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Thursday, December 20, 2007


Is Zionism racism?

I've asked that question before; here's some more evidence for you to consider when you answer:

Take a look at the nice middle-class couple at the left, Fatina and Ahmad Zubeidat. They're citizens of Israel, and to me they look like a lot of the Israelis who live here in Silicon Valley. He's an architect. But they have a problem...they're Arabs, not Jews:

They had hoped to be in Rakefet, a nearby town where 150 Jewish families live on state land close to the mall project Ahmad is building. After months of interviews and testing, the town's admission committee rejected the Arab couple on the grounds of "social incompatibility."
"The problem lies not with us, but with Jewish society that does not accept the other," says Fatina.

It's not just her perception. Here's something that may well sound familiar to those who have experience with "reasons" why a black in America can't be allowed to have a particular job, or live in a particular neighborhood:

He [the official in charge] told them, Fatina recalled, that although they were "very nice people," he would have to begin marketing Rakefet as a "mixed community" to possible buyers in Tel Aviv if they moved in. The designation would hurt sales.
Nor is this a policy limited to "Israeli rednecks" (a term I just made up by analogy; don't quote me). Tzipi Livni, Israel's foreign minister, is as "mainstream" as they come, not an ultra-right winger like Avigdor Lieberman. Yet even she wants to see people like Fatina and Ahmad leave the land they were born in.
But some Jewish political leaders have suggested that Israel's Arabs, who commonly refer to themselves as Palestinian citizens of Israel, should eventually live in a future Palestinian state, the subject of peace negotiations inaugurated last month in Annapolis, Md. Israel's foreign minister and lead negotiator, Tzipi Livni, said before the meeting that such a state would "be the national answer to the Palestinians" in the territories and those "who live in different refugee camps or in Israel."
The "right to return"? The Israeli leaders want precisely the opposite - the right to expel (or force out by more subtle means - the position of the "moderate" racists) the Palestinians who still remain in Israel.

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