Shimon Gapso is back on the scene. You might remember Gapso made headlines in April when he published a broadside on Facebook promising to continue the “daily struggle” of keeping Nazareth Illit “Jewish Forever!” Nazareth Illit was established in the 1950s overlooking the Palestinian city of Nazareth to promote the Judaization of the Galilee.
Since, Gapso’s call for racial purity has been roundly criticized and he has been the focus of some creative protest. Today, Gapso decided to fight back, and, in all honesty, he makes a compelling argument. Gapso asks, why attack him when he’s just promoting what the state of Israel was founded for?
From the Haaretz Op-Ed, “If you think I’m a racist, then Israel is a racist state“:
Yes — I’m not afraid to say it out loud, to write it and add my signature, or declare it in front of the cameras: Upper Nazareth is a Jewish city and it’s important that it remains so. If that makes me a racist, then I’m a proud offshoot of a glorious dynasty of “racists” that started with the “Covenant of the Pieces” [that God made with Abraham, recounted in Genesis 15:1–15] and the explicitly racist promise: “To your seed I have given this land” [Genesis 15:38] . . .
The racist Theodor Herzl wrote “Der Judenstaat” (“The Jewish State,” not “The State of All Its Citizens”). Lord Balfour recommended the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people. David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Arlosoroff, Moshe Sharett and other racists established the Jewish Agency, and the racist UN decided to establish a Jewish state — in other words, a state for Jews. The racist Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, and during the War of Independence even made sure to bring in hundreds of thousands of Jews and drive out hundreds of thousands of Arabs who had been living here — all to enable it to be founded with the desired racist character.
Since then, racially pure kibbutzim without a single Arab member and an army that protects a certain racial strain have been established, as have political parties that proudly bear racist names such as “Habayit Hayehudi” — “the Jewish home.” Even our racist national anthem ignores the existence of the Arab minority — in other words, the people Ben-Gurion did not manage to expel in the 1948 war. If not for all that “racism,” it’s doubtful we could live here, and doubtful that we could live at all.
In these times of hypocrisy and bleeding-heart sanctimoniousness, of the proliferation of flaky types who are disconnected from reality, in the relative security that causes us to forget the dangers we face, we can sit in north Tel Aviv, and cry “racism” to seem enlightened and good-hearted in our own eyes. We can be shocked at a mayor who prefers that his city, which is right next to the largest Arab city in Israel, retain a Jewish majority and not be swallowed up in the Arab area that surrounds it. There will not be a single Jew in the future Palestinian state, but that’s all right. That isn’t racism.
Also writing in Haaretz, Zvi Bar’el says Gapso has brought Israel’s “hidden” racism out into the open:
It would have been possible to continue to cultivate this species of racism had it not been for the decision by Upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso to break with convention and bring racism out of the closet. Gapso, who is basing his reelection campaign on openly racist slogans, is perhaps the only one around who understands that there really is no difference between hidden and open forms of racism. He is a straight-talking racist who spares us the self-righteousness. He understands that concealed racism only has electoral value if one is prepared to call it what it is, taking off the wraps and turning it into a value deserving of respect. His election posters on the streets of Upper Nazareth, which feature quotes from Arabs condemning his racism, have done the trick. Gapso is certain the slogans will make him a hero after he manages, as he sees it, to instill hatred of Arabs deep within his election supporters. And they don’t even have to publicly identify with his views. Everyone who votes for him can simply continue with their hidden racism, without public exposure.
But by identifying his candidacy with racism, he’s doing a favor not only for the residents of his city. Every Jewish Israeli who fails to go out and protest against Gapso, every politician who continues to maintain cordial relations with him, is no different from Upper Nazareth residents who give him their votes. Gapso is the spokesman for a loud, proud form of racism. He despises those hidden racists, the ones who are not prepared, as he is, to acknowledge that Judaism is racism and one should not be embarrassed about it.