I don’t want to live in a country in which, before a flight, the teacher Ezies Elias Shehadeh is stripped of her clothing and humiliated to tears. There isn’t a place on the planet where the working assumption is that a teacher, who has a family of her own, seeks to blow herself up in midair. The regular security screening is sufficient. Anything beyond this is sadism, abuse by technocrats and people who follow orders. The banality of evil. Implementing l’esprit du commandant.
- Arab Teacher Strip-searched at Airport
- New Law Sets Apart Muslims, Christians
- 'No Tolerance for Arab National Aspirations'
- Arab MKs to Teach Airport Staff About Humiliation
- Bibi's Demand Risks U.S.-Israel Ties
- Half-a-million Snake-handlers
I no longer want to live in the most racist state in the free world. This spring I turn 40, and the country will 66 years old. Since childhood I have vowed to fight for a better future here, but when it comes to race theory everything has deteriorated. Cabinet ministers and Knesset members are forever promoting and ensuring determining Jewish identity, Jewish awareness and Jewish tradition. Haaretz last week softly denounced it as “ultranationalism,” but it’s not ultranationalism, it’s racism. The Hebrew edition of Haaretz also began publishing opinion pieces by the director of the Tel Aviv-based institute Psychology in Judaism, Yair Caspi. Were it not for the fact that we’re talking about the Chosen People and the master race, there’s no such thing as Jewish psychology. At most, there is Jewish psychosis.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and those riding on his coattails never stop demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They never asked me. I don’t want to live in a Jewish state. I want to live in a state of human beings. In 2014, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett gets himself into a lather speechifying about the Judaization of the Negev and the Galilee, and heads a party by the name of Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home). If Germans were to return to speaking about lebensraum living space and to found a party called “Aryan Home,” we’d be plotzing. The same if they were to revive “selektzia” (“selection,” as when the Nazis decided which Jews to kill immediately and which to send to the camps). But we carry out selektzia by race, in our airports and also at the entrances of our shopping malls. If they want to inspect, they should inspect everyone. Democracy has its price.
Coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin pushes through laws that give “Christian Arabs” preference over Muslims. A month ago Levin visited Auschwitz and declared that “the Holocaust will never be forgotten and its lessons will continue to be learned even in coming generations.” Did he mean the lessons, or the patterns of thinking? Rank people according to a hierarchy of racist affiliation groups is a Nazi way of thinking. An entire race theory has developed in Israel, that is softened with pedantic shades of definition and rendered legitimate through the pretexts of history and security. There are Jews-only professions, Jews-only institutions and Jews-only communities. Like the Nuremberg Laws, only in reverse.
Jews in Israel enjoy extra legal and political privileges. Only they are allowed to sit in the government coalition, or even in the opposition bloc that obstructs the government’s actions, not MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) and her ilk. Only they may immigrate to Israel. You can be a psychotic American murderer, but if your name is Shmuel Sheinbein you’ll be welcomed with open arms. In Nazi Germany it was “Juden raus!” (Jews out), in Israel it’s “Juden In.” We have turned into a historic disgrace.
There’s a major soccer team whose symbol is the menorah that won’t hire Arab players, and whose fans chant that the Israeli Arab player Salim Tuama is a terrorist. But when an Arab member of the national soccer team or an Arab Supreme Court justice find it difficult to sing the words “a Jewish soul still years” in the national anthem, “Hatikva,” the racists roll their eyes. And the leader of their home, who also just recently returned, all agitated, from a tour of Auschwitz, demands “zero tolerance for the nationalist aspirations of Israeli Arabs.”
Zero tolerance is a term taken from criminology, made popular by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani when he announced his intention to clean the streets. In New York the goal was achieved by force. Help me understand where we’re headed: In a “Jewish nation,” will a proud Arab be considered a criminal, to be dealt with using clubs and pistols?