Israel makes apartheid the law of the land
From the very beginning Israel had two classes of citizens - Arabs and Jews.
But it wasn't until recent years that the divide was noticeable from the outside.
In practice, Arabs in Israel have often been treated as second-class citizens. Their schools and healthcare institutions are more poorly funded, their roads aren’t always as well maintained. They’ve faced limitations on where they can live and buy property.
In recent years, Israeli right-wingers have sought to exclude Arab legislators from important votes and to require Arab citizens to take loyalty oaths or be stripped of their citizenship.
For those that were paying attention, this looked an awful lot like a different set of laws for an ethnic minority group. Which is nearly impossible to justify.
However, it wasn't until this past week that Israel simply stopped pretending it was interested in justice and democracy.
The Israeli Knesset on Thursday passed into law a bill designed to make a permanent underclass of Palestinian citizens. It threatens to set the country on a course to full-blown Jewish theocracy.
The so-called “Jewish nation-state” bill formalizes in Israeli law the superior rights and privileges that Jewish citizens of the state enjoy over its indigenous Palestinian minority, who comprise roughly 20% of the population. It demotes Arabic from one of two official languages to a mere “special” status, deepens racial segregation by directing the government to “encourage and promote” Jewish settlement, and declares that the right to self-determination in Israel is “exclusive” to the Jewish people, denying the history and ancient Palestinian roots in this land. It also prioritizes the Jewishness of the state over its democratic character, omitting any reference to “democracy” or “equality.”
That article was written by Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Israeli Knesset from the Hadash party.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz had these headlines:
The Bloomberg headline was:
Israel Mocks Its Founding Ideals
The National was no less blunt:
There is now no denying the apartheid state that is Israel
Normally you must be Jewish to criticize Israel. Otherwise you are automatically considered anti-Semitic. And even being Jewish is often not enough to prevent you from being slandered.
On the other hand, there is literally nothing that Israel could do that would cause Washington to condemn it.
Intentionally killing children? Already done that.
Israeli snipers shot a 15-year-old Palestinian boy at Gaza borders for peacefully marching along the border fence. pic.twitter.com/BLZCyGGvVN
— Mustafa (@MustafAbuZir_E) July 14, 2018
Washington has completely abandoned the idea of approaching the Palestinian issue from a viewpoint of anything but the Israeli right-wing's perspective.
It makes me wonder if Israel's left-wing has forever vanished?
For the hard-right in Israel, they are going to need that unquestioning support because they fully intend to commit more horrendous crimes against humanity in the near future.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Friday indicated that Israel was prepared to go to war if the stream of incendiary kites and balloons and other forms of violence from the Gaza Strip did not cease.
“We see in the newspapers that you don’t go to war over kites and fires. However, any reasonable person who sees a natural grove burned or thousands of dunams of agricultural fields scorched understands that this situation is unreasonable,” Liberman said at a press conference in the town of Sderot, just outside the Palestinian coastal enclave.
“We are trying to be considerate and responsible, but the heads of Hamas are forcibly leading us to a situation of not having a choice, to a situation in which we will need to carry out a large and painful military operation — not something that’s just for show, but a large and painful military operation,” he said.
“I think that the only people responsible for this are the heads of Hamas, but unfortunately all the residents of Gaza will be forced to pay the price,” Liberman added.
The defense minister said Israel was prepared to “carry out an operation that is of a much wider scope and much more painful than Operation Protective Edge” — the Israeli name for the 2014 Gaza war.
That 2014 conflict killed over 1,200 civilians by the most conservative of counts, and he's talking about a "much wider scope and much more painful".
And for what? Burning kites!?!
At least 140 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the Friday protests began, including dozens of unarmed children. More than 16,000 others have been wounded.
The Gaza people are protesting for a right of return. Israel is trying to disenfranchise and/or kick out the few Arabs that remain.
One side has the most advanced military in the world. The other side is children armed with burning kites.
Guess who is playing the victim here?