By urging Israel’s Palestinians to take a more active role in civil society, Netanyahu erases an entire history that existed in this land before Zionism.
It is not entirely clear what drove Prime Minister Netanyahu to use this moment and release a video directed at Israel’s Arab citizens. It clocks in at just over three minutes, and I must admit that I couldn’t get through the whole thing. Maybe if it were broadcasted on FaceTime. Maybe.
But the minute and a half that I did watch were enough to see the depth of the man’s cynicism and deceptiveness, and even that no longer surprises anybody.
Netanyahu patronizingly “praises” Israel’s Arab public for their accomplishments: how lovely! You have members of Knesset, judges, doctors, pharmacists, scientists, and renowned authors! In doing so, Netanyahu is actually praising the state for doing going above and beyond to allow Arab citizens to have access to these pleasures.
Netanyahu is using jargon usually deployed by “enlightened” leaders when speaking to immigrant communities: look at how wonderfully you have been absorbed into society, you’re nearly one of us. Of course this kind of rhetoric is imbued with condescension, but there is one important point we must not forget: Palestinian citizens of Israel are not immigrants — they are an indigenous population whose existence was destroyed by Zionism. Now the State of Israel can bask in the crumbs it gives them after all the destruction.
City centers full of judges, doctors, scientists, authors, and everything else you give the Zionist state credit for — they all existed here, Mr. Prime Minister. They existed and flourished before they were made to fight for their existence and the crumbs the state has been so kind as to throw their way over the years. These are the same people you seem so proud of.