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Fraternizing with minorities in Israel

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Jon Stewart (photo: Salon)

“Absent Kafka, my wife wants her case to be heard in the court of judge Jon Stewart”(photo: Salon)

I am divorcing my wife. I have to. Read this article and you too will understand: Don’t let the link fool you. It doesn’t bear any resemblance to the actual title of the article in today’s Haaretz newspaper, which declares: “Soldiers probed for non-offense of ‘fraternizing with minorities.’” As you read the article you come to realize that “the nonexistent offense” is pretty serious in nature. First of all, minorities “is a euphemism for Arabs.” And in the minds of the quoted members of the Military Police and the Military Advocate General Corps such transgressions seem to be associated with the crimes of “trafficking in illegal drugs” and “contact with a foreign agent.” That definitely puts an end to our life as a married couple. We both know that the IDF sets the tone for civilian life in Israel.

To be fair to my wife (I am tempted to say ‘my ex-wife’ but her lawyers may use my ‘jumping to conclusions’ against me in the coming court case) I must admit that she was the one to notice the article first and to call my attention to it, possibly out of fear of its logical implications for our marital life. She has been fraternizing with minorities for over half a century now. Psychologists are quick to point out the known phenomenon of criminals betraying their guilt through inadvertent symbolic gestures, Freudian slips and the display of inner tension. It is the basis for the Hebrew truism known to the laity as “the hat burning on the head of the thief”. Whether out of inner remorse for hiding her terrible offense from me, her legally wedded husband, all those long years or out of a sense of betrayal towards the state that has granted her permanent residency for most of our married life, my wife decided to face up to her terrible ‘non-offense’ and to admit it through reading the said article to me.

By now “that woman” knows I am not a violent man and that I have no guns in any of the drawers in my study. Still I found her behavior in reading the article to me rather audacious. I had to consult with our son who happened to be visiting us on vacation. As I read him the article and proceeded to explain my dilemma he seemed to question my sanity. He wanted to know if I hadn’t realized that his mother had a distinct tendency to hanging around minorities in her younger years. I suddenly realized what a dope I have been, what a fool she had made of me for fifty-one years. Everyone in Hawaii, her homeland, is a member of a minority. No wonder she liked living in Arrabeh, my home village in Galilee. She had seen the number of minority members in it double and quadruple over the years, a dream world for one addicted to “fraternizing with minorities.”

Next in line for me was my dear childhood village friend, Toufiq. His first reaction was that I should seek the help of an expert in dream interpretation. It wasn’t anything to do with me. But the article required explaining by such a specialist, he thought. The one nugget that he found to be the key to everything in this conundrum was the fact that “the officer who handled one case was himself a member of the minority Druze community.” Toufiq expressed his deep sorrow that Kafka is currently unreachable. But who wants to open such a Pandora’s box? The Israeli commander who led the Israeli troops in massacring residents of the Shujayah Neighborhood in Gaza was also a Druze. After treating his injuries he begged the doctors in the hospital to let him go back to finish the job he had started. I suspect that what upset him so much was when his commanders told him that in Gaza “the minorities” were in the majority.

Absent Kafka, my wife wants her case to be heard in the court of judge Jon Stewart.

Hatim Kanaaneh
About Hatim Kanaaneh

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. His collection of short stories entitled Chief Complaint was released by Just World Books in the spring of 2015.

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9 Responses

  1. just
    August 13, 2014, 4:25 pm

    Thanks for this article, Dr. Kanaaneh. I always appreciate your articles.

    I wish you and your wife continued marital bliss.

    • annie
      August 13, 2014, 4:40 pm

      i love reading the news via hatim’s farcical take on it.

      as an aside, i find it very interesting that the officer in command of the brigade that carried out the slaughter, war crime in Shejaiya killing 100 or so Palestinians, was Druze. does that mean he’ll be the fall guy if israel is hauled in front of the ICC? that’s a real question, i have no idea how that stuff works.

      • lysias
        August 13, 2014, 4:50 pm

        That Druze colonel was wounded during the fighting and evacuated. I assume that somebody else then took command. And I would guess that most of the slaughter by the Golani Brigade took place after he was wounded, as revenge for the killing and wounding of their buddies.

      • tod77
        August 13, 2014, 6:48 pm,7340,L-4548235,00.html

        “Even if I have to walk there, I will go back to Gaza. The division is currently continuing in its main mission: to uncover the tunnels and destroy as many terrorists as possiible. We killed many terrorists, and that’s what needs to be done. There were skirmishes in which we killed 10 and 15 terrorists.”

        Druze fought with Israel against the palestinians in 1947, and have higher rates of recruitment than Israeli jews.

      • tod77
        August 13, 2014, 7:15 pm

        Also – Yesterday the state of Israel transferred the land around the grave of Jethro, (holy to the druze) to the religious leader of the druze community.

        See :'ayb
        “After Israel’s establishment in 1948, and the total depopulation of Hittin which had been a predominantly Muslim village, the Druze were granted full custodianship over the tomb, and an additional 100 dunams surrounding it”

      • DaBakr
        August 13, 2014, 8:26 pm

        your guessing. he was only in hospital for a few days. superficial facial and shrapnel wounds. you think he made command of brigade because his officers are better fighters? nobody was interested in this “slaughter” you mention. Hamas would not be too happy with you portraying the IDF as slaughtering their soldiers and no reports of IDF units killing anybody en masse. they were interested in getting in, completing mission and getting the f out without getting shot /captured by Hamas soldiers. Basic strategy -get out alive. You say your military too

        *if anything brought on a heightened response it was the revealing to the public the extant of the tunnels which was not public knowledge. While I assume your not in Israel or Palestine try and imagine there is a hidden tunnel at end of your street, near your kids school, or anywhere. Even if one has a totally negative view of IDF and a positive view of the Hamas it is hard to not see why this would be disturbing.

      • lysias
        August 14, 2014, 11:23 am

        You thus confirm Annie’s prediction.

  2. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    August 13, 2014, 7:33 pm

    Of course the piece is written tongue in cheek.

    However, many Israeli Jews are dead serious when they speak of intermarriage as a deadly threat to Jews, etc etc. Dennis Ross, an Israeli shill and “peace process” apparatchik, is now employed by the Jewish People’s Fund (this is the approximate title) to combat the allegedly deadly menace of intermarriage.

    There is a vast gulf between Israeli Jews (who want racial segregation) and American Jews (who are currently intermarrying at a rate of about 50%). This partially explains the over-the-top hatred that many Israeli Jews hold for Obama (beyond any policy question), because Obama’s father was a black African and his mother was a white American.

    • Marnie
      August 14, 2014, 12:48 am

      This was a great article – I wish you the best Dr. Kanaaneh.

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