27 Responses

  1. Danaa
    March 25, 2010, 2:10 pm

    I love that part with the South African woman at the end. When she realizes she has just dissed the nice israeli looking people doing the film. She takes refuge in the collective prejudice to which she has been no doubt subjected. But it is also revealed she is, underneath the bravado and communally-inspired bigotry (it’s the shoes! they don’t want to work! they live off social security!) there is a human person, which is the only thing that can wilt prejudice and phobia. She seems genuinely distraught that she could give an offense to a real person. Isn’t that how racism works in the US too? generalities work fine until one day you have to confront an actual, living person.

    I loved the last bit when she asks “do you have a business card? I’m looking for work”. It’s a perfect ending.

    On the other hand, to me this one person exemplifies the real reason Israel is so keen to keep the Arab-Jew segragation within it’s society (as well as all other forms of separation between groups). If more people met arabs on an everyday basis, it’d be hard to stick to the talking points. Because in the end, people are people, and on a basic level, members of the species all have similar needs – and issues. Just as the older lady with the arab cleaning lady said – no problem…. The film makers couldn’t get her to say a bad thing about Arabs…(obviously they tried).

    • Psychopathic god
      March 25, 2010, 2:25 pm

      your perceptive comment, Danaa, is why Mooser should be nominated for a medal of honor or something similar.
      when I write something terribly bigoted, which I do with some frequency, I think (after hitting the Send button), “Mooser might read this. I hope he won’t be offended….”
      In the blogosphere it’s even easier to express “white-shoe” prejudices because none of us are completely real: you might be the person living down the street who parks your car too close to my gate…. Thus, it’s a useful exercise — a necessary exercise, to form mental muscle memory — that the people we are talking to and about on a blog are people who, despite their white shoes, have human desires, emotions, and aspirations just as we do.

      • Citizen
        March 25, 2010, 2:46 pm

        Yep. Israeli reality is like a B Hollywood movie about High School–Bring It ON! You are judged by your cheap sneakers. Why is it that in the USA ghetto youth wear expensive sneakers, while in Israel the minority do not? Just asking.

      • James Bradley
        March 25, 2010, 3:03 pm

        I know your joking with your huge sneaker generalization Citizen, so I’m not going to flak you for this. =P

        In any case, I had the “opportunity” to grow up in a so called “ghetto” neighborhood (East Oakland). The schools in these areas (particularly the jr. highs) tend to force their students to wear a cheap uniform (usually a white polo shirt and blue slacks), in an attempt to prevent students from wearing gang colors to school.

        Because of this, shoes were the primary way for any of us to distinguish ourselves and show our status. We didn’t dump our money on fancy shirts, tight fitting pants, or fancy cars, we spent it on shoes.

        This of course doesn’t mean all of us ran around in $100+ sneakers. Only the lucky ones did.

      • pabelmont
        March 25, 2010, 7:46 pm

        Psychopathic god says a lovely thing (“when I write something terribly bigoted, which I do with some frequency, I think (after hitting the Send button), “Mooser might read this. I hope he won’t be offended….””). With some hold outs, I think commenters to MondoWeiss are becoming a really lovely community with very perceptive and often enough welcoming and friendly things to say to (and not only at) each other. I’ve found myself shooting from the hip more carefully recently, with more concern for how it will sound to someone who might disagree.

      • Mooser
        March 26, 2010, 8:36 pm

        “your perceptive comment, Danaa, is why Mooser should be nominated for a medal of honor or something similar”

        I have already received a small medal, crudely made of cheap pot-metal, for commenting. The big gold medal, with the inset diamonds? That’s the one I got for stopping.

    • aparisian
      March 25, 2010, 5:28 pm

      Yes Danaa great post.
      I think Israelis use the same generalisations in order to calm their consciousness on whats happening and happened for the Pals, many of them wake up from the comma once they go to meet the Pals and hear their sufferance. I remember i talked to one of the Breaking silence guys and he told me you know most of Israelis never been to the occupied territories.

    • VR
      March 25, 2010, 6:30 pm

      I can appreciate all the discussion about prejudice and bigotry, etc. However, in Israel this is not what we are dealing with, we are dealing with a carefully cultivated colonial process which has a means to an end – ethnic cleansing/genocide. This is the outside and inside Israel (however this is defined with constantly moving borders). It is not the old south in the states, nor is it really exactly like Apartheid in South Africa.

      Perhaps I have you at a disadvantage, and this is because I have read the excellent analysis done by Marx on colonialism (I assume many here have not), and no one thought Marx had much to say about capitalism until it hit the fan and than Das Kapital became a best seller – the same respect needs to be afforded to his views on colonialism. There are two types (typically) of colonialism, one relies on the exploitation of the indigenous population (to paraphrase) and the other wishes to banish them or get rid of them. The one that has the indigenous population as an integral part of the economy can be pressured by economic vice grips like BDS, the other which does not rely on the indigenous population (USA, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) does not give a damn. Now, what you have to ask yourself is this – which is Israel? Does Israel need the economic input, or does it rely on the economic via the indigenous population? Or, do they isolate them, and eventually ethnically cleanse them or exterminate them? The ones who have interest in the indigenous populations have been brought down by BDS, the others (like Israel) have exterminated the population.

      So, once again for emphasis lets rehash – this is not just simple prejudice, bigotry etc., it is a systematic colonial stance. There are two types of colonial enterprises, one that relies on the indigenous and is struck terribly with things like BDS, the other just wishes to off the population in any way it can. This is why you always hear me echoing the warning of genocide, and we have to get much much tougher with Israel than even the process that took place with BDS in South Africa – Zionism has to be overthrown.

      • pabelmont
        March 25, 2010, 7:55 pm

        VR — whatever Marx said, I think the strength of BDS does not lie in the type of colonialism but in two factors: [a] the strength of the community DOING the BDS and [b] the character of the community “suffering” the BDS.

        BDS nowadays is small but is nevertheless getting under Israel’s skin. If/as it grows, it will be more effective. Because Israel is a DEMOCRACY (for its chosen people), the pain of BDS will fall on voters who will have a chance to wonder what the hell is going on and ask themselves why and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

        This is different from sanctions on authoritarian/dictatorship states (like the old sanctions on Saddam’s Iraq and proposed sanctions on Iran) where the people’s voice has little effect even if the people attempt to influence their government. People at the top of governments have a tendency to siphon off enough $$$ to survive any sort of sanctions without too much pain. (Some accuse HAMAS of this sort of thing.)

        I’d like to hear your thoughts on this (and see a reference to Marx’s ideas relevant to it).

      • VR
        March 25, 2010, 9:05 pm

        Well pabelmont this is not a critique of BDS that I am giving, it is a call for more than BDS. By all means continue to employ this tool, all I am saying is recognize what you are up against. If people keep reducing this process of colonization down to merely prejudice, bigotry and racism I dare say that what Israel is doing is much much more than this. It is worse than Apartheid or the Jim Crow South, it shares characteristics with it – but it is much worse.

        You can interview as many Palestinians as you like inside Israel, that is because anything looks better than the fate of Gaza or the OT settlements, in fact, if you increase the terror and the misery in these other areas outside of Israel by default what takes place inside of Israel looks much better. However, it is merely a show of degree, and the intent is the same as that in Gaza or the OT inside of Israel toward the Palestinians – it is meant to drive them away, and if that does not work the ethnic cleansing process will go one there eventually. It is a genocidal process, and until this is recognized in the context of what occurs there, things will just get progressively worse.

        In fact, many do not even recognize what they are living in, and how it is a prime producer for what is taking place in Israel. Zionism was birthed out of the bowels of imperialism, which merely the extension of capitalism, that which so many find cozy totally oblivious to its end results both foreign and domestic. Colonialism is merely the tip of the spear thrust into a given region for either personal profit at the cost of the very lives of the lands inhabitants, it is capitalism stripped bare. If one cannot even recognize the nature of the system in which they live how are they going to properly identify what Israel is? Start with first things first –


        Not only both then and now, but wherever it goes. What is done about Zionism is much more than merely a moral issue, it is an expression of imperialism which is set to cleanse the area of all Palestinians. It is exactly like the early US counterpart, you can see this by merely reading the Constitution – Article 1, Section 2, Subsection 3 – there you will see the African slave as three fifths of a person (because there was an interest in the economic realm), but the “Indian” was nothing, a non-person. The purpose of a settler nation is to either completely exterminate, marginalize, or totally externalize the indigenous population. It was even said by Morris the historian, that they should have finished the job – and this is what is going on right now. That is why there are no answer per se, there are non and the Israelis completely slip out of them because this is the goal (a for said) and this is why Benjamin Netanyahu fell silent when Obama asked him about how far he was willing to go in the final settlement.

      • VR
        March 25, 2010, 9:28 pm

        Oh, just in case you did not notice it, the link (Both than and now) which leads to the play was BEFORE the so-called big crash (2007). I forgot to give you a link to Marx about colonialism –


        However, a good portion of folks in here keep talking about how Israel is going to reform itself, just like they keep talking about reform in the states, as if entire systems are going to change. I will say it again for emphasis, the goal better be nothing less than the overthrow of Zionism, because the other alternative is more of the same –


      • Mooser
        March 26, 2010, 8:39 pm

        “Perhaps I have you at a disadvantage, and this is because I have read the excellent analysis done by Marx on colonialism “

        Did his brothers help him with that?

    • RoHa
      March 25, 2010, 11:14 pm

      The interviewers are really evil . They shift to (extremely good) English to put her at her ease, and then reveal themeselves to be Arabs. And when she gets flustered, they do not get angry, or sarcastic, or berate her. No, they are so nice and comforting that she has absolutely no hope of finding anything to support her prejudices.

      Give them decent shaves and haircuts, and they would be perfect spokesmen for the Palestinians.

      • Chu
        March 26, 2010, 1:00 pm

        don’t forget shoes!

  2. David
    March 25, 2010, 2:43 pm

    I found the contrast that was pointed out between Palestinian citizens, who are physically present but whose rights are absent, and the legal presence of individuals in the Jewish diaspora who are physically absent, to be particularly powerful.

    • Citizen
      March 25, 2010, 2:51 pm

      Witty has more rights in Israel than any Arab who comes from a family who has lived generations in the land taken over by Israel. He calls that minor circumtance his insurance policy–he never knows when a pogrom will erupt in his gated village in the well-off part of the USA–could come spontaneously down Main St, beating drums; could come from the Mexican illegal alien blowing the dead leaves off his driveway…

  3. annie
    March 25, 2010, 3:46 pm

    Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Right in Israel is on the front lines of fighting racist legislation in Israel. I recommend donatingto them if you have a dollar to spare. My Palestinian friends inform me they are the organization that does all the pro bono work for those in administrative detention and so much more. check out their site if you have a minute.

    • David
      March 25, 2010, 4:21 pm

      Adalah also has probably the best summary I’ve seen of the concrete legal and policy discrimination faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel:

      link to adalah.org

    • Keith
      March 25, 2010, 7:08 pm

      ANNIE- Thanks for the link.

    • marc b.
      March 26, 2010, 7:33 am

      Adalah has also been indispensible in the fight to expose and legally condemn the Israeli practice of using human shields.

  4. seafoid
    March 25, 2010, 4:35 pm

    The video shows one of Israel’s growing problems. The Arabs who is 1948 were traumatised peasants are now getting organised. And nobody who has any sense of his or her rights can accept what Zionism as practised today means. The whole ideology is bankrupt. Fabulous video. Imagine if the cotton states had that technology back in the 20s.

  5. AlexK
    March 25, 2010, 5:52 pm

    I find the disparities in education between Jewish and Israeli Palestinians to be comparable to the disparities here in the U.S. between blacks and whites. The only difference is–and it’s a big one–is that in Israel, they are a basic fact of a “Jewish State.”

  6. Shafiq
    March 25, 2010, 6:14 pm

    Just to add to the statistics shown in the video:
    – 5% of the 2008 Israeli budget was allocated to Arabs despite them making 20% of the population (and this was one of the highest allocations ever due to increased international scrutiny)
    – 1/4 of Israeli-Arabs lost their land in the immediate aftermath of the Nakba, because they had fled their home villages.
    – By the end of 1948, Palestinian communities had on average lost 65% of their land.
    – A lot of land was taken from Arabs for ‘public use’ only to be handed over to the JNF, which built Jewish settlements on them.

    The last bit of the video really did make me laugh, but also disappointed that someone with experience in living in an Apartheid state (albeit on the ‘lucky’ side) would come out with such comments in the first place.

    The very fact that we talk about Arab towns/Jewish towns, two education systems, two sets of laws, shows that Israel-proper is itself Apartheid

    • Psychopathic god
      March 25, 2010, 8:14 pm

      it seems as if something terrible overtook Israel’s soul in the early 1990s. The website, The Israel Lobby Archive linked to a legal opinion rendered by an Israeli court that made bold statements declaring Israel in violation of its own foundational laws:

      The Implication of Establishing an Unauthorized Outpost Not on State Land

      After the High Court of Justice ruling in the case of Elon More, a 1979 Israeli government resolution states that Israeli settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza shall be established only on State land. Hence, no settlement is to be established on other than State land (the definition for State land appears in the first chapter of the opinion). No Israeli settlement is to be established on survey land (to which the title is unclear). Surely no Israeli settlement is to be established on private Palestinian property.

      It is absolutely prohibited to establish outposts on private Palestinian property. Such an action may in certain circumstances become a felony.

      But first and foremost this is a serious prejudice of the right of possession. This right is a basic right in Israel – included in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom, and was defined by the Israeli Supreme Court as a constitutional right. Israel High Court of Justice ruled that the Commander of the area must protect the fundamental rights of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. This means he must also protect their right of possession. It is the Commander’s duty to prevent the intolerable prejudice of Palestinians’ right of possession, which an establishment of outposts on their property causes.

      There is no way to validate the establishment of an outpost on private Palestinian property, not even post factum. Such outposts must be evacuated, the sooner the better.

      At some, earlier point not so long ago, Israelis hewed to a set of principles. What happened that the State connived to systematically violate those principles?

      my tinfoil hat takes me in the same direction regarding the thuggery that came to the fore in Israel in the 1990s as seemed to characterize American neocons: both groups of zionist thugs are of East European/FSU origin. Arguments have been advanced that East European Jews are of, predominantly, Khazar origin. That thesis is violently protested. Herzl’s zionist project did not gain traction among German or French Jews; it was only after Russian Jews who fled revolutionary Russia began to experience problems in Germany that migration to Israel gained numbers.
      In the US, earlier German and European Jews were disdainful of later Russian Jews; similarly, it is my understanding that there is tension in Israel between European Jews and later-arriving Russian Jews.
      Israel is fragmented internally. Perhaps the continual traumatization of Holocaust , –and Iran as the ‘common enemy’ — are the only factors that keep Israel from experiencing a ‘Sunni-Shi’ia’ civil war.

      • Richard Parker
        March 26, 2010, 12:23 am

        The ‘Sunni/Shi’a analogy is a good one. The Ashkenazi are the rulers, and the Mizrahi/Sephardi are the ruled,but the majority. The Ethiopians and Israeli Arabs come way down the scale, if not off the end of the bottom of it. Many of the Mizrahi were brought in as cheap labour for the Ashkenazi, often in highly publicised ‘rescues’ like Operation Magic Carpet which brought most Yemenite Jews to to a totally alien country in 1949-50, or like the similar airlift of the Falasha from Ethiopia. The early Mizrahi immigrants were dumped in barren places like Sderot, closer to the Palestinian borders and therefore more dangerous. Scary ‘false flag’ bombing operations were undertaken by Israel in Baghdad to ‘persuade’ Iraqi Jews to migrate. Similar tactics were used to persuade Moghrabi (North African) Jews to emigrate, but you never hear of a community of Algerian Jews in Israel. No; they had the sense to emigrate to France. More recently, the Israelis relaxed the rules on Jewishness to attract thousands of Russians and other peoples of the ex-Soviet Union to Israel, one major result of which has been the creation of the Russian-Israeli Mafia, which has its filthy fingers in many pies, and dominates the worldwide ‘Ecstasy’ trade.

        There is nothing at all in the grand story of Israel’s creation of itself that stands up to closer scrutiny of the methods used and motives implied. For all its pretensions, Israel is still only a shitty little Levantine country, except in the eyes of the US ruling classes, (including the media) who are all cowed by AIPAC blackmail.

        What of Jews who didn’t want to leave? There are many of them. Jews are perfectly happy in Iran. I witnessed Yasir Arafat personally escorting the Jews of the Jewish Quarter of Beirut to safety out of the dangerous No Man’s Land of Zeitounieh in the early days of the Lebanese civil war.

  7. RoHa
    March 25, 2010, 7:52 pm

    So what do they need education for? Arabs are just there to do the shit jobs.
    And why do they need to marry people from Ramallah? They’ll end up having children, which will mean more Arabs, and more cheap white shoes.

    Hard to wash the cherry tomato juice off white shoes.

  8. unverified__4edb7f94
    March 26, 2010, 11:42 pm

    Readers will find this interesting: link to newyorkleftist.blogspot.com

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