Racism has to go, even in Israel

By Yousef Munayyer

Throughout the past century there has been a concern about “-isms” and destroying them around the world. First it was communism, then racism, and now, terrorism. One thing that must be made clear is that the destruction of racism throughout the world is not complete, especially not in Israel.

Israel is filled with terrorism and socialism, but one of the most troubling issues in Israel’s policy is racism. In fact, the entire world was examining evidence at the Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. When they found Israel to be guilty of exercising racist practices, Israel and the United States pulled out of the conference.

It is time for the world to recognize that racism is a vice to civilization that must be combated world wide with no exceptions, not even Israel.

It is important for American citizens to be aware of the racist policies that Israel is enacting and carrying out.

One of these racist practices is that the state of Israel does not recognize “Israeli” as a nationality. To the Israeli government you’re either a Jew or you’re not. This is due to the lack of separation between church (temple or mosque) and state. For example, a Jew in Israel would have his identification numerically marked Jew and an Arab marked as Arab. Clearly the idea of equality has been tossed out the window. They go farther only by making Arabs wear yellow crescents armbands on their arms, much like what Hitler did with the Jews. These types of identification lead to racial profiling and a loss of civil liberties, even though the Arabs in Israel pay the same taxes to the same government as the Jews do.

But it doesn’t end there. It is well known throughout Israel that towns in Israel that are primarily Arab do not receive equal funding. And government funded schools in these Arab areas are poorly maintained and funded. This way the Israeli government can insure that the Arabs will not advance in education or standard of living. Israeli professional school universities racially profile and only accept a handful of Arabs a year; those Arabs who do get accepted have graduated from private schools, which are independently funded, or excelled in a poorly funded Arab school.

There is also racism in the workplace in Israel. An Israeli citizen who is of Arab decent will never be given the opportunity to advance to the upper end of management or decision making positions just because he/she is Arab.

Also the idea of being “better” than others is widely held among Israeli Jews. A recent poll conducted by the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahranot showed that a majority believed that they should be treated better than the Arabs.

Racist practices even extend into the classroom. If an Israeli school is taking a class trip to an Israeli air base or military facility, the Arab children in the class are not allowed to come just because they are Arab.

Israel is so unjust that it even denies the decision of its own supreme court. Arabs who were ethnically cleansed form the towns of Biram and Ikrit won a Supreme Court decision to return to their homes. The State of Israel denied the decision of its own supreme court and would not let them return, just because they are Arab. And, as if it couldn’t get worse, the Israeli government gives Arabs the right to vote equally but denies them equal benefits. It is widely known through out Israel that a Jewish woman giving birth will receive a higher government benefit payment than an Arab woman just because she is an Arab.

These practices are blatantly racist. Though the Israeli government grants citizens of Arab decent the right to vote in elections it denies them of many other entitlements. It is also widely known throughout the state of Israel that citizens of Arab decent have been tortured and exposed to extreme forms of punishment within Israel while under investigation, non-Arab Israeli citizens are not subject to this horrid treatment.

Maybe one of the worst racist policies in Israel is that an Arab Palestinian man who was born in Jerusalem and has a deed to property, which he bought before 1948, cannot return to Israel but a Jew from anywhere in the world can come to Israel, claim full citizenship, and live on the land of the Arab man who cannot return.

According to Jack Bernstein, (author of The Life of an American Jew in Racist Marxist Israel) in Israel, it is against the law to attempt to convert a Jew, even if the Jew is an atheist.

Bernstein also brings out an even more racist Israeli policy that permits reading of the gospel in churches but enforces a 5-year prison term for those who teach the New Testament outside of a church building.

Possibly the most appalling of the racist practices in Israel concerns blood. In the mid-1990s it was exposed that the state of Israel had been willfully accepting blood donations from Ethiopian Jews in Israel then tossing the bags of blood out for nearly ten years. Blood, the essence of human life, was discarded as if it was trash. People die waiting for blood every day and this good HUMAN blood was tossed aside. Why? Because of inhumane racist Israeli practices in affect today.

Civil rights activist like Martin Luther King are flipping in their graves because the United States of America supports a regime that practices what they died fighting against. Israel has shown that it not only does not want to live next to Palestinians but it has also shown that it doesn’t even respect the Arab citizens living in Israel.

I am not anti-Semitic. However, I am anti-racist. But when people accuse others of being anti-Semitic for criticizing RACIST Israeli policy, aren’t they equating the two?