

      Hannah Arendt is sometimes cited by leftists on this blog, so let’s remember that she defended racially segregated schools as well: see her “Reflections on Little Rock.” I’m fairly sure she’d defend ethnically segregated schools and probably neighborhoods in Israel if she were alive today.

      Favoring Jews for public jobs? No way. But there’s a legitimate security reason to exclude Arabs from a lot of jobs. Profiling yes, favoring no.

      Reply to Comment
      • Carl

        ‘Profiling’ is a proxy for prejudice, whether it’s applied to Palestinians in the West Bank and Israel, or Brazilian electricians in London.

        Reply to Comment
      • Little Rock, Arkansas was the first Federal/Southern contest over desegregation. When court ordered school integration of a few blacks was refused by local officials and litterally spitting public, President Eisenhower sent in paratroopers to police the halls, this in 1957. Eisenhower did not like the controling Supreme Court decision Brown v Board of Education, nor Chief Justice Warren, who somehow managed to get all 9 Justices to agree with it; but he enforced it. Eisenhower nominated Warren for Chief Justice as political payback; it is said he regretted the decision.

        The schools were opened to blacks.

        Reply to Comment
      • Mitchell Cohen

        As far a separate schools are concerned, if the Jews and Arabs were to learn in the same school/s, what language would the classes be conducted in? Which holidays would be the days off? Which day would be the “Sabbath” day off each week? Friday (for Muslims), Saturday (for Jews), or Sunday (for Christians), or would there just be a four day week every week?

        Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          Those are interesting questions, but Israeli Arabs and Jews do learn together in integrated schools, so they’ve been resolved. I was once at a Hannukah ceremony at such a school in Jaffa; the Arabs stood by respectfully while the Jews lit the candles and said the blessings.

          The main thing to remember is that (someone correct me if I’m wrong) neither Arabs nor Jews want integrated schools. It’s an American thing; Israelis wouldn’t understand.

          Reply to Comment
          • Mitchell Cohen

            Are you sure those questions have been resolved? OR is Hebrew the dominant language, while some Arabic is taught on the side as a second language (or vice versa). Are the classes half full on the Jewish holidays and half full on the Muslim holidays? What language was the Hanukkah ceremony conducted in? How much of it did the Arab students understand?

            Reply to Comment
    9. Aaron Gross

      This is probably one reason why the left’s “one state solution” is so wildly popular with Palestinian Arabs. To an Arab in Hebron: “If your next door neighbor is selling his house, and a Jew wants to buy it, he has to sell it to the Jew. Otherwise, the state will prosecute him for discrimination. And guess what else – you’ll be able to live on a kibbutz!”

      Reply to Comment
      • Aaron, the issue is available housing in the cities, application for work in the government and private sector, education so children can reach higher socio economic levels than their parents. All issues Jews have fought centuries over themselves. This fight is never limited to a single race.

        Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          How many Arabs are affected by lack of housing in the cities because of their not being allowed to live in Jewish communities? In which cities is this problem the worst? I’m seriously asking, I don’t know the answer.

          Regarding education: Arab schools can be improved. I’m extremely skeptical that poor schools are the reason for economic inequality.

          Reply to Comment
          • sh

            “Arab schools can be improved. I’m extremely skeptical that poor schools are the reason for economic inequality.”

            Who do you think will improve state education in Arab schools, Aaron? I learned recently is that their curriculum has never been updated since it was set whereas it has been revised several times in the Ministry of Education’s Jewish schools. That means children don’t even learn the little Palestinian history Jewish children now learn.
            This is from a 1998 Adala report:
            http://www.adalah.org/eng/publications/violations.htm
            “Education Rights: The State Education Law codifies the objectives of the educational system, which serve only to advance Jewish culture and Zionist ideology. No autonomous educational system run by Arab educators was created for the Arab community to meet their needs as a distinct group. Arab students are assigned to read Zionist literature and poetry and not Arab Palestinian classics, which are studied throughout the Arab world. Moreover, Arab students devote more hours of classroom study to Torah, than to Arab religious studies, and are examined on Judaism but not their own religions. Thus, the educational system recognizes only one national group in the State, and as a result, the Jewish community is afforded the opportunity to preserve and enrich its culture, art and history whereas the Arab community is deprived of that chance. Furthermore, due to the discriminatory practices of the government, Arab students and schools suffer from a lack of basic services provided to Jewish students and schools. For example, 80% of the students who dropped out of school are Arabs. Arab schools lack educational enrichment programs, adequate infrastructure, and other necessary services.”

            For several other reasons that some of us born to refugees ourselves are familiar with, they don’t learn much about that from their own families either, so, in Israel, where Arab culture has been erased for nationalistic reasons, schools could be a pretty essential source of information. Where’s self-esteem to come from, irrelevant and cut off as they are from their own history, culture and living relations in other Arab countries?

            Ideally there shouldn’t be separate sectors. Separate classes for the respective religions is the usual solution in sane countries. Even that method could do with a few tweaks in a country that sees itself as the Holy Land – an(other) interesting exercise to dream about.

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          • Kolumn9

            Are you seriously making the argument that economic inequality is the result of Arab students not learning Palestinian history?

            I never realized that was such a valuable piece of knowledge in the Israeli labor market.

            Then again, the success of American, Soviet and French Jews clearly is derived from the confidence gained in teaching Jewish history in their respective public schools.

            Yes, I agree. Ideally all the kids will study a unified Israeli curriculum in Hebrew in the same schools. I am sure the Arabs will be pushing for this any minute now.

            Reply to Comment
          • You begin by letting a young Arab Israeli mind know it can potentially acheive as much as any young Jewish Israeli mind. Given this poll, how can there be a doubt that this at present is not the case? What, exactly, are you defending? And what do you tell those young minds.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            I am arguing that the position that a public education that stresses Palestinian history is a prerequisite to economic equality is entirely baseless garbage as per the examples I have already provided.

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          • The Trespasser

            Greg,
            “You begin by letting a young Arab Israeli mind know it can potentially acheive as much as any young Jewish Israeli mind.
            Given this poll, how can there be a doubt that this at present is not the case?”
            This poll is misleading. You really should come to Israel and see with your own eyes.

            Reply to Comment
          • Aaron Gross

            Dunno if you were asking me, but what I’m defending is segregation in the social and private spheres. Which is not even a question among Jewish and Arab Israelis, only among busybodies in the West.

            Reply to Comment
          • Aaron Gross

            Coincidentally, as I was talking about Hannah Arendt (whom the eminent political theorist Piotr Berman dismisses here as an idiot), the Hannah Arendt Center just posted this blog entry discussing “Reflections on Little Rock.” (Maybe it’s not so coincidental, because the essay is still being vigorously discussed half a century after it’s written.) There’s also a link to this video talk comparing Arendt’s “Reflections” to Gunnar Myrdal, who’s being channeled by some of the commenters here, knowingly or unknowingly. I haven’t watched the video talk yet.

            Reply to Comment
          • Hannah Arendt was eminent and she has been quoted here before. This doesn’t make her views on segregation right, or mean that anybody who has ever quoted her on anything has to accept them. The arguments she gave against compulsory desegregation are flimsy, particularly the statement about it being unfair to expect children to fix problems that their parents couldn’t solve. This makes it sound as though racially segregated schools were just some unfortunate natural disaster or a particularly difficult Rubik’s cube instead of a problem that was actively engineered and maintained by people, as a means of black suppression. Racially segregated schools were a core part of that maintenance. It’s ugly full stop. Your own support for it doesn’t look any less ugly or become any more credible because you try to hide it behind Hannah Arendt’s name.

            Reply to Comment
    10. Bronxman

      The “we” are better than “them” attitude is certainly not a new idea. The U.S. called it segregation (and had a Civil War over the worst form – slavery – around 150 years ago), South Africa had it and so did the worst of the lot, Nazi Germany. There are other examples. History seems to show that times change and most extremists wind up in prison, or at the end of a rope or a bullet in a an essential part of the body.

      Truly evil people are few and far between. The slow and easily confused are widespread and form the mass of followers.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Danny

      Pretty depressing watching the presidential debate yesterday with both candidates falling over backwards to politically prostrate themselves to Jewish voters. Especially sickening is Obama’s shamelessness in citing Yad Vashem when talking about the evil that exists on this planet. To be clear, Yad Vashem IS a great memorial to remind about past evils; however, if Obama wanted to witness contemporary evils, all he would have had to do is travel 50 miles south of Tel Aviv to witness the largest open-air prison in modern history, where the inmates (men, women and children alike) are allotted a daily diet of exactly 2,279 calories – just enough to keep them from developing rickets or such. Obama over Romney only because of the latter’s ignorance and incompetence.

      Reply to Comment
    12. The continental federalism of the United States allowed the State to initially focus on the legal condition of Jim Crow, restricted mostly but far from totally to the South. Israel does not have this luxury. Nor does it have a Supreme Court insulated by federalism.

      If your High Court does not force a partial reversal of State policy, things will not improve (in fact, the reverse) until the West Bank is effectively integrated into the Israeli socio-economy. You will then have violence and protest for years if not decades before the Knesset finally moves to equalization of standing in some areas. “One State” is not a solution but outcome, driven by the nationalist right. I have said for sometime here that the State’s failure to police the vanguard settlers has attached the settlers’ hard right Torah ideology to the State, an ideology explicitly living racial war and subjection. This ideology could not be sustained if equality of opportunity florished in Israel.

      You have abandoned the promise of your founding, your Declaration of Independence, and shall ultimately pay a high price in internal conflict for doing so, screaming all the way only others are to blame. You have the conceptual structure in that document to reverse this. The High Court could change the trajectory through decisions of precise confrontation, not immediate, simple cures, but redirections which the greater social economy would have to face. Your Declaration is immune from charges of “leftism”; it is your founding. Go back to it. You will have to, in anycase, eventually.

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    13. conchovor

      Most Israelis don’t want to annex the West Bank, in no small part precisely because they don’t want to give them the vote.

      If you ask a hypothetical question, ‘But if Israel would annex the West Bank, would you feel better about giving them the vote then?’, of course the answer will be ‘No!’

      Not having to give WBers the vote is a main reason why Israelis don’t want to annex the WB in the first place!

      Likewise, asking if Israeli Jews would rather Israeli Arabs become Palestinian citizens is not the same as demanding they be stripped of their citizenship.

      As for preference for Jews, well, I think it understandable that Israeli Jews want most of their civil servants to be Jews. It is a Jewish state, after all, established as an act of Affirmative Action for the Jewish people.

      Affirmative Action is a kind of discrimination on behalf of an historically disadvantaged group.

      Now, that may be problematical, and more needs to be done to create a society which is more inclusive towards Israeli Arabs. Unfortunately Palestinian Arab nationalism is on the rise among Israeli Arabs, and this is likely to have the opposite effect.

      The global BDS movement is, basically, a pro-Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian, but anti-Jewish, nationalist movement, and may only exacerbate the problem all the more.

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      • Leen

        I’m sorry, how is an affirmative action when 80% of the inhabitant population was ethnically cleansed? And a military occupation is imposed on the rest of the generation? Not to mention increasingly marginalizing the inhabitant population?

        The difference is affirmative action used int he context of the US is the population is NOT segregation and separation of the population. Affirmative action has been used to give minorities an equal opportunity within the society. They have tried in the past to separate the Black people in the US and establish a black state in Africa but that has failed miserably. When will people learn that separate but equal has never worked in the past?

        Reply to Comment
    14. conchovor

      Whatever the faults of Honest Reporting, this article deconstructs the poll (which the New Israel Fund has disavowed) nicely:

      http://honestreporting.com/haaretz-creates-non-existent-apartheid-state/

      Yes, it is troubling that so many Israeli Jews do not want to share a building or classroom with Arabs.

      But they are victims too of a 100 years conflict, in which the right of them or their ancestors to come to the land has been resisted by an Arab and Islamist nationalism which has, for most of that period, sought to exclude, expel or eliminate them.

      Reply to Comment
    15. The United States, a federal, continental government, faced desegregation first in the localized South which had legal Jim Crow barriers. Implementation was forced through the Federal courts, insulated from the politics of Jim Crow States, enforced through the Federal Attorney General and the FBI (somewhat–J Edgar Hoover was not hospitable to civil rights) and sometimes either the US military or National Guard. Israel has neither federal insulation nor the ability to localize the fight in only a portion of its territory. A Knesset elected by party roles will respond to the majority attitudes surveyed in this post. Only the High Court remains, coupled with the remarkable founding document of your Declaration of Independence. Desegregation in the American South would have been impossible without the US Supreme Court. Citizen equality in Israel will similarly require the High Court.

      To those who deflect this internal Israeli reality by railing against the leftist “One State” solution, I would point out that One State is not a solution but outcome, an outcome being dragged forward by the ruling right coalition of the Knesset. What saddens is that the occupation is being used to ridgidify a racial exclusivism in the name of Jewish past suffering which whitewashes Israeli’s remarkable founding document. As I have said many times, the legal and conceptual tools you need are aleady there; you do not need a High Court to reinterpret some clause you do not have. Rather, the promise of full eqaulity in social and political rights has been with you in all of your State struggles. I do not give up on the future Israeli constiution, implemented in part by the prior Declaration, because I deeply believe, when it comes, it will be step forward for humanity. After a very hard slog.

      So there.

      Reply to Comment
      • Aaron Gross

        You raise an interesting question here. How does the declaration of “complete equality of social and political rights” relate to segregated schools and housing?

        Obviously schools and housing are not related to political rights. Are social rights involved? Again, Arendt’s “Reflections on Little Rock” is an excellent place to look. There she argues, with respect to the political/social/private distinction, that education is part of the private sphere, not the social sphere. In any case, she claims that discrimination is essential to the social sphere – as equality is to the political sphere and exclusivity is to the private sphere. I’m not endorsing her entire argument, but it’s something to consider. Even if you don’t buy the bit about the private sphere, her argument about the social sphere is still relevant.

        The term “social rights” by itself is so abstract as to be practically meaningless. The Israeli declaration of independence was, unfortunately, derived from the French, not the American, revolution. (Socialists – what do you expect.) You could interpret “social rights” to mean desegregated neighborhoods; I could interpret it to mean equal government benefits for housing.

        I respect your appeals to the declaration of independence. You’re going in the right direction. I just think that on this topic, the declaration is so abstract as to be useless one way or the other.

        Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          Sorry, a change to my last sentence above. The Declaration isn’t useless on this topic. I should have said that the Declaration itself doesn’t determine or even point towards any concrete answer. To answer the question is to interpret the Declaration, and vice versa.

          Reply to Comment
        • Piotr Berman

          What is “private sphere”? In Israel, the state and the funds that own the land for the benefit of Jews minutely regulate what can be built where, and the Parliament discusses measures how to assure that these regulations are enforced upon Arabs and ARE NOT enforced on Jews.

          Consequently, Palestinians in Jerusalem have a very hard time even getting permits for private schools that, after all, need buildings. But even permissions for preschools were denied if the ideology of the person about to run it was suspicious.

          Concerning Little Rock, Arendt was an idiot. If you have a disadvantaged minority, segregation means keeping the underdogs down. Part of it is limiting of opportunities. In my hometown there was only one high school with a (very) special math program which I lucky to attend (there was an entrance exam). Suppose it is limited to the ethnic majority. Then the minority (a) does not have that opportunity at all (b) even if few want it, it is a slap in the face performed by the state.

          Somewhat amazingly, people do follow the State. Prejudice reinforced by authorities is much more powerful. Activities of the State have powerful impact on what people think of as OK and not OK. If the State segregates, hostility to the people that the State defends me from is confirmed as a good thing.

          Reply to Comment
          • Aaron Gross

            If you dismiss an argument by one of the leading political theorists of the 20th century, without even reading it, with the statement, “She’s an idiot,” then you’re an idiot.

            The “private sphere” does not mean privately funded. It’s not about “private schools.” Some of the best and most influential discussion of the private, social, and political spheres in the past century was by, well, Hannah Arendt, but you’ve already ruled her out as an idiot. Oh well.

            (“Idiot,” by the way, is a Greek word for a freeman who lives his whole life in the private sphere.)

            Reply to Comment
        • Piotr Berman

          I have some difficulty putting face on XYZ. I imagine a pretty young woman, perhaps Ximena Yolanda Zambrado, as Spanish have names that start with X, Y and Z.

          Ximena Yolanda asks if it would be OK with me to have Haredim in the same building. Given that this is USA, and I rent, and people move in and out every year and that the landlord cares only if you can pay, Haredim can move in any time they wish. Visible minorities here include only Blacks, Oriental and Muslim (one girl uses Muslim kerchief). Also, the town has only one synagogue, Reform. There are Amish that look somewhat like Haredim (and speak a German dialect, some visitors confuse them with Hasidim). They self-segregate.

          That being college town, there is some degree of segregation and I live in a segregated place — no undergrads. Apartment complexes here either allow undergrads or not. Regulations also restrict “unrelated people” to rent in single family areas.

          Reply to Comment
        • I use Brown v. Board because it attacked life reducing discrimination in the American South. Specifically, blacks were not allowed into well performing, white schools; in many, many cases, young black children walked a very long distance to get to an under resourced school. It is easy to grab hold of the content and say it does not apply to Israel. I am acutally very, very skeptical that Arab citizens recieve the same resources per captia as Jewish citizens. On housing, your entire structure precludes ready purchase of use rights by Arab citizens; an enormous amount of real estate is under the control of an organization, with State approval, restricting use right overwhelmingly to Jewish citizens.

          In the US, probably every State constitution guarantees elementry and secondary education. That places the matter in constitutional law, not apolitical social society. A true test for civic equality is equal entry access, and this is clearly wanting in Israel. The Declaration applies exactly to such cases–social and political rights. But, actually, I would be fine with the High Court embracing the Declaration but saying it does not apply here. For, through social evolution, a future High Court will change its stand, just as the US Supreme Court did on the issue of education as defined above.

          Reply to Comment
    16. C. Bendavid

      nsttnocontentcomment

      Reply to Comment
    17. Noam

      Am I the only one that thinks this poll is phrased misleadingly, to say the least?
      A majority would not agree to a bi-national state WERE the West Bank annexed. This is like asking a vegan if they would rather eat red meat or chicken, if they HAD to eat meat. It’s idiotic. A far bigger majority OPPOSES annexation, and prefers 2-states to Jewish Apartheid or Palestinian-majority democracy, which would mean the end of their lives as they know it.

      This only points out the obvious, again. That a one-state democracy is still much more detached from reality than the evading two-state idea. True bi-nationality is out of the question for a majority on both sides. The Jews would have one state only as full-blown Apartheid, and want to avoid that. The Palestinians want one state as a tyranny over the Jews and a flooding of this state with millions of refugee descendants.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Standard leftist poll, made by liars and for liars.

        Reply to Comment
    18. Eyal

      You should have made it more clear that this poll surveyed Israeli-Jews (not as stated in the headline!), i.e. the % of Israelis who of acknowledge that Israel is already an apartheid state among all Israelis is likely to be even higher than %58…

      Reply to Comment
    19. As an American Jew who has returned to Judaism through study and practice, I am appalled and ashamed by the actions of the Israeli government and its support of Jewish settlement of Palestinian land, all designed to disenfranchise the Palestinian people and intensifying their despair of self-determination. The very justification of rights to a Jewish state have been based upon historical persecution of Jews. It seems to me that Israel forfeits this justification if it turns the history of Jewish persecution into a justification to deny the rights of non-Jewish people. While Israel maintains the facade of “Jewish law” by empowering the ultra-orthodox rabbinate to enforce its version of Jewish observance on a secular polity (often to the abrogation of the rights of women and Jews of other denominations) true and fundamental Jewish values are ignored and trampled upon. “Treat the stranger in your midst as one of your own, for you were a stranger in Egypt” is the central paradigm of the Torah. It is obviously neither the practice of the Jewish state, nor the belief of a majority of Jewish Israelis. Is this truly a Jewish state which can claim the right to a land based on a biblical promise?

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        You have been misinformed. The justification for the Jewish state was never based on persecution. It was based on the inalienable right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Israel isn’t the home of the ‘persecuted’. It is the home of the Jews.

        In any case, this argument belongs in the 1940s. The state exists.

        Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        One more thing. You are an American progressive humanist who was born to a Jewish mother who is now basically a Unitarian Universalist while trying to dress it up as Judaism. Simplifying that down to calling yourself an American Jew is somewhat misleading.

        Reply to Comment
      • Borukh

        You have hit a very important nail on its head with a very accurate hammer! There are many key important elements in rabbinic Judaism – the Judaism that we practice, which is based on millenia of rabbinic interpretation of Torah et al. There is respect for the ger, the stranger among us, as you said. It is repeated over and over in the Torah and throughout Jewish interpretive thought. Another is tikkun olam, the repair of the world by adhering to core values like justice (“Justice, justice shall you seek”). And a third is pikuakh nefesh, understanding the profound value of the human soul and the importance of preserving it – and that is EVERY human soul. We are taught through the story of gan eden in Bereshit, that we are all of us Jew and non-Jew descendents of Hashem’s creation. So values of liberalism and social justice and tzedaka, etc. all stem from our Judaism. Then we have the current state of affairs in Israel, where non-orthodox Judaism is denegrated and put down over and over again. The latest element of this was the terrible treatment of Anat Hoffman on Oct. 16 when the Women of the Wall group were having their rosh khodesh Kheshvan observation, with Torah reading, etc. at the kotel. Of course this was just one more instance of how ultra-orthodox tyrants have been able to maintain their dominance wrt Judaism in the official levels of Israel. The behaviour allowed by ha-rav Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the kotel (an official position of authority regarding all forms of prayer, procedure, behaviour, etc. at the kotel). It’s the old story, I’m afraid, the kotel “belongs” to all Jews, but only the haredim are in charge of it even iof they exclude everyone else’s forms of worship.

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      • At first you defended the results of this poll with the classic, “But they would do it too.” Then you denied the situation (“Things aren’t that bad and you’re slandering us”). Now it’s a short announcement from NIF, saying that the poll was conducted by an independent organisation that they have collaborated with on a few past projects, but not in this particular instance. What does that change, exactly? I get the impression that you’re clutching at any comfort blanket, however flimsy.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          This poll is not credible because: only about 120 people from each group was asked. It’s not enough by any standard.

          However for you it’s not important. After all, truth is not what you are after.

          Reply to Comment
    20. Ed

      Google Palmediawatch and then you’ll understand Arab hatred, racism and apartheid against Jews.
      I guess 22 countries isn’t enough for the Arabs.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Ed Frias

      Read this great article then you understand why Jimmy Carter is so biased against Israel.
      Then you understand why Carter will never criticize the rich Gulf Arab dictators.

      Has Arab Oil Money Bought Jimmy Carter?
      http://politics.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474976886308
      Ex-President for Sale: Carter’s Arab Oil Money
      Alan Dershowitz

      Reply to Comment
      • Davey Wavey

        Well, Dersh took money from MEK, an organization that has murdered Americans.

        Because of his anti-Zionism, Carter can’t get funding, can’t attract money like Dersh can. I imagine he takes what he can get in order to pursue his Israel agenda, which is, in itself, morally-grounded and purposeful.

        Reply to Comment
    22. Borukh

      “Arabic is taught on the side as a second…”

      It’s required that EVERY hs student in Israel takes at least 3 years of Arabic (between grades 7/8 and 10). If the student wishes, it can be studied to the end of hs in gr. 12, but 3 years is the minimum for EVERYONE. Arabic is an official language together with Hebrew. An Academy of Arabic Language was proposed and passed by the Knesset around 2006 and it came into existence in 2008. Limor Livnat and other MKs tried to get Arabic de-listed as an official; language but the attempt failed.

      Speaking as a Canadioan who is NOT living in the Province of Quebec, the teaching of French here as it was when I went to hs 40 years ago to non-Francophone students seems very similar to the current situation vis-a-vis teaching Arabic to non-Arab students in Israel today. Further, an Israeli student can write her/his matriculatyion exams in Arabic if desired. That wasn’t the case re French in my day in Ontario!

      Reply to Comment
    23. Borukh

      “the inalienable right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel” – this is completely out of cont4ext. The Land was never “given” unconditionally. Re-read both the Tanakh and the Talmud about this. Jewish people were required to behave in certain ways and NOT to behave in certain ways.

      Reply to Comment
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