Hating Arabs is Netanyahu’s gift to Israelis

Gideon Levy in Haaretz:

Benjamin Netanyahu’s children attacked an Arab cleaning man on the seaside promenade in Tel Aviv and caused him serious injuries. They attacked an Arab waiter in a Tel Aviv restaurant with chairs and their fists. They attacked an Arab from Upper Nazareth at the shore of Lake Kinneret because they heard him speaking Arabic. Netanyahu’s children waved hate-filled signs against Muslim players of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team and set fire to its clubhouse. Netanyahu’s children attacked an Arab woman on a Jerusalem light rail train just because she was an Arab.

All these events took place in Israel within a few days. The attackers were of course not the prime minister’s biological children, but they all were the creation of his spirit, students of his views and pupils of his government’s policies. These Israeli skinheads are the fruits of the nationalistic and racist atmosphere that has grown greatly in recent years, the Netanyahu years.

Such a streak of anti-Arab violence is not just a coincidence of course. So many of these kind of violent acts in such a short time never happened here before. Their source is planted deep within the Israeli experience that Likud-led governments have acted to nurture. A Jewish child grows up in Israel with the feeling he is a member of the chosen people, one who is allowed to do almost anything. He learns that only his people have rights to this land. This child knows his country must be Jewish, and only Jewish.

During the Netanyahu years the child grew up with a feeling of continual danger, usually exaggerated and hollow. He hears all day long of the dangers lying in wait for him, all at the hands of Arabs and Muslims. He learns he is the member of a people who are always the greatest victims, there are no other victims. There are those who repeat for him that the Arabs are not people like he is, it is doubtful whether they are human beings at all; just suspicious objects, terrorists. They all want to throw him into the sea, stab him, plant a bomb, shoot a Qassam rocket at him or blow themselves up next to him. The child learns that Israel’s Arab citizens are a cancer, a stab in the back of the nation and a fifth column; and it is necessary to strip them of all their remnants of rights. He learns that Israel “gives” the Arabs too much.

He sees alongside the road a fancy house in an Arab village and tells himself: Look at that. He hears Arab members of Knesset and tells himself: Look at us, what a democracy. He sees a veiled woman or hears someone speaking Arabic and knows this means danger. He doesn’t even think to compare the treatment of Jews in Europe in the 1930s to the treatment of Arabs in Israel. He has never met an Arab Israeli for a real conversation, and there is absolutely no chance of that with a Palestinian from the territories.

This child knows nothing about the Nakba, except that it is an invention of Israel-haters and the very mention of it is treason. Of the hundreds of villages that were destroyed and the fate of their hundreds of thousands of residents, some of whom still live in Israel, torn away from their families, banished from their lands and villages − he knows nothing at all and wants to know nothing. He has no idea what it means to be an Arab child his age in Israel who hears the prime minister of both of them describe the Arab child as a demographic threat. The Jewish child has never heard a single good word from the prime minister on a fifth of the citizens of his country, only condemnation, threats, exclusion and danger. All this he learned in even more forceful terms in recent years, the latest Likud years.

18 comments
  • http://twitter.com/DICKERSON3870 John Lewis-Dickerson

    RE: “Netanyahu’s children waved hate-filled signs against Muslim players of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team and set fire to its clubhouse. Netanyahu’s children waved hate-filled signs against Muslim players of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team and set fire to its clubhouse.” – Gideon Levey

    MY COMMENT: It almost sounds as though “Netanyahu’s children” are Israel’s equivalent of Mussolini’s Blackshirts. Considering the origins of the Beitar (a/k/a Betar) Movement, I guess it should come as no great surprise. Of course, ‘Lieberman’s children’ are just as bad or worse. And ‘Feiglin’s children’ are far, far worse.

    ● FROM WIKIPEDIA [Betar]:

    (EXCERPT) The Betar Movement (בית”ר, also spelled Beitar) is a Revisionist Zionist youth movement founded in 1923 in Riga, Latvia, by Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky. Betar has been traditionally linked to the original Herut and then Likud political parties of Israel, and was closely affiliated with the pre-Israel Revisionist Zionist splinter group Irgun Zevai Leumi. It was one of many right-wing movements and youth groups arising at that time out of a worldwide emergence of fascism.[1] Some of the most prominent politicians of Israel were Betarim in their youth, most notably Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin, the latter of whom idolized Jabotinsky.[2]. . .
    . . . The group initially praised Mussolini for his anti-communism and fascist principles, leading it to adopt the black uniform shirt of Italian fascism for a short period. Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia, however, was seen as “cowardly” by Betar and led them to break with him shortly after.[8]. . .

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betar

    ● ALSO SEE: “The Hidden History of Zionism”, Chapter 6, by Ralph Schoenman

    [EXCERPT] . . . Mussolini set up squadrons of the Revisionist Zionist youth movement, Betar, in black shirts in emulation of his own Fascist bands.
    When Menachem Begin became chief of Betar, he preferred the brown shirts of the Hitler gangs, a uniform Begin and Betar members wore to all meetings and rallies – at which they greeted each other and opened and closed meetings with the fascist salute. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.marxists.de/middleast/schoenman/ch06.htm