Racism in Israeli Society: Winning Elections, Spewing Hate

Segregated bus lines, the racist chants of Israeli youth and public opinion that favors the transfer of minorities from the state are eminently newsworthy topics, but the newspaper shows little interest in informing readers of such things. The Times would have us believe that Israelis are the victims—but not the perpetrators—of ethnic violence, and it gives short shrift to news that fails to support this script.


When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu played the race card in a final attempt to get out the vote last month, it displayed to all the world how such bigoted rhetoric has deep appeal in Israeli society: The effort was successful and swept him to yet another term as head of state.

As voters were going to the polls, he said on Israeli television that Palestinian citizens of the state (“Arabs” in Israeli terms) were “streaming in droves to the polling stations” and “right-wing rule [was] in danger.” At the time, surveys showed his rival Isaac Herzog leading, but the final tally gave Netanyahu a decisive victory.

Here we have a topic worthy of inquiry: How is it possible that the leader of a democracy can make such an openly racist appeal to voters? And what is it in Israeli society that responds to this kind of incitement?

The New York Times

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One response to “Racism in Israeli Society: Winning Elections, Spewing Hate

  1. Heather Spears

    Dear Lora

    I expect you have seen this. wish youwyould write about this subject or direct readers to it. Glad you are going to Gaza Heather

    from *Killing in Gaza, Saving in Nepal*

    The uniform is the same uniform. It’s the uniform whose wearers blew up hundreds of homes and schools and clinics in Gaza last summer. …It’s the uniform that blocks people’s freedom of movement in their own land. It’s the uniform that’s been abusing an entire people for decades.

    Now its wearers are saving lives for the cameras. The evil army in Palestine has become the salvation army in Nepal. ……. Israel doesn’t have to go all the way to Kathmandu to save lives; it would be enough to lift the siege it imposes an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv and let Gaza be rebuilt. It would be enough to allow the 2 million people who live there a bit of freedom. It would enough to decide that during the next attack, which is inevitable, the IDF will act differently. That the same IDF now engaged in rescue will not commit more war crimes. That it will uphold international law, and perhaps even those “universal values” Israel is gloating about now. That the same IDF now hugging babies will not bomb homes with babies inside them.

    But all this is of course much harder than sending a 747 to Kathmandu and setting up the largest possible, best-equipped field hospital in front of the accompanying army of reporters, and applauding the beautiful, virtuous, moral Israel.

    for entire article by Gideon Levy, go to http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.654183

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