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When racism and segregation are perceived as 'legitimate rights'

Protests against Arab families moving into Jewish cities are a reminder that until everyone is free to choose where they want to live, the Israeli regime will remain segregationist and racist at its core.

By Suhad Bishara

Right-wing activists shout at Palestinian activists, during a protest for the release of Palestinian Mohammed Allan, who is held by Israel without trial and who has slipped into a coma after a nearly two-month hunger strike, in the city of Ashkelon, August 16, 2015. Police prevented from Palestinian and Israeli activists to arrive to the hospital in which Allan is held, arresting eight activists, using pepper spray and skunk water canon. (photos: Keren Manor / Activestills.org)

Illustrative photo of demonstration by far-right Israelis. (Activestills.org)

Jewish residents of the northern Israeli city of Afula protested last week against the sale of a home to an Arab family and the possibility that the city would have a mixed Jewish-Arab population. I have no doubt that every person who believes in freedom and justice will view this protest as an expression of pro-segregation racism reminiscent of South African apartheid.

The protest comes just a few months after Sivan Yehieli, the head of the Kfar Vradim Municipal Council, announced that his pastoral town must maintain its Zionist-Jewish character after 58 Arab citizens won bids to build their homes in the town.

Let’s make one thing clear: 150 protesters are not an aberration in Israel. They were simply expressing overtly the racist segregation upon which Israel’s land regime was founded. This is precisely how military rule over Israel’s Arab citizens – in effect from 1949 until 1966 – functioned: “cleansing” vast swaths of land in order to settle Jews and to ensure reserves of land that would continue to exclusively serve Israeli Jews.

This “cleansing” process was implemented, among other ways, via the construction of hundreds of new Jewish towns and communities, as well as through the establishment of admissions committees in kibbutzim, moshavim, and other communities.

Yehieli faithfully represents the Israeli planning authorities’ policy aimed at demographically re-engineering the country. He represents an Israeli legal system that refused to allow the implementation of its own decision to allow the internally-displaced Palestinian residents of Iqrit and Bir’im to return to their villages, that gave the green light to the Admissions Committees Law, and that allows the state to uproot the residents of Umm al-Hiran in order to replace them with Jewish citizens – just like during and immediately following the Nakba. And we can expect much more of the same.

Bedouin women collect their belongings from the ruins of their demolished homes in the village of Umm al-Hiran, Negev desert, January 18, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Bedouin women collect their belongings from the ruins of their demolished homes in the village of Umm al-Hiran, Negev desert, January 18, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

It is no coincidence that the proposed nation-state basic law includes a clause that authorizes the state to “allow a community, including those belonging to one religion or nationality, to maintain separate community living.” This proposed basic law will constitutionally and normatively affirm Israel’s policy of segregation. In effect, Arabs’ citizenship will continue to be contingent, provided that it does not conflict with Jewish statehood and supremacy and the “right” of Jewish citizens to choose to live separately without other citizens sabotaging their desire for homogeneity.

Much of the criticism leveled at the racism of Afula’s residents focuses on the lack of development in Arab communities, which results in the necessity of young Arab citizens to seek housing solutions in nearby Jewish towns.

This thinking prevents envisioning a situation in which an Arab citizen of Israel has the right to choose where she/he wants to live simply because it suits her/him to live there. It buys into the paradigm of a discriminatory, racist, and apartheid-like land regime that forces them to find a circumstantial explanation for the phenomenon, rather than simply calling it by its name: racism and segregation.

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Imagine a scenario in which the Israeli government takes unprecedented steps to allocate land for the development of Arab communities. Imagine that it begins developing Arab communities of all kinds — cities, villages, and agricultural communities — while also ensuring the development of industrial and commercial zones in accordance with the principles of distributive and restorative justice.

But yet, even in this scenario, it remains the right of every Arab citizen to decide where he or she wants to live — be it Kfar Vradim, Tel Aviv, or Afula.

As long as Israeli state authorities cannot or will not imagine the country’s land as open to all, we cannot talk about justice or constitutional rights. The Israeli regime will remain segregationist and racist at its core. Segregated living will remain racist, even under the guise of “separate but equal.”

Imagine protesters demonstrating against Jews buying homes in a Christian town in Europe. Israelis would declare them racists and anti-Semites, and Israel’s prime minister would surely remark that it reminds him of the dark days leading up to the Holocaust. Inside Israel, however, an almost identical scene is framed by Afula’s former mayor Avi Elkabetz as such: “The residents of Afula do not want a mixed city. They want a Jewish city — and this is their right. This isn’t racism.”

Thus racism in Israel magically becomes the “legitimate right” of the Jewish citizen.

Attorney Suhad Bishara is the Director of the Land and Planning Rights Unit, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. This article was first published in Hebrew on Haokets. Read it here.

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    COMMENTS

      • itshak Gordin Halevy

        Some Arab men tend to disturb women by their inappropriate behavior. Would you like your wife or daughter to be bothered by men who think that a woman in a swimsuit is like a prostitute?

        Reply to Comment
      • Ido

        It’s so easy to be enlightened when you’re far from the actual situation. There is a town called ‘Cochav Yair’ where there was no separation, you know what happened ? the place became a nightmare. Huge jump in theft, “hafla” on the pool’s grass, violence, sexual assaults on a daily basis.
        let’s see what you’ll do when your 14 year old daughter comes home crying from the pool because someone grabbed her under the water. Same thing is happening now in Germany where they hand out swimming pool etiquette guides after repeated sexual harassment reports against migrants or Sweden where Swedish women started ‘vigilante’ patrols at swimming pools after reports of repeating sexual assaults by refugees.
        This is not racism or Apartheid, this is incompatible mentality and culture.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Oh, how the racists always come back to “our daughters.” And swimming pools. Never fails.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ido

          It’s so easy to be an enlightened ignorant fool when you’re far from the problem. So you again deny reality and substitute it with your own ? or you just wanted to make it known that again you have no idea what you’re talking about ? You seem to neglect the part where the same thing is happening in Germany and Sweden. Germany banned Muslims from pools which to me is shocking because they prefer to suffer and not do something that can make them appear intolerant. Apparently the Muslims in those pools crossed even their line:
          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35326090

          Reply to Comment
        • Pepper Wingate

          Daughters are the reasons immigrants in Europe use to demand separate men and women’s hours in public pools in Europe.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Thanks for that tangential swimming pool tidbit you heard somewhere. I hope if that’s true that those immigrants are redirected with education and cultural awareness training. I had not known that you hold up new Muslim immigrants in Europe as a model of Israeli Jewish awareness and behavior, Ms. Wingate. When did you undergo this surprising conversion? The fundamentalist Muslim immigrant as Israeli right wing cultural leader. Who knew? It’s a new day.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            Answered you in the Facebook comments section. As usual you have no idea what you’re talking about.

            Reply to Comment
        • Ido

          Ben, gave you an answer in the Facebook comments, this site is taking hours to post my response.

          Reply to Comment
    1. Gershom

      The last two paragraphs are devastating, that such acts take place, that the horror of them must be pointed out and that humanist observation be ignored,when it is not defamed and all this in a place which it’s abettors call “The Jewish State”. This is worse than “holocaust denial” it is Holocaust endorsement.

      Ms. Bishara, may your strength and your patience never fail us all and more so may they meet with the progress you work so wonderfully for.

      Reply to Comment
    2. itshak Gordin Halevy

      The problem is sensitive. Indeed, the Arabs constitute the 20% of the population of Israel, but also more than 70% of the prison population. The drug market is often in Arab hands. Cases of domestic violence, honor killings, robberies, incests and rapes often highlight this Arab minority. Not to mention terrorism. One can understand the mistrust of some.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        A masterpiece of obtuseness and racism. From the country where the former president is a convicted rapist.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ido

          And you say that based on your vast knowledge of Israeli society ? he was not wrong. Not sure about the exact 70% figure but it’s definitely the majority. Would you like me to look up the updated statistics for you ?
          I’m also guessing you didn’t know a President in Israel is a ceremonial position with no actual authority but that was you deflecting and irrelevant.
          I’m curious, are you aware of the endemic problem of sexual assaults and rapes in the Arab world ? Or about the phenomena known as ‘honor killing’ ? about tribal blood feuds ? about tribal mentality in general ?
          You’re a masterpiece of ignorance and denial of reality, once again.

          Reply to Comment
        • itshak Gordin Halevy

          You do not live in Israel and you are probably not Jewish (or so very assimilated) and you claim to give us lessons? Stop being ridiculous.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Halevy, it’s none of your business how “assimilated” or “impure” from a Jewish standpoint you think I am, or where you think I live. That’s just more of the neo-fascism and supremacism you feel entitlement to.
            +972 Magazine is written intentionally to target the outside world because Noam Sheizaf saw that he simply could not get through to most Israelis. And he had tried. And everything you’ve ever written here affirms Sheizaf’s judgment in spades.
            I had not known this forum was intended to provide a lectern to the likes of you while the others who disagree sit there gagged, tied and forced to listen. It’s not. That you think I should shut up is exactly why this magazine exists.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Bruce Gould

      I’m certain an entire book could be written on the trope of protecting our nubile daughters from the impure races, but until that book comes out I recommend “Goliath” by Max Blumenthal – he’s got a chapter on that topic as it relates to Israeli society.

      Reply to Comment
      • Lewis from Afula

        Bruce:
        Islam is the Religion of Peace, dontchuknow ?
        The million British girls raped by Muslim grooming gangs in the UK over the last 20 years disagree.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ido

        Oh it’s so easy to be “enlightened” when you have no idea what you’re talking about and you are far from the actual situation to witness it yourself. Maybe you should write a book about the sexual harassment epidemic in the Arab/Islamic world or the mentality and cultural differences. I would start with Egypt and Morocco since they are the worst. The links I posted in the Facebook comments can be a hint as well.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Ido Geller got through an entire post without calling me a “liar.” Is he at long last, in recovery from this nasty habit? [chuckle]

          However, notably, he did call me “deflecting and irrelevant” for mentioning that the former president of Israel is a convicted rapist—which I said to a a guy who likes to couple “Arabs” and “rape” in response to an article about racial discrimination with respect to housing. (Tell me, oh patronizing one, were Katsav’s assaults ‘ceremonial’ too? Is Ofek Buchris a ceremonial general?) And then, in a classic shoot-in-foot maneuver, Ido in the next breath spouts the deflecting and irrelevant “endemic problem of sexual assaults and rapes in the Arab world.”

          And then, topping it all off, Ido lectures Bruce on not being there in Afula, on being “far from the actual situation,” then points to…what? To Afula? No, to Morocco and Egypt! LoL.

          If we want to look at relevant other places we should study Lihi Yona’s excellent article today about why we ought to at Kfar Smaryahu and similar addresses, not just Afula, just as Americans should have been looking at ‘Cadillac High’ School and not just Little Rock Central High School..
          https://972mag.com/the-color-of-racism-what-many-get-wrong-about-race-relations-in-israel/136388/

          But you know it makes perfect sense if you’re a racist-supremacist, to look at Morocco and at poor uneducated European immigrants from backwards places because then all “those people” everywhere and in every station are all alike and not to be distinguished from Israeli citizens, or citizen of any level of education or financial means (including the means to buy houses and land in “Jewish” neighborhoods only to be told after you sign the papers that you’re the wrong ethnicity—something that would be flatly illegal in the U.S.). And it encapsulates all the deflecting and irrelevant nonsense and seizing on hearsay about isolated incidents in other parts of the world and Russian-style fake news, above.
          And it makes perfect sense to go immediately from blatant housing discrimination based on race to swimming pools and “our daughters.”
          And it makes perfect sense to be clueless about how exactly like 1950s American Southerners they sound.

          But, again, Lihi Yona’s excellent article today, needs to be incorporated here–about why we must be looking at Israeli places more affluent and “liberal” than Afula if we want to be honest and examine the various levels of hypocrisy and why it is that the Israeli left fails.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 1): “Ido Geller got through an entire post without calling me a “liar.” – you didn’t lie yet, just posted about something you have absolutely no clue about.
            “he did call me “deflecting and irrelevant”” – nope, now you’re lying. I called what you said irrelevant when you mentioned the Israeli President.
            “which I said to a a guy who likes to couple “Arabs” and “rape”” – your analogy would be right if every Israeli was a President. Guess what ?
            Again: you seem to have absolutely no idea about what is going on in Arab/Islamic countries regarding sexual assult. I suggest some reading on the subject. Start with Egypt, a country where rape is one of the most common crimes. A country where marital rape is not considered a crime by law.
            You apparently have zero knowledge of Arab mentality and culture. Rapes are usually not reported in Egypt due to the fear of social rejection and culturally it’s not accepted.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_Egypt

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 2): “oh patronizing one” – pointing out how you’re clueless about a subject you have apparently zero knowledge about is patronizing ? hilarious.
            “were Katsav’s assaults ‘ceremonial’ too?” – no and neither are the sexual assults prevalent in the Arab/Islamic world. Where the hell did you get that one from ?
            “Is Ofek Buchris a ceremonial general?” – are all Israeli military officers rapists ? and he wasn’t convicted for rape but since when actual facts are important to you ?
            “spouts the deflecting and irrelevant “endemic problem of sexual assaults and rapes in the Arab world.” – so you had no idea about this ? no clue ? and I wasn’t “deflecting” I was answering an ignoranrt post about a public swimming pool in southern Israel with separate hours for Jews and Bedouin.
            The post is right there. Are you going to deny it exists ? as per your tradition ?
            “then points to…what? To Afula? No, to Morocco and Egypt! LoL. ” – um, I refuse to believe you are this stupid. I know this will come as shocking to you, but some cultural behavior of Arabs is not decided by which country they live in, see the many examples in the Facebook comments section where I provided evidence to what I said, which you ignored of course.
            “If we want to look at relevant other places we should study Lihi Yona’s excellent article” – did she mention what happens to Jews who buy property in Arab towns ? did she mention the Palestinian law which sentences to death anyone who sells land to a Jew ?
            This is a very old law, pre modern Israel I believe which the Palestinians adopted with ethusiasm.
            Of course your article has absolutely nothing to do with what I was discussing but from knowing you it’s expected.
            “makes perfect sense if you’re a racist-supremacist” – we have already established that you have no idea about what is discussed, that you are clueless about some uncomfortable aspects of Arab mentality, that you are too politically correct to accept facts when they stare you in the face (see my posts in the Facebook comments section).
            If lying and calling me names makes you ignore all of it, something you can easily verify by checking actual statistics from the Arab/Islamic world, I’m not judging. I find it amusing as usual.
            “because then all “those people” everywhere and in every station are all alike” – liar. That’s not what I said. Read my links above in the Facebook comments section: “some immigrants, almost all from Muslim countries”.
            Please by all means where have I ever said every Arab/Islamic person behave this way ? please show me where I said they are all alike ? can you at least discuss one thing without lying like this ?
            “and not to be distinguished from Israeli citizens, or citizen of any level of education or financial means” – again: look at statistics per region and country and get back to me. Must be blissful to be as ignorant as you in some way.
            “something that would be flatly illegal in the U.S” – What happened later ? the article is kinda missing that part since what the protesters did is also against the law in Israel. There is mistrust and enemity between Jews and Arabs after you see Israeli Arabs chanting “Death to Israel” in marches in Arab towns in Israel. this would be much worse for Jews of course who buy property in an Arab city and of course there is a Palestinian law which sentences to death anyone who sells land to a Jew.
            You mentioned racism ?
            “about isolated incidents” – how can you be this clueless ? about a factually proven phenomena in the Arab/Islamic world, especially after the cover-up attempts regarding the mass sexual abuse in Germany and in Sweden ? by “men of Arab background” ?
            When the problem is so prevalent in Arab countries it’s not “isolated incident”. And if you think someone from an Arab/Islamic country drops all his mentality and culture and becomes a progressive European the moment he sets foot on European soil you are dumber than I thought.
            “housing discrimination based on race to swimming pools and “our daughters.”” – yes, it was already established that you have absolutely no idea about what is talked about. Not a clue.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            An obsessive and weak response even for you, Ido. (And relapsing severely in the second sentence. Oh well.)

            As I read him and his confused thinking, Ido Geller, just sort of insinuated that every Arab is a rapist. If he didn’t mean to insinuate that then he had better look at his English language composition skills:

            “which I said to a a guy who likes to couple “Arabs” and “rape”” – your analogy would be right if every Israeli was a President.

            Note also how every disagreement is met by Ido with “so you have no idea about….X”). Really it’s quite amazing and you wouldn’t believe someone would argue this weakly if you did not see it on the page.

            And the corollary “are you going to deny it exists?” Towards what point that weird accusation is flung is a mystery. But lots of things Ido says are mysteries.

            Then Ido goes on to say, in so many insinuating words that (I paraphrase, LoL) I can’t believe you are so stupid, don’t you know all Arabs are pretty much alike?

            RE: “…Jews who buy property in Arab towns…”
            SEE:
            https://972mag.com/the-law-is-what-keeps-the-edifice-of-occupation-from-crashing-down/136323/
            “…And yet, there are things I would absolutely refuse to do. I will not represent a Palestinian who wants to sell his land to settlers. I will not stand in his way. I may help him find a good lawyer, but I won’t do it. This, to me, is theft. This isn’t a situation of a sale between equal two sides acting of their own free will….”

            RE: “Please by all means where have I ever said every Arab/Islamic person behave this way ?…”
            Of course people who do what you do don’t come right out and say it, they insinuate. That’s the whole game.

            RE” “…statistics…”
            Are offering a statistical defense of categorical, blatant and offically supported race-based discrimination in housing, based on some numbers you are going to find on rape somewhere? You’re not kidding us? Really? If not, again, take a look at your composition skills.

            RE: “Is Ofek Buchris a ceremonial general?” – are all Israeli military officers rapists ?
            No,and that was exactly my point. Not all Arabs are rapists either. Nor does any of this highly charged, cheap, racist-supremacist, sexually accusatory talk of yours have anything not “deflecting and irrelevant” to do with the subject of this article, but you are trying mightily to assert that it does but are losing the argument.

            The rest of what you write descends into frank incoherence. It’s not my job to decipher it. Is there an Ido Geller-Honest English Language Rosetta Stone somewhere?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 1) “An obsessive and weak response even for you, Ido” – odd that you’ll say something about a post where again I showed how you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about and how you lied again.

            “just sort of insinuated that every Arab is a rapist” – why are you lying about this again ? I just prove3d how you lied about this before and you do so again, no instead of outright claiming I said ‘all’ you drop it down to ‘insinuating’. Pathetic.
            You lied. Caught you with your pants down. I specifically said not all and provided evidence for everything I said, see the Facebook comments section. Provided you evidence about my example, Egypt. of course you ignored all of this.
            “he had better look at his English language composition skills” – trying to use squirming semantics ? you’re adorable. I specifically said some immigrants, almost all from Muslim countries, seem to have a problem adjusting to a new culture other than their own. I was very specific.
            Your obsessive lying about me got the better of you again. How embarrassing for you.
            “your analogy would be right if every Israeli was a President” – your nonsense seems right for someone who has no idea what he’s talking about. I provided evidence for what I posted, provided evidence for what I said about Egypt. You haven’t addressed it once.
            “I paraphrase, LoL” – oh I remember your “paraphrasing”. Interesting interpretation for lying. Just like you used “critique” for saying factually incorrect nonsense as I proved in great detail over and over again.
            “I can’t believe you are so stupid, don’t you know all Arabs are pretty much alike” – again: not what I said. I said sexual harassment is more prevalent in Arab/Islamic countries and I provided proof and an example. As someone who was born and lived in a country where 20% of the population is Arab I have witnessed this multiple times.
            You have no idea what you’re talking about, it’s so easy to be “enlightened” when you don’t have to face this yourself. Ask the Germans, Austrians and Swedish from the links I provided.
            “…Jews who buy property in Arab towns…”” – liar, this has nothing to do with what I posted, Jews who buy property in Arab towns IN ISRAEL, and of course you ignored this:
            https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/PA-Death-penalty-for-those-who-sell-land-to-Jews

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 2): “will not represent a Palestinian who wants to sell his land to settlers” – Palestinian law see this is high treason and the seller is as good as dead. Why are you ignoring this ? you mentioned racism ?
            “Of course people who do what you do don’t come right out and say it, they insinuate” – why are you again lying about this ? I was very specific. I didn’t insinuate anything, I explain (and provided evidence) for what I said. You, of course, are lying and not addressing said evidence.
            “Are offering a statistical defense of categorical, blatant and offically supported race-based discrimination” – the phenomena of sexual harrasment and abuse is prevalent in the Arab/Islamic world. You can deny it, lie to yourself, bang your head in the wall, reality isn’t going to change. Thhis does not
            mean any Arab/Muslim who comes from Morocoo, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen are will be a rapist, but this is a fact: in those countries violence against women, reproductive rights, treatment of women within the family, their integration into society and attitudes towards a woman’s role in politics and the economy is a lot worse than any country in Europe or Israel.
            Followed closely by Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar.
            Some examples, the result of tribal mentality and Islamic law: (added the link in the Facebook comments section in my original post):

            EGYPT:
            99.3 percent of women and girls are subjected to sexual harassment.
            27.2 million women and girls – or 91 percent of the female population – are victims of female genital mutilation.

            SAUDI ARABIA:
            Marital rape is not recognized and rape victims risk being charged with adultery.

            MOROCCO:
            17,000 incidents of violence against women were reported in the first 3 months of 2008.

            ALGERIA:
            Algerian law doesn’t recognize spousal rape.
            But there is some progress: In October 2012, Algeria made its first-ever conviction for sexual harassment! this is literally insane.

            TUNISIA:
            Domestic abuse and marital rape laws are rarely enforced.

            KUWAIT:
            Kuwait has no laws against domestic abuse and marital rape.

            JORDAN:
            Despite its reputation as a progressive state, Jordan ranked second-worst in the category of honor killings. Guess who are usually the victims ?
            681 cases of rape and sexual assault were reported to the Family Protection Department in 2012.

            SYRIA:
            Girls as young as 12 have been married in refugee camps – in civilized society this is called rape.
            More than 4,000 cases of rape and sexual mutilation have been reported to the Syrian Network for Human Rights.
            There are reports of government forces and armed militias sexually abusing women and girls during home raids and in detention centers.

            YEMEN:
            No law deals effectively with domestic abuse and marital rape isn’t recognized.
            There is no legal minimum age for marriage – child brides are common.

            SUDAN:
            Victims often don’t report rape, fearing they will be tried for adultery.

            BAHRAIN:
            The Penal Code says a rapist can avoid punishment if he marries his victim – wanna marry that girl ? just rape her. her family will sell her to you to avoid “dishonor to the family” and the court will approve.
            A woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s in an Islamic court (yay Islam!)

            UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:
            Marital rape is not recognized and the law permits men to discipline their wives physically.

            LIBYA:
            Intimidation and harassment of women by militias and extremists has been widely reported.

            Is this anything similar to your country ? I’ll post more detailed statistics in the Facebook comments section. Are you going to ignore it again ?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 3): “No,and that was exactly my point” – hilarious lie, you brought Ofek Buchris as an example of a military officer rapist. This backfired when I pointed out he wasn’t convicted of rape, the accusation was of rape and that’s probably the cause
            of your mistake. Nice backtracking “no..no.. I brought him as an example for the counter point I was making in the same sentence”. Pathetic. Hilarious though.

            “Not all Arabs are rapists” – I know. Never said all of them are. That’s you lying again about me.
            “Nor does any of this highly charged, cheap, racist-supremacist” – look at the evidence I posted in the Facebook comments section. Reality disagrees with you.

            “but are losing the argument” – by providing evidence for my point ? by proving you have no idea what you’re talking about ? by proving how you’re a liar ? interesting interpretation.
            “The rest of what you write descends into frank incoherence” – by all means, which part were you having difficulty with ? the part where I proved you’re a liar or the part where I showed you’re clueless ?

            I posted detailed evidence for you in the Facebook comments section, enjoy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            As I said, a lot of Ido’s responses are mystifying in their logic and motivation. Head-scratching. One points out the obvious, that statistics about rape in Morocco or wherever are the epitome of “deflecting and irrelevant” nonsense on the topic of overt racist-supremacist housing discrimination in a northern Israeli town (and reflect the sexual obsession of a deeply racist mindset) and what does Ido do? He stubbornly doubles down, like an obstinate cartoon character, and heaps on piles of statistics and internet gleanings about sexual crimes in Morocco and other countries. And says “are you trying to deny this”? Is there a clearer, better example of Missing the Point? Are he and Halevy now in neck and neck competition for the world record in Missing the Point?

            Some relevant statistics: As of this writing, a search of “liar,” “lying” and “lied” turns up 21 usages on this page alone! Ido, does somebody pay you for each use of these words?
            Is this an Israeli thing? Do Israelis sit around and argue with each other by saying, in response to any disagreement or any argument, “Liar.! No, that’s you lying! Hilarious, you lied, you liar! No, you’re hilarious and pathetic too and why are you lying about me liar?!…”
            None of my Israeli friends talk like this though.

            When it comes down to it, though, there’s nothing funny about it and there is an appalling “ick” factor here that makes Suhad Bishara’s case for him–look how off topic we are, look at how quickly and stubbornly racist-supremacists try to move any conversation about race relations to something sexual and keep it there.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            correction: …Suhad Bishara’s case for her…

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            Attempt #2: (part 1) Ben, I made a statement and provided evidence for it. Evidence you didn’t address once, as usual. Just like you didn’t even touch the evidence about what Palestinians do for the crime of selling land to a Jew. Maybe it’ll all go away, right ?
            You can deny it as much as you want but these facts, as proven by the evidence I provided in the Facebook comments section, are not going to change: sexual harrassment and rape is prevalent in the Arab/Islamic world, a result of tribal mentality, cultural and social traditions, repressed sexuality, treating women like sub-humans, Islamic law, cultural customs like child brides,
            leniency or even acquittal for rape and harassment to the point where in some countries they don’t bother to report it, blaming the women for the abuse, regarding women simply as sex objects, or as I witnessed many time: considering girls who are not Muslim as immoral and as a result they are whores, fair game.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 2): “that statistics about rape in Morocco or wherever are the epitome” – yes, pointing how the situation is much, much worse in Arab/Islamic countries after claiming so is “deflecting and irrelevant”. This is good stuff.
            “overt racist-supremacist housing discrimination in a northern Israeli town” – I answered you about this, you ignored it. I also pointed out what happens in the Palestinian side which you ignored now for three times.
            I repeat, this is what I answered regarding your article: “What happened later ? the article is kinda missing that part since what the protesters did is also against the law in Israel. There is mistrust and enemity between Jews and Arabs after you see Israeli Arabs chanting “Death to Israel” in marches in Arab towns in Israel.”
            “(and reflect the sexual obsession of a deeply racist mindset)” – um, what the hell are you talking about ?
            “He stubbornly doubles down” – yes, providing how you’re wrong and have no idea what you’re talking about is “douubling down”. Why do you lie to yourself ? do you think it’ll make all the evidence go away ?
            “heaps on piles of statistics and internet gleanings about sexual crimes in Morocco and other countries” – yes, proving my point about the situation in Arab/Islamic countries has nothing to do with what I claimed about said Arab/Islamic countries, right ? and you want me to take you seriously ?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 3): “And says “are you trying to deny this”? ” – because you do. And you ignored what happens to Palestinians who sell land to Jews as dictated by the actual Palestinian law. You refuse to accept reality. Doing so is not going to change it.
            “As of this writing, a search of “liar,” “lying” and “lied” turns up 21 usages on this page alone” – Yes, counting how many times I point out how you’re a clueless liar will cancel out the evidence that you’re a clueless liar, as always. How pathetic can you be ?
            “Ido, does somebody pay you for each use of these words?” – sure why not. And I get a bonus when people ask me this so thanks.
            “in response to any disagreement” – disagreement ? hilarious. OK, sure. Your disagreement with the sad reality.
            Do I need to remind you how you lied when you claimed I said all Arabs are sexual predators or some similar nonsense ?
            “look how off topic we are” – do I even need to point out I was responding to a specific post made by some guy about public pools ? nah, you’ll just ignore it as always.
            “look at how quickly and stubbornly racist-supremacists try to move any conversation about race relations to something sexual” – hilarious coming from a clueless liar who repeatedly ignores what happens to Palestinians who dare sell land to Jews.
            Look, this is very, very simple: I was responding to a post about pools separation and one of the reasons for it are constant sexual harassment by Arab men. So when are you going to actually address the evidence I provided ? proving everything I said ?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            How exhausting and unproductive and a waste of time this all is. But I am glad to have touched on the importance of Lihi Yona’s article.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            Hilarious.. you again ignored all the evidence I provided, proving everything I said, ignored for a a 4th time the racist Palestinian law about what happens when they sell land to a Jew, ignored everything I said including my response regarding the article, but hey: you “touched the importance of the article” so it’s all good.
            Which evidence is wrong ? which statistic is inaccurate ? which explanation for this behavior, which I provided several times now, is wrong ?
            You’re a joke.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 1), Attempt #3, this site is a technological marvel.
            Ben, I provided evidence for everything i Said. Evidence you didn’t address once, as usual. Just like you didn’t even touch the evidence about what Palestinians do for the crime of selling land to a Jew. Maybe it’ll all go away, right ?
            You can deny it as much as you want but these facts, as proven by the evidence I provided in the Facebook comments section, are not going to change: harassment of the types I mentioned is prevalent in the Arab/Islamic world, a result of tribal mentality, cultural and social traditions, treating women like sub-humans, Islamic law, cultural customs like child brides, leniency or even acquittal for rape and harassment by law to the point where in some countries they don’t bother to report it, blaming the women for the abuse, or as I witnessed many time: considering girls who are not Muslim as immoral and as a result they are sluts, fair game. And since they are not Muslim/Arab there is no risk of starting a blood feud.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            Ben, I made a statement and provided evidence for it. Evidence you didn’t address once, as usual. Just like you didn’t even touch the evidence about what Palestinians do for the crime of selling land to a Jew. Maybe it’ll all go away, right ?
            You can deny it as much as you want but these facts, as proven by the evidence I provided in the Facebook comments section, are not going to change: sexual harassment and rape is prevalent in the Arab/Islamic world, a result of tribal mentality, cultural and social traditions, repressed sexuality, treating women like sub-humans, Islamic law, cultural customs like child brides,leniency or even acquittal for rape and harassment to the point where in some countries they don’t bother to report it, blaming the women for the abuse, regarding women simply as sex objects, or as I witnessed many times: considering girls who are not Muslim as immoral and as a result they are whores, fair game.

            “that statistics about rape in Morocco or wherever are the epitome” – yes, pointing how the situation is much, much worse in Arab/Islamic countries after claiming so is “deflecting and irrelevant”. This is good stuff.
            “overt racist-supremacist housing discrimination in a northern Israeli town” – I answered about this, you ignored it. I also pointed out what happens in the Palestinian side which you ignored now for three times.
            I repeat, this is what I answered regarding your article: “What happened later ? the article is kinda missing that part since what the protesters did is also against the law in Israel. There is mistrust and enmity between Jews and Arabs after you see Israeli Arabs chanting “Death to Israel” in marches in Arab towns in Israel.”
            “(and reflect the sexual obsession of a deeply racist mindset)” – um, what the hell are you talking about ?
            “He stubbornly doubles down” – yes, providing how you’re wrong and have no idea what you’re talking about is “doubling down”. Why do you lie to yourself ? do you think it’ll make all the evidence go away ?
            “heaps on piles of statistics and internet gleanings about sexual crimes in Morocco and other countries” – yes, proving my point about the situation in Arab/Islamic countries has nothing to do with what I claimed about said Arab/Islamic countries, right ? and you want me to take you seriously ?
            “And says “are you trying to deny this”? ” – because you do, you ignore it or claim it isn’t so. Like you ignored what happens to Palestinians who sell land to Jews as dictated by the actual Palestinian law. You refuse to accept reality.
            “As of this writing, a search of “liar,” “lying” and “lied” turns up 21 usages on this page alone” – Yes, counting how many times I point out how you’re a clueless liar will cancel out the evidence that you’re a clueless liar, as always. How pathetic can you be ?
            “Ido, does somebody pay you for each use of these words?” – yes why not. And I get a bonus when people ask me this.
            “in response to any disagreement” – disagreement ? hilarious. OK, sure. Your disagreement with the sad reality.
            Do I need to remind you how you lied when you claimed I said all Arabs are sexual predators or some similar nonsense ?
            “look how off topic we are” – do I even need to point out I was responding to a specific post made by some guy about public pools ? nah, you’ll just ignore it as always.
            “look at how quickly and stubbornly racist-supremacists try to move any conversation about race relations to something sexual” – hilarious coming from a clueless liar who repeatedly ignores what happens to Palestinians who dare sell land to Jews. You mentioned racism ?
            Look, this is very, very simple: I was responding to a post about pool separation and one of the reasons for it is constant sexual harassment by Arab men. So when are you going to actually address the evidence I provided ? proving everything I said ?

            Reply to Comment
    4. Joel

      If a Black wants to move into an all-white community, and nobody is willing to sell him a house, it is very easy to identify that as racism. When a White person wants to move into a Navajo community, and nobody is willing to sell him a house- is that racism, or is it just the Navajo Nation protecting its own communities?

      Reply to Comment
      • john

        in this metaphor, was afula still puchased in the 1900s for exclusive jewish settlement? or was it treaty land, granted by the duplicity of the palestinian state?

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          John, I don’t see how this is relevant. I am talking about the community, not history. But OK, let’s take a more neutral example. If a non-Amish White wants to move into an Amish town, and nobody there will sell him a house- is that racist? Please try to just answer the question.

          Reply to Comment
          • john

            it’d be understandable, though still debatable, if afula were also a religious community seeking to segregate themselves from ‘the english’. & not necessarily racist. if it’s segregated on religious grounds, afula would be a ‘judaized no-go zone’; as it is, it’s simply a ‘jewish city’ in a ‘jewish state’ that is not run by its religion, but uses an ethnic ‘jewish national’ determination to keep the natives out of sight, out of mind.
            what is a community without its history?

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            So, in your viewpoint, communities are defined only by religion? That is a very strange idea, to say the least, and it denies all sorts of people, including Jews, their very identity.

            Reply to Comment
          • john

            the amish are a religious group, and you’ll never be able to effectively justify segregation in a democracy.

            Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Joel’s post brings out nicely the Israeli obliviousness to massive power imbalances. Their studios ignoring of massive power imbalances. So, the response to the frank and abiding racism of Afula (and Kfar Shmaryahu) is to say, in so many words, “but the Palestinians won’t let Israeli Jews buy a house in the occupied territories, no fair!, I guess we’ll just have to steal it by calling it a closed military zone!” (And typically they add that frisson of “terror” and victimology by oohing and aaahing about how “people get killed for selling to a Jew, the horror!”)
        SEE: “…And yet, there are things I would absolutely refuse to do. I will not represent a Palestinian who wants to sell his land to settlers. I will not stand in his way. I may help him find a good lawyer, but I won’t do it. This, to me, is theft. This isn’t a situation of a sale between equal two sides acting of their own free will….”
        https://972mag.com/the-law-is-what-keeps-the-edifice-of-occupation-from-crashing-down/136323/

        And with respect to inside the Green Line there is the really fantastic obliviousness of refusing to recognize that thousands of new towns have been approved for Israeli Jews and not a single one for Israeli non-Bedouin Arabs. Not a single one! And the Arab ones ruthlessly fenced in and not allowed to expand! The mind boggles at the self righteous obliviousness. The chutzpah!

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          Ben, your response has nothing to do with what I actually wrote. Why don’t you read what i wrote once more, and then answer? And think about it. There is a natural tendency to view events in other countries through the prism of American race relations. But Israel is not the US. I tried to bring examples from the US experience that are closer to what is going on in Israel than the Black-White racial tensions in the US.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Joel, please explain? How does my response have nothing to with what you wrote?

            I am going to logically assume, from a common sense standpoint, that in your examples the rough analogy is Navajo = Palestinian and White = Israeli Jewish. And Amish = Palestinian and non-Amish White = Israeli Jewish. So, I have to assume you made a cognitive mistake here, and meant to write:

            When a Navajo person wants to move into a White community, and nobody is willing to sell him a house- is that racism, or is it just the White Nation protecting its own communities?

            And,

            If an Amish wants to move into a non-Amish White town, and nobody there will sell him a house- is that racist?

            What are your answers?

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Ben, you very deliberately read my post in the reverse way. The Jews living in Afula form an ethnic group, much like the Amish, or the Navajo. The outsider- the ‘white’ in my example, are Arabs who want to move in. You know very well that is what I meant. And you know that you will understand that if a Navajo or Amish community is closed to outsiders, but if the community is Jews-at least Israeli Jews- well, somehow that is different. That is racism.

            One of the thing I find in discussion like this is a projection of American race relations on Israel. It is quite natural to do so, and quite inaccurate as well.

            Reply to Comment
          • john

            it’s telling that you pretend the jews of afula are a minority.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            I dont pretend they are a minority. Nor is it relevant.

            Reply to Comment
          • john

            in your examples you chose the navajo and amish, two minorities in america, to justify segregating an israeli city, as if afula were an enclave in a hostile country.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            John, Israel is a Jewish enclave in a hostile Middle East. In a hostile world. Think of a Navajo reservation that was an independent country. It is hard for many Americans to see that Israel is the ethnic nation-state of the Jews. The US is very different in that regard. That is the basic thing to understand.

            Beyond this- of course Israel isn’t perfect- far from it. No country is. Do you think it would be difficult to paint the US as a horrible fascist racist state? (Even before D Trump). Just pick the right facts and incidents, and Chicago looks like hell on earth. A little perspective will help. There is a knee-jerk reaction here. If you hate Israel, then automatically you look for the bad, and ignore the good. And you can convince yourself that Israel is the absolute worst country in the world. So why would Muslim Arabs tell me that Israel is “paradise”? Why do Muslim Circassians gladly serve in the Israeli army?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Let’s unpack this. There’s lots in here. It’s illuminating.

            Joel, your questions were a set-up, with a fake, misleading premise, and by turning it around I exposed the fake premise. Which fake premise is that Israeli Jews are discriminated against because they are somehow singled out unlike white people in America—as if white people in America would not be immediately taken to task and by you most of all if they ranted and rioted about Jews or blacks moving into their non-Jewish white “community.” And mayors and other government officials joined in the pile on. Which fake premise is also that Israeli Jews are in any way comparable to Navajo and Old Order Amish in their respective contexts. This is why you kept asking “just answer the question” because by “just answering the question” you trick the answerer into agreeing with the premise beforehand.

            You speak of Israel as “a Jewish enclave in a hostile Middle East.” But this is a distortion, certainly in this context. Israel is more accurately a mixed-ethnic state with the most power military, by far, of any nation in the region, backed to the hilt by the world’s superpower. It is aggressively, comfortably, occupying its neighbor and severely oppressing it. Its leaders boast all the time that it can defend itself, and it can. Its leaders also boast of it being the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. Arab citizens living in Afula have absolutely nothing to do with the security of Israel. When John called you out on your misleading use of ethnic analogies, you began suddenly mixing your security peanut butter with your ethnic discrimination chocolate, manipulatively, but they are separate things.

            More to follow.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Let’s take the Navajo first. The Navajo are a special case because of the reservation system. (It is really curious to me that you would shoot yourself in the foot at the root of your argument with this example.) With separate laws and governance, arising as the residual historical product of a massive destructive “settlement enterprise,” an occupation, in previous centuries. So now white people should take umbrage if the Navajo were hesitant to have whites move in on their reservations? You pose this as a serious analogy to what is happening in Afula? It is supremely twisted. Arabs in Israel have long been seen, rightly I think, as “placed on reservations” in terms of land, housing, development, education, services and all sorts of things. And here you are arguing some twisted inside out version of all that. It’s manipulative and rings hollow. Now, if a group of Navajo moved to an ordinary American town outside their reservation in significant numbers and aggressively tried to exclude Whites, Blacks or Asians from moving in to their neighborhoods, rest assured no one would or should accept that. But where has that actually happened, Joel?
            Where is the hegemonic “Navajo National Fund’ that refuses to sell the American land to non-Navaho? Excuse me?

            More to follow. The Amish are next.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Let’s go with your false premise just for arguments sake for a minute longer. I think that will further expose it as fake. To wit:

            Where has it actually happened that a non-Amish White has bought a house in Amish country and a bunch of yelling screaming Old Order Amish ranted and rioted about this? The example you pose is preposterous and fake. These Amish could not be more different that the Israeli Jews of Afula in how they respond to their neighbors. They may respectfully keep their lives mostly separate but they would never aggressively object to non-Amish neighbors as the citizens of Afula are doing. In fact the Amish are quite good neighbors. The difference here is telling. The ethos of the Old Order Amish is not exclusionary and supremacist. Not so in Afula. And where has it happened that the Amish not only behaved in such a hostile way towards outsiders but that the mayor and other US government massively backed them?

            Your analogies backfire massively, Joel.

            More to follow.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You are posing Israeli Jews as some sort of quaint tiny old fashioned community of subsistence farmers and furniture makers surrounded by a privileged majority that wants to, would and could move in on them and destroy their culture. It’s just not true. It’s fake. The opposite is much more the case. Israel seems out to destroy Palestinian culture, to divide, separate and grind it to dust. 

            Now look up at the title of this page. You have not made your case for, and I submit you have on the contrary fatally undermined your case for the proposition that racism and segregation are rightly perceived as ‘legitimate rights’.

            That’s enough for today. I look forward to examining this further if you wish.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Ben, I will do my best to respond briefly. I don’t think Israelis in Afula are exactly the same as the Navajo or the Amish. I was bringing those examples to try and help you understand that Israel is an ethnic state. You insist that it is not: “Israel is more accurately a mixed-ethnic state”. You are simply wrong here. It is a Jewish State, was founded as such, and remains such. Yes, there are non-Jews living in Israel, but that doesn’t change the basic nature of the state. This is the key point.
            For those of us whose Jewish identity consists largely of seeking Justice (a very Jewish thing, as I am sure you are aware), it is possible to forget that Jews are a People. A Nation. Not just a group of people with liberal beliefs.
            Ben, for an American Jew, who lives in a comfortable minority-friendly democracy, it can be hard to remember how Jews were treated over the centuries, and that there is a real risk that things can turn around and be bad for the Jews, even in the US. (It is already happening in some parts of Europe). A personal note here: Back in the McCarthy era my parents, both born in the US, opened up a bank account in Canada. Just in case.

            Some of your other comments are irrelevant. Like this one: “…with the most power military, by far, of any nation in the region, backed to the hilt by the world’s superpower…” Years ago, when Israel was weak and an underdog, would the ‘racism’ be acceptable?
            Or this: “You are posing Israeli Jews as some sort of quaint tiny old fashioned community of subsistence farmers and furniture makers “. No, I’m not, as you know full well. You are taking my example far too literally, as a rhetorical device. If my position on this matter is wrong, you should be able to show that without resort to such tricks.

            To repeat: Israel is a Jewish State, was founded as such, and remains such.

            Reply to Comment
          • john

            if you want your analogies to be taken seriously, they need to be analogous, to wit: ‘Imagine protesters demonstrating against Jews buying homes in a Christian town in Europe. Israelis would declare them racists and anti-Semites, and Israel’s prime minister would surely remark that it reminds him of the dark days leading up to the Holocaust. Inside Israel, however, an almost identical scene is framed by Afula’s former mayor Avi Elkabetz as such: “The residents of Afula do not want a mixed city. They want a Jewish city — and this is their right. This isn’t racism.”’

            Reply to Comment
          • john

            oh, i see the confusion: you were talking about the right of return and why israel can’t allow it for both jews and palestinians, while i was talking about the subject of the article, segregation inside the only democracy in the middle east.
            btw, ‘ethnic nation state’ is a popular phrase among the antisemites who tell my jewish neighbors to go to israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            John, if you think Israel should not exist, and that Jews should not have their own State, just say it. All this hate that you express seems to be based on that premise.

            Reply to Comment
          • duh

            Jews should be able to have their own state. We can put it somewhere in continental North America (maybe one of those islands dotting the coast of New Foundland). Then we won’t hear anymore bitching about how Israel lives in a “rough neighborhood”. And it’ll be safer than living next door to Syria, Egypt, et. al.

            Oh right, then you wouldn’t have “Eretz Israel”. Guess that’s more important than being safe.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Duh, are you aware of the history of the Zionist movement? There was the Uganda proposal. rejected in 1905. Why? Jews prefer “Eretz Israel”, i.e. their ancestral lands. Your proposal is ironic- “Hey- let’s give the Jews the land we stole from the Native Americans!”

            Reply to Comment
          • duh

            Joel: Good point. Israel should strike a blow for indigenous rights by cutting all ties with the US and Canada. That’ll teach those colonial-settlers.

            Since we’re exchanging notes on Zionist history, Herzl also pursued the idea of Cyprus at one point. But he didn’t consider Cyprus or Uganda mutually exclusive to Palestine.

            “In the first excitement I wanted to write to Eulenburg and make proposals in case it was true. Germany would then have to welcome a Jewish settlement on Cyprus with delight. We would rally on Cyprus and one day go over to Eretz Israel and take it by force, as it was taken from us long ago.” (Complete Herzl Diaries III 1023 – 4 Jan 1901)

            Remark by Herzl to Nordau:

            “(…) Look at Britain! It pours its excess population into the vast empire that it was able to acquire. Are we then so craven as to be frightened of the offer made to us? Starting from their national base, nations have built colonial empires that have made their fortunes. Let us accept the chance offered us to become a miniature England. Let us start by acquiring our colonies! From them, we shall launch the conquest of our Homeland. Let the lands between Kilimanjaro and Kenya become those of the first colony of Israel! They, rather than Edmond de Rothschild’s philanthropic supported refugees, will constitute the real Rishon le-Zion, the first fruits of Zionism, of the New Israel.”

            archive.org/stream/TheCompleteDiariesOfTheodorHerzl_201606/TheCompleteDiariesOfTheodorHerzlEngVolume3_OCR#page/n102/mode/1up

            books.google.com/books?id=z99L5XBsbdkC&pg=PA244#v=onepage&q&f=false

            Reply to Comment
          • john

            what hate? i only know segregation is wrong, and jews are safe in america.
            i know israel is like any other country, and it has its baked-in problems just like america does. in the comments here we can only help by addressing those problems honestly.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            @Joel: You introduced the Navajo and the Amish as directly meaningful analogies and now when confronted on the implications of what you are saying, and how these analogies not only don’t stand up to scrutiny but backfire, you are backtracking. Joel, you posed the Navajo and Amish as something like Israeli Jews. You did it very clearly and repeatedly. It is no “trick” of mine to show how your analogies are full of holes.

            Likewise, you introduced the idea the Israel is “an enclave in a hostile world,” somehow insinuating that by extension Afula is a similar “enclave” surrounding by hostiles. It is not. But you introduced the concept of security. So my comments about Israel’s defensive capabilities are entirely relevant. You can’t introduce ideas (which I agree you poorly connect, but that is not my fault) and then tell me that my confronting the ideas you introduce is “irrelevant.”

            More to follow, on the “ethnic state” concept you simply assert and would ask us to accept, unexamined. We are going to examine it. With reference to the thinking of two seminal +972 writers on this concept: Tomer Persico, and Noam Sheizaf.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Joel: “Israel is an ethnic state… a Jewish State…the basic nature of the state…This is the key point.”

            It sure is the key point you are making, Joel, and on this key point I am not “simply wrong” and you are not “right.” There is nothing “simple” about it. You are cavalierly, simplistically throwing around “ethnic state” without defining what you mean, but it seems clear that in your “ethnic state” you think it just fine for the dominant ethnicity to practice frank racial discrimination (the subject of this article on this page).

            Frankly I had not expected you to so frankly come out in favor of a Feiglinist state. I thought you were going to angle for something more subtle, but apparently not. OK, this is easy. I am not sure you even know what you are saying, so blithe do you seem about this, but study Tomer Persico’s essay here:

            A ‘truly’ Jewish democracy: On the ideology of Likud’s Moshe Feiglin
            https://972mag.com/a-truly-jewish-democracy-on-the-ideology-of-likuds-moshe-feiglin/62170/

            More to follow, on “a truly Jewish democracy.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            With your “ethnic state,” Joel, you are arguing for a “popular” democracy, as explained by Persico. You are arguing for Feiglinism—and there is nothing built into the “ethnic state” you are after that would stop it short it of Feiglinism. And your own cavalierness about what is going on in Afula is testimony to that brakeless slippery slope into Feigilinsm. Whereas you would never ever argue for anti-Semitic White Supremacism in the United States, you are arguing for its Jewish equivalent in Israel. Whether  you know it or not. (I think you poorly connect your ideas and their implications so it was kind of hard to know what you’re truly driving at but there is nothing ambiguous about “ethnic state” as you are using it here.) 

            And, Joel, by coming out like this with this frank admission of what “ethnic state” means (remember, you are defending the Jewish citizens of Afula denying land and houses, bought and paid for, to Arab citizens simply because they are not Jewish) you give powerful confirmation to the well-founded suspicions of all those who say the Palestinians would be fools to agree to recognize “a Jewish state.” The cat is out of the bag here and you let it out. 

            More to follow, on the problem with “a Jewish state.” 

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The best single thing on the problem with this “Jewish State” concept is Noam Sheizaf’s essay from 2013. It clarifies a lot: 

            By Noam Sheizaf |Published September 11, 2013
            Why I oppose recognizing Israel as a Jewish state
            A country can, at least in theory, be ‘Israeli and democratic.’ It cannot and will never be ‘Jewish and democratic.’
            https://972mag.com/why-i-oppose-recognizing-israel-as-a-jewish-state/78751/

            (Joel, my impression from the shallowness of your arguments here about “an ethnic state” is that you have never read and absorbed things like this essay by Sheizaf and many another analysis on this site. And I also gather this by the shallowness of your calling the magazine hateful, that it has one viewpoint that Israel is evil, and your using the ad hominem “hate” repeatedly and cheaply here. John is right to pick up on it and call you out on it. All your replies to date have a blitheness to them. Not uncommon from Americans in my experience.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            John, Israel is not “just like any other country”. And the fact that Jews feel safe in the US today is very nice for those Jews who happen to live in the US today.

            Regarding honesty: a site that has only one viewpoint, i.e. “Israel is Evil”, and takes every problem in Israel society, real or imagined, current or historical, as proof of how Evil That Country Is, is hardly honest. There isn’t a country in the world that is perfect, and if one wants to paint a country black, it is easily done. Yes, including your beloved US. The only honesty here is honest hate. And that goes for many of the comments here as well.

            Reply to Comment
          • john

            ben, it looks like another troll accidentally outed himself. i’m going to stop feeding him now

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Discounting anybody who disagree with you as a “troll” is a good way to close your eyes and ears, and avoid having to actually deal with issues.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            @Joel: See my comment above on your repetitious slur and ad hominem, “hate.”

            In addition, regarding your statement:

            “John, if you think Israel should not exist, and that Jews should not have their own State, just say it. All this hate that you express seems to be based on that premise.” 

            I read this as a weak assemblage, an anti-Semitizing concoction, that (1) tries to insert without argument the false idea that if one thinks Israel should be something other than “an ethic state” (see Sheizaf, and Persico, above) then that means it “should not exist.” And (2) tries to argue that to point these things out, as John did, is to “express hate.”  None of this is persuasive. I read this as you falling back on anti-Semitizing as a maneuver. 

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Regarding honesty: a site that has only one viewpoint, i.e. “Israel is Evil”, and takes every problem in Israel society, real or imagined, current or historical, as proof of how Evil That Country Is, is hardly honest. There isn’t a country in the world that is perfect, and if one wants to paint a country black, it is easily done.”

            The fact is that +972 Magazine stands out because it is one of the very few publications that actually speaks the truth about what is happening with respect to the occupation. It does this soberly, and with detailed, on-the-ground reporting, by Israelis, Jewish and Arab, that has unmistakable integrity and authenticity. I think that is what you just can’t stand about this Magazine. It’s the same thing, frankly, you can’t stand about Breaking the Silence. So when the actual truth gets exposed, and the truth is as severe as it really is, then the “well, no country is perfect” retort rings awfully hollow.

            Maybe you just are shocked to actually read what is really happening in Israel-Palestine and not the disinformation, propaganda and pablum routinely fed Americans all these years.

            I think what you are also doing here is an attempt at the familiar Israeli propaganda tactic of saying “let’s be ‘balanced’ here, and not ‘one-sided’ about this, shall we?” Always comfortable occupier’s logic for the side with all the power. As if there are “two sides” to what is happening right now to Khan al-Ahmar, as just one example:
            https://972mag.com/israeli-demolition-of-entire-palestinian-village-days-away-villagers-fear/136487/

            And as if these two “sides” “balance” one another. Because you could go on “balancing” that for another fifty years of brutal occupation and land grab. Funny how the settlers and the GOI never talk about “balance” and “two sides” when it comes to permitting Palestinian housing, when it comes to letting Palestinian farmers farm their land and use their water, when it comes to letting Palestinians build their own settlements where they would like, when it comes to investigating crimes and applying the law equally to Jews and Arabs (read the ‘License to Kill’ series of +972 Magazine to inform yourself on this). As you know I could go on with fifty other examples. Where’s the “balance”? Where’s the beef?

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