The National Party, which established racial separation in South Africa, did not act out of racist motives, God forbid. It was only working to ensure “separate development of members of ethnic groups in South Africa, while preserving their character, their heritage and their culture.” Thus was apartheid born.
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Although there is no comparison, of course, Finance Minister Yair Lapid wasn’t acting out of objectionable motives when he denied the Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox eligibility for a waiver of value-added tax on the purchase of a home. All he wanted was to benefit those who serve in the army. But in his day Yitzhak Rabin, the late prime minister who also served as chief of staff and defense minister, and knew something about security, didn’t buy the story of conscription as a condition for eligibility, and at a formative moment, which unfortunately passed with the speed of light, he overturned the discrimination in state allowances for the Arabs’ children.
If Lapid continues to operate according to the logic that guided him on this issue, it is very likely that the housing apartheid is only the beginning. Who knows, maybe we will soon be witnesses, for example, to a cancellation of the VAT-waiver on vegetables for anyone who doesn’t serve in the army, and be lucky enough to have a VAT-free tomato for Jews and a VAT-filled tomato for Arabs and the Haredim.
And after all that, Lapid says, “We’re not willing to apologize for the fact that we are Zionists.” And why should he apologize? After all, what’s the cancellation of the VAT benefit compared to the uprooting of Arabs in 1948, for which no honorable Zionist has apologized? Denying the VAT benefit is small change on the continuum of discrimination for which nobody will take responsibility.
Really, why should Lapid apologize, after all that’s the routine of Zionism – to discriminate against the Arabs. And don’t let some hero come and tell me that there is also humane Zionism. Ladies and gentlemen, if there is such Zionism, why are you hiding it in the attic?! The other Zionism is like the forbidden candies of our impoverished youth, which my late mother served only when we had visitors. There are apparently two types: Zionism for Arabs and Zionism for guests.
Meanwhile, the Zionism allocated to Arabs has brought them only bad things: refugee status, uprooting, the Absentee Property Law, discrimination. And after all that, they tell you that Zionism is a national liberation movement. If this liberation can be accomplished only by trampling the national and civic pride of another nation, let it go to hell.
Lapid is creating for us a Zionism of the white Jew, which can’t tolerate the Haredi either unless he patrols the streets of Jenin in full armor. The face of the State of Israel is like that of Lapid: a combination of blatant racism and the sweet talk of the modern world. A Zionism that aspires to join the club of universal values, but at the entrance to its home they celebrate the benighted Middle Ages. Because this is the new Zionism: Racism anointed with the gel of the fitness clubs.
The truth is that I haven’t been a fan of Lapid’s for a long time. He’s a man who cloaks himself in intellectual wax clothing that melts with the first penetration of light. Once, in a monstrous column, he asked the army to display a stock of missiles and then tell the world that it was the cargo of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. A miserable lie, which suits the most benighted of false accusers, or alternatively, mother’s little genius. The day will come when this man will author the “Protocols of the Elders of Palestine” for us.
Yadin Elam revealed in Haaretz how in an interview for Time magazine the genius from the fitness club accused Hamas of the murder of hundreds of Christians in Gaza (Haaretz, May 12), and how, despite repeated requests by Elam regarding the crude lie, his honor the white man didn’t even bother to retract. As we say in Arabic, “It’s a goat even if it flies.” The fact is that my main problem is with the good guys in Yesh Atid such as Ofer Shelah and Yael German, and in the coalition in general, such as Hatnuah’s Amram Mitzna and others.
Well, my good friends: Lift up your heads! You were born free, and you are obligated only to your values. And the leading value is justice, which was created by our God in heaven. Your place is there, and not on the side of discrimination, the handiwork of Satan in hell.