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“Every Jewish community needs its nigger”

I hope that headline pissed you off. I really do.Because that’s how I pretty much felt this morning, when I picked up the paper. I was reading the coverage of the approval of a bill proposal to allow small communal settlements in the Negev and the Galilee to reject would-be newcomers, if they are unsuitable on various grounds for life in the community. “Unsuitable”, means, of course, “Arab”.

Not that I’m surprised by the bill being approved. Nah, not these days. Not in today’s Israel.

But what always seems to get to me is how easily racists have risen to power here. And how easily they can say whatever they want, now that they hold the reins.

The Klu-Klux-Klan never took over the White House, and I don’t recall any guys in white hoods sitting in the Senate. Sure, there have been U.S. politicians with connections and dark pasts. But at least they made the effort to cover it up.

In Israel they’re in power – and they’re loving every minute of it. David Rotem of Yisrael Beitenu, can say just about anything. And his party is a senior coalition partner.

During the Knesset committee session yesterday, Rotem said:

“Every Jewish community needs at least one Arab. Otherwise, who will repair my fridge when it breaks down on Shabbat?”

The worst part, is that probably, when most Israelis saw that quote in Yisrael Hayom, in Yedioth and in Maariv this morning – they probably grinned. “Hey, that Rotem guy is pretty funny”, a majority of Israelis said this morning. Trust me. They did.

But when I read those words, all I could hear was “nigger”. And when I saw those words, all I could see were white hoods and burning Stars of David on the hills of Samaria.

Read more about the “acceptance committees” bill from +972 Magazine’s contributors:

Yossi Gurvitz, The Qa’adan Curse.

Ami Kaufman, Every Jewish community needs its nigger.

Jerry Haber, Israel’s Arab problem.

Click here to view photos taken of the riots in Um El Fahm.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Alon

      I actually think you got it wrong and are distorting what he said. According to the reports, the sentence you mentioned was actually used cynically after he was accused of being a racist and not as a serious statement.

      Not to say he isn’t a racist – he did say: “When I want to found a Jewish only settlement, I’m not ashamed of it”, which is a horrible thing to say.

      I’m just saying, it wouldn’t hurt to focus on the actual problem and not on the juicy details and nice titles.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Lisa

      All I could think when reading this was “I can’t BELIEVE he used the N word!!!” AMI WTF?

      Other than that, I agree with everything you said 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    3. Alon – so, it’s OK to say what he said if it’s in jest? Interesting point. And I don’t agree with it at all. Sorry.

      Lisa – I thought hard about using the N word, and decided that in this case it was appropriate. Like I said in the first sentence, it was meant to piss you off 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    4. Alon

      No, it’s not OK to say it in jest. I also don’t think it’s a good idea to make it the main issue and title of this article. I’m sorry, I think that’s low and yellow and not good journalism. I don’t need yellow titles to catch my eyes, if I did I’d read Ynet. I’d rather read a magazine that respects my intelligence and doesn’t assume I need these titles to catch my eye. I’d rather read about the more meaningful, troubling things he (and the dear Mr. Danny Ayalon) said in this meeting and not about that one sentence.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Alon – I never intended it to be journalism of any sort. Half & Half is my blog on +972 Magazine, one of many blogs, and it represents my own thoughts. This is not a report of any kind.
      True, you don’t need any kind of headline you don’t like. No one is pointing a gun to your head. Which is why you’re free to take your business elsewhere on the site to other writers who are more to your liking, or leave it completely, if you’d rather defend a racist than one who criticizes him.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Ben Israel

      Are “Arab-only” communities okay? How come all the progressives are getting hot about Jews moving into Silwan-regardless of whatever the future political disposition of the area may be? Would Jews have a chance to buy apartments in Rahat or Um el-Fahem? What would be the reaction of the Arab neighbors?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Alon

      If I have something negative to say about your writing, then I must necessarily be supporting a racist? I couldn’t just, you know, still think that he’s a racist and agree with you on that, yet have some criticism on your writing?

      So the comments obviously aren’t for passing any kind of criticism on your writing. You’d rather that anyone who doesn’t like something you wrote would just go somewhere else and not bother you. I see. I’ll be sure not to make that mistake again.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Alon – Thanks 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    9. Ben Israel – the difference is, that there is no state law prohibiting Jews from living in Rahat. Whether it’s a good idea or not, that’s another story.

      Reply to Comment
    10. A Shabbos goy is a n*****?
      I don’t get it.
      But then, maybe I miss the Israeli context.

      Reply to Comment
    11. provocative headline and self-righteous tone distract from the importance and effectiveness of the message…the easy jab, not the powerful punch it could have been.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Wow. I never knew provocative headlines were a no-no these days. Sorry guys, I’ll do my best not to hurt your feelings in the future. 😉 Here’s to my next post being a resounding punch, and not a weak little jab…

      Reply to Comment
    13. XHU

      I think the provocative headline worked pretty well. The shock response to ‘nigger’ serves to highlight just how racist and unjust the policies of Israel are becoming.

      However, I find the comment of ‘The Only Humans’ racist and unacceptable. The whole ‘Jews stealing organs, poisoning wells’ thing is never helpful.

      Reply to Comment
    14. XHU – Thank you for the support. I also removed the comment of “The Only Humans”. It was wrong to approve it. Sorry.

      Reply to Comment
    15. ron hoenig

      I’m an Australian so I don;t have quite the same inbuilt reaction tothe ‘N’ word, but I find it interesting that people find the ‘N’ word worse than the notion of the racism that it describes. To me, what is really scary is that people often react worse to having their actions described as racist than to to the realisation that their actions are racist. It’s as if being called racist is worse than being racist.

      Reply to Comment
    16. james

      this is a horribly self hating article.. you are ill..

      arabs have a law that they can’t sell land to jews… and they dream of wiping israel out. They hate zionism, the idea of a jewish state.

      now, personally, I think there are better ways to discriminate than race.. but really they’re a member of an enemy nation, and chances are they want israel finished, so I have no issue with israelis not employing them..

      and as to employing an arab to fix something on shabbat. you know full well that jewish law restricts jews on shabbat, discriminates against jews, but not arabs. It is not racism against arabs if a non jew does things that a jew is forbidden to do in jewish law. Be it out of the goodness of their heart, or for money.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Imhotep

      Sick!

      Reply to Comment
    18. Yak Fatzko

      I’ve lived with Arabs in the Old City of Jerusalem. The simple truth is: Mixing together you take your life in your hands. Obviously it’s only a minority carrying out attacks (although the majority supports them wholeheartedly), but how many is too many? The answer: any. In the old city a 12 year old girl was stabbed by her arab neighbor (29 yo male “freedom fighter”) because the Jewish girl was committing the terrible racist apartheid crime of walking to the makolet. You like them so much you go live with them. Lets see how well they tolerate you! Oh, and btw it’s “ku klux klan”, not “klu-klux-klan”. (Although you are clueless on Arabas, the one place you should be klu-eless you’re not.)

      Reply to Comment
    19. Oh, and btw… it’s Arabs, not Arabas.
      (When it comes to tolerance for typos, practice what you preach)
      .
      Using one example of murder doesn’t show much, btw. Try this for size: One man killed dozens of Arabs just because they were committing the terrible racist crime of…. prayer. You like the Jews so much, you go live with them.
      .
      There’s evil on both sides.

      Reply to Comment
      • Yak Fatzko

        Yes, I typed too fast. Acknowledged. But most people (not necessarily you) really think it’s “klu”. Anyway: “One example of murder”??!! Really? Do you remember Sbarros and the Dolphinarium and Munich and many many bus bombings and bulldozer attack in Yerushalayim and thousands of rockets in the Darom and hundreds more… (see here: http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terrorism/terrisraelsum.html ) As for Baruch Goldstein – I condemn his attack – he acted wrongly and against Torah (unless the claims that he knew those Arabs were planning an attack are true, which I doubt.) At any rate – nearly every Jew, right wing like myself included, condemns his action. None of us gave out candies to children, fired our guns in the air, proclaimed him a “glorious martyr”, celebrated him as a national hero, made “Goldtein Day” into a national holiday or taught our children to sing songs about him and to emulate him. But all the hundreds of Arab Jew killers are absolutely venerated by their people and proclaimed heroes and role models for killing Jewish babies and NO ONE dissents. Also – have you lived among Black people? I have. You will find few people more intolerant and filled with vicious Jew hatred than many of the Blacks of the United States. Where I come from a majority of the Blacks believed that the Jews were responsible for slavery and that Jewish doctors infect Black babies with AIDS. Also see here: ( http://nymag.com/news/features/49091/index1.html )

        Reply to Comment
    20. Heavens above, why do them darkies hate us so? D’you think it’s something in their genes?

      Reply to Comment
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