Apologists for overt Israeli racism often point to the ultra-orthodox and poorer classes as being responsible. As this account tells us far from it. Residents of one of the wealthiest towns in the country are just as vehement about their racism and their desire for hafrada [separation; look it up in Afrikaans] from the country’s Palestinian Arab citizens.
The following Facebook post was posted in a thread on a friend of a friend timeline. While I cannot vouch for its accuracy I have a high opinion of my friend’s integrity.
Salbe translates a Hebrew message from Aviv Engler:
Untitled – I’d like to share with all of you something similar that I experienced a few days ago. I live in Kochav Yair [a secular, very well off township in central Israel]. It is the embodiment of pampered and satiated Israel. As befitting a town filled with such quality people, a high degree of sport consciousness has developed. Men and women go out every night for a brisk walk . Not far away is the [Palestinian] Arab village of Tira. In recent times there has been a phenomenon of Arab women coming to Kochav Yair and strolling around for their enjoyment. This phenomenon, the reasons for which I can only guess, is interesting and may tell us quite a bit of the subtle and hidden changes that are taking place in Israel.
A few days up a photo was posted on the local community’s Facebook page. The photo showed a note that somebody stuck on one of the Arab women’s vehicles which suggested that she and her friends buzz off away from the township. In addition I myself witnessed an incident in which a vociferous man swore and yelled at a group of Arab women in order to intimidate them and compel them to leave. That man only left the scene after my intervention and following a verbal stoush between us.
It should be further mentioned that, the note in question, which can be roughly translated to German as Juden Raus [Jews Out] received a flood of supportive and sympathetic comments on the community’s Facebook page. Most were racist comments masquerading in the guise of rational argument. It would be pointless to detail them here. Contrary to my usual habit, I responded to the insults thread and suggested (in all seriousness) that a joint walking group for Jewish women from the township and the visiting Arab women be established. I was rewarded with a deluge of comments which in the best case were cynical but on the whole were violent and abusive. I was also invited to leave the township and move to an Arab town….
I remind you: Kochav Yair is known as one of top communities in Israel. I’m sorry to report – none of the women in the community responded to my suggestion. Not a single woman in our community wants to stroll together with Arab women, even when they know these women are humiliated and threatened in public, just because they dare to do what they cannot do within the Arab community – to take care of themselves for a change. Pay attention all of you who practice violence, physical or verbal …. Count to ten.