Israel Defensive Racism

Israel’s Defensive Racism

Ameer Makhoul

A series of discriminatory laws have been proposed and discussed in the Knesset recently.Signs are multiplying that the State of Israel is pushing for a violent confrontation with the Arab population. They wish to change the names of cities and “Hebraicize” them, to destroy homes, to privatize the property of Palestinian refugees and Judaize it, to legislate the “loyalty” laws currently proposed by the dozen, in addition to the laws of citizenship and the Naqba. An entire state galloping toward confrontation.
The question arises as to why the State of Israel is legislating fundamentally racist laws? The more interesting question is, why is the state legislating these same laws when it already possesses sufficient tools with which to implement equivalent policies forming the basis of the current racist legislation. The State of Israel enjoys emergency laws and regulations inherited from the British mandate period, and, according to Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, there currently exist more than twenty discriminatory laws, beginning with laws concerning immigration and citizenship and through land and planning laws, all the way to loyalty laws. So why does the state need additional laws, which are superfluous even from the perspective of state security?
We are not witness to defensive democracy but defensive racism. This is an encouraging sign, as the Arab population is sufficiently powerful and organized in defense of its rights and freedom of expression, and additional oppression and racism will simply contribute to the internal strength of this population.
The hidden racism is becoming open and stated. This does not alter the essence of the state, but as a state of law with a high degree of centralization, the state is giving a message to every racist that the law will not prevent him from expressing his nationalist yearnings, and so occurred the events in Acre last year and the buds for the coming future.
The Arab population blames the state of Israel and all of its political, security, legal and civilian administrations for intentionally pushing it into the corner and for the imposition of confrontation, after which there will perhaps be a collective use of the new laws. Laws which at their core are laws of confrontation as they are unenforceable without state violence.
The Arab population further contends that the State of Israel is walking on a very dangerous wire and racing in the direction of the Director of the General Security Services (GSS), who pegged the Arab population already in 2007 as a strategic danger, and of course for a strategic danger there will be an attempted targeted assassination from this same school of thought.
From another perspective, we are witnessing a state losing its balance and lacking in horizon. A state whose policy makers lag far behind historical developments. There is no other place in the world in which legislation is passed in response to the racist instinct of this or that minister who wishes to Hebraicize the name of an Arab-Palestinian town or determine for an Arab to whom he must be loyal. In this case, it is not the Arab population undergoing a crisis but the state, which is not missing any opportunity to attempt and harm the position of the Arab population and the entire Palestinian people.
The State of Israel is attempting to cope with the natural development of the Arab-Palestinian consciousness which developed under conditions imposed upon the Palestinian people and to force loyalty, create collaborators or employ a mechanism of terror and fear of taking part in public life. A state that wants the Arab youth to forget its homeland, forget its people and to give up on the national and human dignity for enforced loyalty to the state of Jews. Go find such an Arab!
The State of Israel can indeed force a confrontation with the Arab population, but it cannot control the results of such a confrontation, not in the short term, and, more importantly, not in the long term. And if the State of Israel wishes to veto the legitimacy of the existence of the Arab population in the latter’s homeland, the legitimacy equation is not in the benefit of Israel and the Arab population is not the weak side.

The writer is Chairperson of the Public Committee for Defence of Freedoms in the framework of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, and Executive Director of Ittijah.

This article originally appeared in Hagada Hasmalit, a left radical forum in the Hebrew language.

Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC).

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