Monday, January 30, 2012

Lessons in apartheid


Israel needs a few more lessons in apartheid:

Zionism did not merely pave paths of ethnic discrimination in the occupied territories. Discrimination against civilians exists in every corner of the country.


Salman Masalha | Lessons in apartheid

Scholars of the social sciences know how to defend a public opinion survey. In their way of thinking, this is a scientific tool with which it is possible to assess feelings and understand positions and trends at any given time. Together with these "quiz shows" that supply the masses with a glimpse of the mood of the public, we are also able to familiarize ourselves with the personal feelings, points of view and tendencies of those who conduct the polls.

Zionism did not merely pave paths of ethnic discrimination in the occupied territories. Discrimination against civilians exists in every corner of the country. Research institutes and the media, whether intentionally or not, cooperate with this discrimination and also perpetuate it. In parallel to that, the slogan "a light unto the nations" is repeated here ad nauseum. It is therefore worthwhile comparing the situation in Israel with that among "the nations."

Take, for example, the Population Registry Law. During the era of apartheid in South Africa, the citizens of that country were forced to register themselves with the authorities on the basis of their skin color: white, black or colored. In Israel it is not possible to oblige people to sign up in the registry according to their race or color, since the Jews themselves belong to assorted colors and races: Some are white because they came from Poland or Russia, and others are dark skinned - from Yemen or Ethiopia. With no other option, the Zionist mind was forced to invent a unique solution that was suitable to this place, and which answers the need for separation, and thus it was that the registration was born, of Jews, Arabs, Druze and so forth, in the Israeli Interior Ministry.

Another discriminatory law that was enacted in South Africa allotted separate living areas to different races. One can compare it with the local law about selection committees, whose entire objective is to make it possible for various community settlements to chose who will be allowed to become members - based on ethnic background.

Recently the state has managed to peek into the bedrooms of the Arab citizens via the Citizenship Law, which places restrictions on their marriages. And the last word has not been said on this matter.

The election season is drawing close here. This will no doubt bring blessings and money to all who deal with it, first and foremost the polling institutes. From reports about the surveys we can learn that ethnic separation is alive and well, both in these institutes themselves as well as in most of the Israeli media. Indeed, the latter will pounce on the polls' findings. Politicians will rush to check their popularity among herds of voters. The disappointed politicians who lack inspiration and intelligence will turn to recipes supplied to them by the witch doctors known as media advisers. These witch doctors will instruct the aspiring politicians how to win the support of the masses. Between them and their followers, they will no doubt explain that a political platform is not as important as the show: The more the hopefuls sweat, run around and appear on every screen, the greater their chances of influencing the average voter.

The public opinion surveys also tell us, as noted, about those who conduct them. "If elections were to be held now," the pollsters tell us, this party would get this number of seats, and that party would get that number of seats. Then, at the very end of the detailed report about this and that, within the context of the "menu" of Jewish-democratic parties, will come the eternal sentence: "And the Arab parties will receive such and such a number of seats." Because in the eyes of every "educated" Zionist, every single Arab is an Ahmed, or is assumed to be an Ahmed.

It is therefore not clear why so much time and money is being spent. After all, the election results are a forgone conclusion: 110 Knesset seats to the Jewish parties and 10 seats to the Arab parties - is that not so? Here is yet another lesson in the apartheid sciences.
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Published: Opinions-Haaretz, 30 January 2012

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