Opinion |

Arab Thorns in the Zionist Rose

So, my racist brethren in Kfar Vradim, those who object to Arabs buying lots in a new neighborhood being planned there, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and return to greater Tel Aviv.

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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A statue in Kfar Vradim
A statue in Kfar VradimCredit: àìëñ ìéá÷
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

One can understand the feelings of the residents of Kfar Vradim (Village of Roses) in the Galilee. They thought they would be living in a quality community where they could enjoy the trees and shrubs and flowers, the clear mountain air and blue skies. Then, without warning, everything around them is Arab, wherever they turn. Even the rocks are speaking Arabic.

So we should tell the racists among Kfar Vradim’s residents the following: Your broker, meaning the government, has deceived you. When a law-abiding citizen is cheated by a travel agent who promises them a pool at a hotel where there is barely a bathtub, for example, the citizen complains, moves to another hotel and demands compensation.

So, my racist brethren in Kfar Vradim, those who object to Arabs buying lots in a new neighborhood being planned there, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and return to greater Tel Aviv. Then you can demand compensation from the government and from anyone else who promised you a community that would attract “a strong population from the center of the country.” Instead you found Arabs surrounding you. Arabs, Arabs and more Arabs. It’s depressing.

It’s great that the head of the local council in Kfar Vradim, Sivan Yechieli, put a stop to a bid on any future lots in the new neighborhood as part of his responsibility, as he put it, to preserve the community’s secular Jewish-Zionist character. The move came after it turned out that half of the successful bidders for the first stage of the neighborhood are Arab.

Then they tell you that Zionism isn’t racist. It seems those bastards changed the definition of racism without informing us suckers. In the new lexicon, discrimination against Arabs isn’t racism; it’s a matter of quality of life.

But what are the Arabs supposed to do when the government doesn’t free up land for them for build houses on, and when part of the land in the adjacent Arab community of Tarshiha, for example, now falls within Kfar Vradim’s boundaries? And what can you make of the fact that some those who bid on lots in the new neighborhood could be described as “a strong population”? Doctors, engineers, lawyers who also use a knife and fork at the dinner table and don’t look like “a monkey who has just come down from a tree,” as David Levy, of Mizrahi heritage, bitterly put it.

And we’ll also explain to the Zionist Kfar Vradim council head that, inspired by the community’s founder, industrialist Stef Wertheimer, Kfar Vradim and its streets were not named after public figures. Instead they were named after flowers, trees, streams and mountains. A great man, Wertheimer. Through the street names, he was seeking to bring human beings together with their environment. His dreams are in line with Palestinian reality, which is filled with the names of plants and trees and anything that the fertile land provides to human beings.

Take for example Meron Benvenisti, who in his book, “The Dream of the White Sabra,” wrote: “The richness inherent in the names that the Arabs have bestowed on places is amazing in its beauty, in its sensitivity to the landscape, in its subtleness of perception and the choice of images.”

Forgive me. My thoughts have wandered for a moment to “birch slope,” the Palestinian Arabic name for the ascent to the town of Kiryat Tivon from Haifa. Even when I am far from there, I can smell the intoxicating fragrance of the birch. The name has been suppressed, as perhaps has the fragrance.

This Jewish ethnic country finds itself facing the Arab, whose very existence unfortunately is seen as an obstacle to the fulfillment of its plans. Moderate Zionists have already lowered their expectations and all they want is a Jewish majority in Israel. But the question that has not yet been solved is what a “Jewish majority” means.

At first we understood that it meant a Jewish majority in the country as a whole. Then the demand was raised to include a Jewish majority in the Galilee and then also in the Negev. But it isn’t stopping there, extending the demand to cities, villages, soon to be followed by families.

Let’s hope that those who keep count of Arabs don’t find out that in the village of Yafia, where I live, the population is 100 percent Arab. It will get them thinking about the demographic balance in every little place. Woe is me if they find out that I, Odeh Bisharat, am myself 100 percent Arab. Maybe someone will think about giving me genetic injections for the sake of demographic balance. But, optimist that I am, I don’t think it will come to that.

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