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  • Israel policy myth #2: Separation between Jews and Arabs is not racist

    Racist attitudes against Arabs are widespread in Israel. Numerous official policies segregate and separate Jews from Palestinians, with a vastly discriminatory effect and intent. Justifications alluding to security needs, or alleging that separation is based on citizenship rather than ethnic origin, do not withstand close scrutiny. One of the most acrimonious controversies surrounding Israeli policy concerns the accusation that it has created a system of apartheid between Jews and Palestinian in territories under its control. The issue is so sensitive, that some activists have come to refer to the term as "the A-word". While bickering over nomenclature is, in my…

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  • Israel builds town to ensure "the Arabs won't rear their heads"

    The State of Israel is building a town in the country's north. Its purpose: to make sure "the Arabs won't rear their heads" and to "put them in proportion." Anybody objecting to this goal should "go live with the Palestinians" and is "harming Israel's security." Last week, the Knesset passed a bill that legalizes "acceptance committees" in small localities, a tool that is used to maintain segregation between Jews and Arabs (as well as keeping out various other "undesirables"). As I wrote, this bill is just one of the many policies through which Israel denies its Palestinian citizens the right…

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  • Knesset passes segregation law

    The Knesset passed a segregation bill today. Palestinian Israelis are not allowed to live in Jewish localities built on land confiscated from them. Government policy also makes sure they cannot build on the little private land that was left in their ownership. How long can Jewish Israelis continue pretending that Palestinians do not exist? In a session lasting well after midnight, the Knesset passed (Hebrew) a new law, which allows communities of up to 400 members, in the Negev and Galilee (the south and north of Israel, respectively) to form "acceptance committees" that will screen candidates who wish to live in…

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  • Knesset to pass "separate but equal" communities bill

    The new law will allow Jewish communities, built on state land, to reject non-Jews who wish to purchase properties within them. Needless to say, no such settlements are built for Arabs Dr. Nimrod Luz Perceiving ourselves as true liberals and humanists is a nice image we like to see reflected in the mirror. Some of us regard those values as the very essence of Jewish philosophy. Notwithstanding, reality strikes back and many a time puts our faith in basic equality among humans into question.  This fundamental truth - that all people were created equal - seems somewhat jaded in contemporary…

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  • Segregation law: Continuity and change

    The Israeli establishment is in the midst of a pushback against efforts to change long-standing racist and suppressive practices. The increasing assertiveness of Palestinians demands for fairness and equality is met by increasingly explicit racism by Israeli elites. This is why long-held practices are being formally enshrined, rhetoric is becoming more blunt, and differences between Jews and any non-Jew (whether Palestinian or migrant worker) are increasingly highlighted. But how long can this last without tearing Israel apart? I strongly recommend reading Ami Kaufman’s and Yossi Gurvitz’s takes on the “reception committees” bill before the Knesset. They clearly expose its racist…

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  • Introducing ethnic segregation: the Q’aadan curse

    How and why Zionist discrimination against non-Jews is made legal Our story begins with a middle class couple, who wanted to build themselves a house in a country settlement. The time was the early 1990s, and the couple was facing one major problem. ‘Aadel and ‘Iman Q’aadan were not, as their names attest, good Jews. The plot they wanted to build on, in Katzir, was government land which was leased to the Jewish Agency. The JA is a relic of the pre-independence period, and one of its main functions ever since the creation of Israel is to assist the government…

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