Why Should Israelis Ignore the Fundamental Racism in Israel?

Tchia Dov
Tchia Dov
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Cartoon: Amos Biderman
Tchia Dov
Tchia Dov

I’m in favor of the temporary law that bars the reunification of Palestinian families, or however it’s described here. That isn’t because I don’t believe in equality or coexistence or everything else a leftist like me is supposed to believe in. On the contrary, it’s because I do believe in it. I believe with all my heart.

Insisting on all kinds of laws and clauses and subclauses that define (supposed) rights held by (supposed) citizens is just a way of whitewashing the injustice. It grants legitimacy to the occupation and racism. It launders our lives into the gray, moldy reality that we have created here: a pretense of enlightenment and humanism and liberalism and all the good things we aren’t.

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I know that an Israeli citizen who falls in love with an indigenous Inuit from the Arctic Circle may have to fill out some forms and wait for several hours at the Interior Ministry, but in the end he will be able to reunite with his beloved and live with her in happiness and peace in Rishon Letzion, or even in one of those settlements that herald the coming of the Messiah. And I think that even this bureaucratic obstacle course, which is relatively mild, is unnecessary.

But it’s all the more so when it comes to Arab citizens, who allegedly have equal rights, who want to marry the descendants of the 1948 refugees – say, a woman whose family came from the village where the man grew up. Someone who, in other circumstances, would have gone to school with him, but, unfortunately, her grandparents fled or were expelled from their homeland and relocated to some refugee camp in the region or, if they were lucky, managed to settle down in one of the neighboring countries or some other country.

Then, when the day comes that their son or daughter wants to marry an Israeli citizen whose family wasn’t expelled, or was expelled but returned, they are foreigners.

And for them, a few forms or a few boring days roaming the corridors of the Interior Ministry won’t suffice. They face an arrogant exceptions committee and investigation by a suspicious Shin Bet security service. And even after all this running around, their application will be rejected.

So I recommend abolishing all these humane humanitarian committees. Instead, just ban all such marriages. I also recommend forbidding a pure Israeli and his Inuit wife to live together in the land of our fathers.

And more generally, why should we pretend, deny the nation-state law, ignore our fundamental racism in Israel? After all, this is a country that views the doctrine of race as its guiding light.

Even Jews who want to live here in the land of their fathers have to prove – by bringing mountains of documents and testimony to confirm it – that they belong to the chosen race. People who in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s walked around with a yellow star on their clothes wouldn’t pass the Interior Ministry’s cruel filtering process today. They would be scornfully rejected. And deported from the country.

Therefore, we have to be even more stringent with everyone who wants to live here in this country of burning heat and endless wars and a high cost of living and rule by rabbis and their grandsons. Anyone who wants to become a citizen of this intolerable country should have to root through his past and his origins and his DNA – to bring his grandmother’s address and his father’s circumcised foreskin.

So why should we make it easier for Arab families to reunite? After all, we know they’re all potential terrorists. And why do they necessarily have to marry a Palestinian from Ramallah? Is there a shortage of decent single women in the Galilee? Let them make do with what there is.

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