Monday, April 23, 2007

Israel's own anti-semites

Everywhere you look today, there's an Israeli flag flapping. The Jerusalem Post handed out Star of David bunting with each morning paper, and most cars and taxis fly the flag, too. The nation is geared up first to salute all its fallen soldiers and terror victims on Monday. Sirens signal when to show respect. Next comes the big national 59th birthday bash which commemorates David Ben-Gurion declaring the state of Israel in Tel Aviv and putting the kibosh on the British Mandate. Plastic hammers are the big accessory: smash the past, you sabras.

With all this rampant nationalism on display, Ozzy Bee tells me it's particularly disturbing to learn that no anti-semitism laws exist inside this country. There is so much critical coverage of European legislators who outlaw racism, but neglect to specifically ban anti-semitic acts as well. It turns out that there's a homegrown problem with anti-semites inside Israeli cities, mostly vandalism committed by ethnic Ukranian skinheads against the Ultra-Orthodox. They desecrate tombs, steal mezuzahs, and beat up the Haredim. Girls join in the fray. Wire reports and other newspaper articles have estimated that close to 500 acts of anti-semitic violence happen here each year, and are increasingly frequent. Read 'em and weep. Few Israelis acknowledge this great unmentionable, although some admit to institutional prejudice against the "permanently suntanned" Sephardics and Ethiopian immigrants. This resurgence of perverse anti-Jewish sentiment was never envisioned by the founders of the Jewish state. It is a disgrace.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Any resemblance between the sculture of yr boover boy skinhead and the photo next to it of Alan Johnston is, I trust, accidental!
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