Video: Routine exchange on a bus reveals racism embedded within Jewish Israeli society

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I got chills up my spine from watching this exchange. The casualness in which the man expresses his sense of entitlement, reveals something so extraordinary about how racism is embedded and reinforced within Jewish Israeli society.

Here’s the transcript:

Woman: I have a right that no one will search my bag. If a policeman comes here, with a license, then I agree. If you don’t have a license, then regarding private things, I do not cede to anyone [letting them] check me.

Man:  It’s not that terrible.

Passengers: She is right.

Passengers: She is not right.

Woman: If you don’t feel safe, then simply please call the police.

Passengers: She is not right.

Passengers: Why?

Woman: If you feel unsafe then simply, I have no problem….

Man: If there’s anything suspicious, we need to check, that’s all.

Woman: Suspicious? What do you mean by that? Explain to me what suspicious means. My head scarf is suspicious? That’s what frightens you? So get off [the bus].

Man:  It’s not something personal.

Passenger:  It’s very insulting. I am a citizen here. I’m also an Arab

Woman: The fact you define us [inaudible] a person who is on the bus.

Man:   Both of us agree that this is an unpleasant situation. It’s embarrassing, it’s shaming and it’s insulting.

Woman: Not only embarrassing and insulting…

Man:  Then what?

Woman: It’s the matter of “security”.

Man:   Now, listen to me. I am only posing a request. I can tell you that I am studying a lot about Islam and Quran, and I really identify with the Arabic culture. You don’t know that I am…

Woman: It’s not a matter of culture.

Man:  Listen for a second. listen. I know, I know about all the sensitivities. I also worked for many years with a mixed population. What I am saying, since we are all now in a very…all the Israelis are in a very tense situation now. That’s something objective.

Passenger:  Me too, I am not in a safe situation now.

Some of the other people on the bus normalize this man’s request by their agreement, some by their silence, as if it’s the most natural thing for any Jewish person to have the right to request inspection of any Palestinian person anywhere, simply as a matter of course. The blond girl also trying to convince the woman, it’s mind-boggling.

David Remnick writes in an article in the NewYorker, Israel’s One-State Reality,

 More explicitly jingoistic and racist elements now operate closer to the center of Israeli political life. Some well-known figures in the religious world speak openly in an anti-democratic rhetoric of Jewish supremacy—“strength and victimhood all melded together,” as one Israeli friend put it to me.

This rhetoric of Jewish supremacy, how are people supposed to live around and deal with this mentality? That is a serious question.

Translation and subtitles by Ronnie Barkan 

(Hat tip Ofer Neiman)

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“I know about all the sensitivities. I also worked for many years with a mixed population.”

Some of my best friends are Negroes.

By the way, Remnick’s entire article, although it’s behind a paywall, can easily be viewed in the Google cache.

” This rhetoric of Jewish supremacy, how are people supposed to live around and deal with this mentality? That is a serious question.”

The answer is no one is suppose to live with ethnic or religious supremacy–not in Israel , not in the US and not any where else.
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

reminds me of this great woman:

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Israel is nuts. thanks, Annie. this is indeed chilling.

Jewish supremacy—“strength and victimhood all melded together” This isn’t an Israeli characteristic, its a global phenomenon, and Remnik cant see it consider the Jews only critics of Israel, eg International Jewish Anti-Zionist network (IJAN) They carry on an anti-zionist critique within an apartheid organizational framework Nd dont notice the irony. Self interest propels them into an externalization of the characteristic to a foreign other, its them not me., all the while they benefit from… Read more »