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Israel is preoccupied with racism lately. Of course the cases that get the most coverage are the stories of the Holocaust-denying bishop, or the host of UN Holocaust memorial skipping the event, or how the Gaza offensive is spuring a rise in anti-Semitic incidents across Europe.
All this is true, and some of it even worrying, but the stories I’d like to focus on are of different events. Yesterday, I managed to read 5 stories of racism inflicted by Jews on the Arab citizens of Israel. The 8:00 O’clock news even included one story in their last segment. But that was yesterday, and today I couldn’t even find all of the stories in the Ha’aretz website, because they’re deeply buried in the archives. No followup stories in the 8:00 O’clock news either. That’s why some of these are from memory.
Nazareth is Burning
"Nine human beings- seven of them minors- were arrested, today, for their alleged involvement in a line of arson cases and violent incidents towards Arabs, residents of Nazareth Eilit. Thus, the lately tensed relationship between Jews and Arabs, comes to it’s climax."
(Micky Heimovitz, Anchorewoman for Channel 10 News)
Nobody said this out loud, but it was felt all over that the attack on Gaza strained inner Arab/Jew relations, inside Israel. That’s what Heimovitz was obviously alluding to, in her prologue. The article that follows this prologue, however, states on the very first line that the wave of arson has been happening for a few months.
"The want to run the Arabs out of the neighborhood. We won’t leave. They can come again and burn the door. We won’t leave."
(Israli Arab, who’s door was burned)
"As girls, we’re afraid to go out at night, so they won’t chase us, won’t bother us."
"Were afraid to walk around our own city."
(14 year-old Arab Israeli girls)
"As far as I know, there’s an organizing of grown men, with bigger abilities, that make sure to keep their future plans covert. It’s not that they’re afraid of the police. Absolutely not. They are afraid of the Shabak- of the Jewish sector… This country will, one day, wake up to severe uprisings. Their results will manifest in many bodies, scattered around Nazareth Eilit."
(Anonymous Israeli of Nazareth Eilit)
These were, without a doubt, hate crimes. All the suspects are religious (this is the type of religion that has nothing to do with spirituality, but the size of the yarmulke on your head). The suspects, of course, are denying all charges.
Tiberias is Bleeding
A young Arab man, Muhamad Mantzur, was attacked by eight 14-16 year-olds. He was walking along the dock in Tiberias, when the boys came up to him, asked him if he’s from the city. When Mantzur replied "no", they asked him if he’s from the neighboring towns. Before he managed to answer, they pushed him to the ground, beat him with bats and kicked him. As they beat him, they kept yelling at him not to come back to Tiberias ever again. Mantzur says he was beaten for 10 minutes, until he managed to get up and get out of there.
Mantzur’s mother blames the politicians for inciting hate:
"The talk of transfer has become the norm… no wonder there are boys who translate this into it being OK to beat Arabs."
No Arab Kids Aloud in the North
This is a story I can’t find anymore. In the North, two happy parents entered their little girl into daycare. All seemed fine, the daycare owner was welcoming, but the next day she called to tell them that their daughter can’t be accepted to the school. After further investigation, it seems that the parents of the other children didn’t like the idea of an Arab child in their children’s daycare.
The Anti-Semetic (wow! It’s actually true in this case!) Bishop got a followup segment in the 8:00 O’clock news, today. Apparently Israel wants to have a hand inside the Vatican’s staff line-up, as well. Muhamad Mantzur, however, didn’t get a followup article. And the fear of an uprising in Nazareth Eilit will not be televised. Because nobody cares, and that’s why it’s so easy to sweep a few Arabs under the rug.