‘Clean and tidy’ campaign targets non-Jewish foreigners in Israel

Pesach is right around the corner. And while Israel will go through the motions of the holiday, it won’t reach the spirit of Passover. Why?

Israel has lost its moral compass.

I’m not talking about Gaza, the Occupation, or 1948, although the expulsion of the Palestinians is where Israel’s steps first foundered. With Pesach in mind, I’m talking about how Israel is treating the strangers in its land.

The Oz Unit, an arm of the immigration police, is on the streets now cracking down on illegal residents and those that employ them. The campaign, part of Israel’s ongoing attempt to rid the country of non-Jewish foreigners, has been given the revolting name "Clean and Tidy", evoking images not of law enforcement but of ethnic cleansing.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Oded Feller, an attorney with the Association of Civil Rights in Israel remarked, “The state authorities are of course entitled to enforce the law; what we oppose is the disgraceful language that accompanies these sorts of operations. Human beings are not dirt.” 

The Jerusalem Post continued, "Feller said names like ‘Clean and Tidy’ incite hatred of foreigners, and added that it is shameful the government chooses such titles for its operations."

During Pesach, a holiday that commemorates the ancient Hebrews’ flight from oppressive conditions in Africa, we read the Exodus portion of the Torah, which includes the reminder: “You shall not oppress the stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, having been strangers in the land of Egypt.” 

It is shameful to me that Israel will speak these words out of one corner of its mouth while saying "Clean and Tidy" with the other side. Rather than caring for the foreigners in our midst, as Judaism instructs us to, the state is attempting to sweep them away. Considered fair game for deportation are children who were born and raised in Israel, African refugees who have fled war and genocide, and foreign workers who have lost their visas simply because they are were victimized by the flying visa scam—which the government is aware of and does nothing to stop. 

This isn’t a state guided by Judaic values. 

The Conversion Law, currently making its way through Knesset, also flies in the face of Jewish tradition. Under the proposed legislation, some converts—people who were once strangers but now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Jewish people—will no longer have a home in Israel. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the bill includes a provision stating that those "who convert in Israel will only receive automatic citizenship if they were entitled to immigrate under the Law of Return." 

This means that even those who convert in Israel, under the auspices of an Orthodox rabbi, would still need to prove that they have at least one Jewish grandparent.

Taken together, the message of the "Clean and Tidy" campaign and the Conversion Law is loud and clear: whether you are a stranger past or present, you aren’t welcome in the land of Israel. Unless you meet her increasingly stringent ethnic standards.

Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 35 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Citizen says:

    Ah, I recognize this litter box, it’s advanced lumping technology. Hitler did it, David Duke prescribes it. Israel cheer leads it now. The whole USA-Israel thrust makes a mockery of
    the Nuremberg Trials. Isn’t that a fine state of affairs? A regular principled thrust into the blue
    for the victims of the Holocaust.

  2. Chaos4700 says:

    Well, we’ve had the pogroms, the slaughter in the ghetto, the youth and now the state police purging “foreign” influence. What’s next on the itinerary? Gas chambers and crematoriums? Oh, no, that comes later.

    Next up is invading your neighbors.

    • Mooser says:

      As it was in the beginning…..
      And I’m sure a very good case could be made that by the standards of the worst of colonial exploits, Israel is a pretty mild case.
      Everything Israel has done, or will do, was implicit in the conditions of its founding. There is no “Judaic values” past from which Israel has fallen.
      Israel is not, has never been, and will never be, and would be suicidal to accept “Judaic values” as its guiding, or even subsidiary principles, even if they could get three different Jews to settle (no pun intended) on swix different versions of it.
      Israel has been, and will always be, guided by the principles of colonial exigency. And it’s not like the Western world didn’t just go through several centuries of dealing with those exigencies, and we don’t know how they are dealt with. If the Israelis, most of whom are Jewish (the ones that matter, anyway) have decided to incorporate the way they deal with the exigencies of rapacious colonialism into their religion, that’s their problem. It doesn’t change what they are, or their provenance.
      Mya is so eager to make what happens in Israel related to being Jewish. I don’t care how much she appears to condemn what Israel does, the fact that she tries to conflate what is going on with Judaism is the first sign you are dealing with, whether it’s witting or not, Hasbara.
      Or is Mya going to tell us that marriage, association, and ethnic restrictions, and minipulation of residence and legal status have never been used by colonial projects before in an effort to control events, and that all this is somehow a special product of Judaism (or even the lack of it)? As if these laws were not just a rather insignificant part of the whole, but instead a special product of Judaism.

      • Citizen says:

        Yeah, right Mooser, there’s nothing in the Torah or Talmud that supports a POV that is contrary to what the USA says it represents.

  3. Mooser says:

    “This isn’t a state guided by Judaic values.”

    So there is such a thing, and you can demonstrate it exists, and has played a significant part in the history of the Jews.
    Jews have the same values as any other people, which means they vary wildly.
    Sure Mya, we’ll just wait for Israel to wake up and “return” to its Judaic Values.
    But the thought does intrude itself- if we ever did have those “Judaic values” how the hell did Israel get started?
    Could you point me to the Judaic values guidiong the Zionists here:

    link to lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com

    Oh, and BTW, can you tell me how “Judaic values” differ from the principles of humaneness, fairness and decency held by many people of all religions? Will Israel subscribe to those values, or are their special “Judaic values” which supercede them?

    Saying that Israel must subscribe now to “Judaic values” is simply special pleading. “Human values with special Jewish exceptions” is basically what you are saying. And that adds up to nothing.

    It’s a good trick, tho, and you use it continuously: by telling us just how wrong the Israelis are going, you are trying to condition your audience to accept a move equivalent to the move from slavery to Jim Crow as equivalent to the Civil Rights Act.
    And then, of course, the Israelis can only be judged by those amorphous, nebulous and never actualised (on that level, not an individual level) “Judaic values”.

    Mya, if there were “Judaic values” that could be actualised to guide Jews in times of crisis, there wouldn’t be an Israel. You can’t get around that.

    • Citizen says:

      Well, Mooser, its reasonably arguable that the state of Israel today is very much in line with Judiac values. You can’t get around that.

      • Mooser says:

        Either you are implying agreement with me, that “Judaic values” is a meaningless hasbara term, or you have slipped over into anti-semitism.

  4. Mooser says:

    “I’m not talking about Gaza, the Occupation, or 1948, although the expulsion of the Palestinians is where Israel’s steps first foundered.”

    ROTFL! Yes, let’s not talk about those things, shall we. I mean, that was only a slight “foundering”.
    It was the “foundering” on which Israel is built. And cannot exist without. So we better not talk about it.

  5. Mooser says:

    Anyway, maybe I am being too hasty. I think we should give Mya Guarneri all credit and praise for her ferevrent support of BDS. Good for her!

  6. potsherd says:

    Bradley Burston: link to haaretz.com

    Clean and tidy Israel?

    Memo to Mr. Biden: Everything you need to know about these people, my friends, the Israelis, you’ll see from your motorcade window.

    You may see the garbage piling up alongside the streets, the consequence of a relatively new observance on the local Jewish calendar: the annual pre-Passover municipal strike, meant to coincide with the tradition pre-Passover spring cleaning.

    The lesson: We have come to believe that the only way to have our grievances addressed is to do something intentionally offensive at the worst possible time.

    • Mooser says:

      ROTFL Gosh, if only we could get those Israelis to extend those Judaic values which govern the relations of Jews with each other, to the outsiders! You know, the way Israel treats the Arab Jews. Yessir, can’t go wrong with those Judaic values!
      Me, I’ll get my Judaic values from the State sanctioned Rabbis, not some girl photographer. I mean, who better can preserve the Judaic values and moral compass of Israel’s foundering? And they seem to see it differently than Ms. Guarneri. So watch out, Amelkites!

      • Citizen says:

        Yeah, Hitler had a good photo guy, and his helper became Hitler’s wife. Let’s do it all over again. Remember the Amalites!

  7. Mooser says:

    “Israel has lost its moral compass.”

    Which it possesed, when, exactly? Oh that’s right “I’m not talking about Gaza, the Occupation, or 1948,”!

  8. Avi says:

    Your conversion doesn’t count. It has to be in your blood, run through your veins.

    You can test for it by buying those over the counter test kits.

  9. MRW says:

    And Israelis bitch about the expulsion of Jews at the hand of Queen Isabella?

  10. cogit8 says:

    Mya G. hit a home run in her above article.

    Earth to Mooser: your sarcasm is, like, so far out man that no one gets it.

    but it’s obvious you’re ‘exercised’ about something having to do with Israel being or not being The Jewish State? why not just state for the record with no equivocal humor what your position is on the question

    • Mooser says:

      She hit, as she usually does, a disingenuous fioul ball.

      And if you want my unequivocal answer on the question, I think people should marry who they please. You disagree?

      • Mooser says:

        And if there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s the kind of Israeli who will come here and dump all over other Israelis who are just trying to protect their people according to their lights. How the hell can Israel be “the Jewish State” (you do want Israel to be the Jewish State, right?) if there are no pure real Jews in it, or at least not enough.
        Ms. Guarneri may not care if Israel is filled with half-breed Jews and Arabs, but damnit, I do! There’s not that much pure Jewish blood left, and it’s not Ms. Guarneri’s job to encourage its further dilution! She should go back to making those tiny violins.
        Frankly, I think Ms. Guarneru should spend less time worrying about the outsiders in Israel, and more time worrying about real Jews. We have already seen how adept Arabs are at dragging innocent Jewish girls into their clutches! Israel is already deploying, at great expense, fleets of “purity vans” staffed by young men (who I’m sure would really rather be in the Occupied Territory, manning checkpoints, but you know what girls are, gotta watch ‘em every minute.) willing to do this patriotic, albeit unpleasant job. Can we refuse to back up these valiant young men’s efforts with the force of law.
        You can’t have a Jewish State without pure Jewish blood. But I guess that doesn’t matter to you, or Ms. Guarneri. Be pretty sad if by the time that moral compass turned up and the sales came arounf for good Judaic values, the only people left in Israel were half-breeds.

        There, happy now?

        I do, of course, praise Ms. Guarneri for her unequivocal stance in support of BDS, however.

        • Citizen says:

          Glad to see you see some affinity between Hitler’s race laws and Israel’s, Mooser.
          How do we get that reality across to Joe the Plumber? Yeah, I know, he’s a despicable and ignorant guy, yet?

        • Israel is already deploying, at great expense, fleets of “purity vans” staffed by young men

          please, say it ain’t so, Mooser; the “is” part, that is: just now in the present deploying purity vans…

          Israel always does everything firstest bestest smartest.

          Iran has had morals police in black Mercedeses or white-and-green Khodros, for years.

          Maybe Israel invented time-shifting, too?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          According to Witty, November 4th, 2008 never happened. So maybe they did, and those of us who are too grounded in reality remained unaffected by the time shift?

        • Don says:

          Mooser, you are complaining because there aren’t enough pure blooded Jews? Ha! There aren’t enough pure blooded Italians, that’s the REAL problem.

          And if you are looking for values, why not try “Italian values” (hey, I just made that up, but I like the sound of it). Italian Values! Yeah…that’s the ticket.

        • Mooser says:

          My favorite Italian value is the 1991-1997 Ducati SS-900, and I’ve got one of those ( ’93, red, full-fairing with 41mm Kehin flat-slides).
          And when you consider that now even the most expensive standard 1098 and 1198 models are only a little more expensive than the Japanese liter-bikes, I would say Italian values are in a good state!
          Okay, the “specials” (the “S” and “R” models) get real expensive.
          And Ducati’s line of air-cooled bikes (all derived from, gues what, the 1991-1997 SS-900) are very reasonably priced. You can’t lose! That’s value.

    • Shmuel says:

      Once again I offer my services to translate Mooser’s Yiddish into the Queen’s English:

      Ms. Guarnieri is upset because she believes that the name of this immigrant roundup operation (and possibly the roundup itself) constitutes a betrayal of some basic values that Israel should otherwise be upholding. The irony is that Israel has never – from its very inception – upheld such values, and there is no reason on earth to expect it to do so now. To use a biblical metaphor (here I’m taking some liberty with Mooser’s text), it’s like a reporter for the Sodom-Gomorrah Daily Sin bemoaning that fact that naming the Sod-Gom Regional Torture Centre after Nimrod the Ripper fails to uphold the towns’ world-renowned values of pacifism, vegetarianism and general niceness.

      The problem with the author’s indignation at limiting racist Jewish privilege to only some Jews requires no translation.

      Ich hob gut gezogt, Mooser?

  11. Evildoer says:

    Yeah, Clean and Tidy sucks as a Euphemism. The last time they called it “Avoda Zara”. Much better, makes you feel connected to the land, the oral tradition. I think they should have called it this time “Be’ur Khametz” to give it that Jewish holidays je-ne-sais-quoi feeling. Or they could have called it “paperless homecoming” to combine an appeal to the sacredness of orderly documents with the spirit of Jewish longing for a homeland. I can think of others. Cal me before the next time, because a nations’s true measure is how carefully it chooses the words to speak about these upsetting, tragic really, things that just have to be done, you know, like 48 and all.

  12. Mooser says:

    You guys should Google Mya. Like I said, her fervrent and uncompromising support for BDS will really impress you.