A friend of mine in Jerusalem posted this Facebook status update yesterday: "'Hey Arabs, get the fuck out of my country,' direct quote overheard as I was walking by a group of American religious kids here for a year studying in a religious seminary."
We're long past shock over hearing these kinds of statements from some (certainly not all) American Jewish kids in Israel, as anyone who saw or remembers the video "Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem on the eve of Obama's Cairo Address," made by Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana, knows. You can read Max Blumenthal's explanation of why they made it here: http://maxblumenthal.com/2009/06/censored-by-the-huffington-post-imprisoned-by-the-past-why-i-made-feeling-the-hate-in-jerusalem/. The video was censored by several websites, including YouTube and the Huffington Post, but you can hear excerpts from it in the beginning of this video, "Feeling the Hate in Tel Aviv: the Sequel to the Censored Video" at http://maxblumenthal.com/2009/07/feeling-the-hate-in-tel-aviv-the-sequel-to-the-censored-video/.
When "Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem" was censored on YouTube, the organization Jewish Voice for Peace sent YouTube a petition signed by thousands of people, calling the company out on their censorship and asking them to put the video back up. In their explanation for why the video should be shown, JVP said that "the way that these young Jews talk about Muslims and Arabs has become normative inside the Jewish world. We see the seeds of this kind of talk inside institutional Jewish life. Jewish leadership on local, national and international levels doesn't do enough to counter it....[An] example: a settler who advocates denying Palestinian citizens of Israel their civil rights is not marginalized for his views - instead he's become Israel's new foreign minister!" (You can read the full statement and defense of why the Blumenthal/Dana video should be posted and seen here; look to the bottom of the page: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/301/t/9047/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=1990
Indeed: on Monday, the opening of a new neighborhood on confiscated Palestinian land in the West Bank was marked by a ceremony which several Israeli Cabinet Ministers attended. Uzi Landau, Israel's Minister of Infrastructure, reportedly said that "This land is ours and ours alone" ... "It is the Arabs who are occupiers." The full article is here: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1112932.html
Not only was his statement not repudiated, but other ministers attending the ceremony echoed these sentiments. Also in attendance was Supreme Court Judge Eliyakim Rubinstein, a man who, in his former capacity as attorney general, made decisions to dismiss indictments against settlers and pursue prosecution of peace activists.
The new neighborhood for which the ceremony was held on Monday is called Mevaseret Adumim and it links Israel's largest West Bank settlement, Ma'ale Adumim, with Jerusalem. Ha'aretz article describes the ceremony marking the opening of this neighborhood as a "celebration." Given that this new settlement represents the ongoing deterioration of human rights, justice, and even humane rhetoric in Israel, we can ask: what exactly are they celebrating?
Sarah Anne Minkin
Jewish Peace News editors:
Sarah Anne Minkin
Lincoln Z. Shlensky
Jewish Peace News archive and blog: http://jewishpeacenews.blogspot.com
Jewish Peace News sends its news clippings only to subscribers. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or manage your subscription, go to http://www.jewishpeacenews.net