Israeli Media Falsely Accuse Palestinians of Arson in Carmel Fire
The Israeli government hasbara brigade appears to have assigned several recruits to “monitor” this blog and publish official talking points here. So I think it’s worthwhile to update yesterday’s post with the latest news developments and a few ripostes to the worst of the nonsense.
There is a meme running through the apologist comments–only a few nuts are blaming Israeli Palestinians for setting the fire. To put that little baby to rest, let’s quote the Israeli media watchdog, 7th Eye, which writes:
Live coverage of the tragic Carmel fire contained negative stereotyping of ethnic minorities and the hurling of unconvincing accusations of guilt by the Interior Minister [Eli Yishai of the Shas Party] and other politicians representing the ultra-Orthodox and settlers.
…Those reporters broadcasting from the field emphasized in discussing the new fires which broke out in places that hadn’t previously been alight, that this was the result of arson. They all quoted sources in the police or fire department which described these new conflagrations as taking advantage of efforts to fight the original fire. The connotation was that those setting the new fires were taking advantage of the nation’s weakness to terrorize it and make conditions worse. There was no doubt they were alluding to hostile acts by elements of the Arab community. It never occurred to a single one of these correspondents that the wave of fires was not the result of evil intent by a fifth column…
During the reporting on the causes of the Carmel fire, from the first moment radio and TV disseminated reports that hinted it was the result of deliberate acts by residents of [the Israeli Druze village] Isfiya….On Channel 10, a [Jewish] survivor of the fire said: “We’re lost. Everything of ours is burned. Everything is alight behind me. They’ve been trying to burn us down for some time. Now, they’ve succeeded.
There was no doubt what he meant. That the Druze residents brought this disaster on the State. And they did it deliberately. No one at Channel 10 corrected him and pointed out that this serious charge was unfounded…
Haaretz confirms that two 16 year old (in another Haaretz account, 14 and 15 years old) minors from Isfiya have been detained under suspicion that they started the fires in the village dump. But they aren’t charged with arson, rather with negligence. This may have been a case of two young boys playing in a place they shouldn’t have, and perhaps having a match or finding something flammable and setting it alight as part of the mischief teenage boys do when they’re looking for kicks. Was it dumb for kids to be playing with fire under such conditions? You bet. But doing something dumb is not the same as deliberately committing an act of terror. That distinction seems to be lost on most Israeli Jews.
Further, the suspects’ father claims the boys are completely innocent, that the fire started far from their home, and that his children weren’t anywhere near the scene. So it is possible that these boys are being framed by a government looking for patsies.
What is far more serious is that in a region facing the worst drought in the history of the State, when notified by an aircraft pilot of a small garbage fire that could’ve been extinguished by a garden hose, authorities engaged in far more severe negligence by not bringing fire equipment to the site until two and a half hours after the first report of the fire:
A flight instructor said yesterday he spotted the Carmel fire early and alerted the fire department, but the first plane sent to battle the blaze took off more than two hours later.
The instructor, Alon Chaim, noticed the fire near a rocky area on the outskirts of the Druze village of Isfiya during a flight lesson. Chaim said he reported the fire to the air traffic controllers at Haifa Airport, who in turn alerted the fire department at 11:14 A.M. Chaim filmed the fire while continuing with his lesson.
“I flew with a student. I saw smoke over the Carmel hills,” he said. “I flew over the fire, which at that point was a tiny blaze just outside Isfiya. It was very easy to get to it with a fire truck. I reported the fire to the air-traffic-control tower at Haifa Airport.”
Chaim said he had noticed the fire when it still could have been put out quickly.
The pilot said he later learned that the air traffic controllers first noticed firefighting aircraft in the region at 1:45 P.M.
That’s what caused this disaster: government negligence. As the residents of Oakland who survived the devastating 1989 fire can tell you, a small fire left unattended becomes a monster given the right conditions. In that incident, a fire crew extinguished the initial flames but did not do so completely and the fire reignited. Death and heartache resulted from that mistake too.
Do you think the corrupt Interior Minister Eli Yishai, someone far more concerned with deporting children of foreign workers from Israel than fighting fires, will resign? Think again. His Shas Party is critical to the health of the current coalition government. The Prime Minister can’t afford to jettison him. So Yishai rises to his level of incompetence thanks to cronyism and backroom Likudist political deals.
In a nation run by responsible leaders mindful of their obligations to lead, such individuals would realize they must be extremely careful in their statements during such a traumatic event. That they must not amplify rumors, foment hostility and mistrust with unfounded accusations. But such a nation is not Israel. Here the Interior Minister who is most culpable for the disaster tries to pin the blame on the weakest link in the social chain, the Israeli Druze community. Reporters allow suffering victims to pin the blame where it doesn’t belong. People look for scapegoats rather than pinning the blame where it really belongs.
On a related matter, the prime minister’s military attache, Gen. Yonatan Locker, Googled “biggest fire fighting supertanker in the world” to find the Arizona company which has the distinction of owning such a plane. That’s how Israel leased it to fight the Carmel fire. When you can use Google to fight Israel’s worst natural disaster, you know the guys at “Do No Evil” have got a good thing going. Now, if General Locker could just use Google to end the Israeli-Arab conflict!
48 thoughts on “Israeli Media Falsely Accuse Palestinians of Arson in Carmel Fire – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I think it’s fair to say that even the mighty Google would be hard pressed to come up with answer to that one.
But, who knows? Maybe sometime and sooner than expected, an ending of some description might eventually take place. Let us count the ways.
1. The Israelis, with dawn on the first day of 2011 and to the very last man, woman and child, realise that they have been the true villains of the piece all along. They communicate this revelation to the rest of the world, apologise profusely to their Arab neighbours and make plans to leave the Middle East at the earliest opportunity, agreeing to make whatever restitution they can before final departure. The Palestinians and their Arab brethren prevail upon the Israelis to stay, to unite in co-ownership of the land of Israel and Palestine so that future generations need never know the misery and tribulation experienced by so many in times gone by. FINIS. (But everyone involved dies of acute embarrassment shortly thereafter).
2. The Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs proceed in their accustomed manner. The Iranians produce their atomic bomb, the Israelis react by going to war. Then there is some kind of miscalculation and nuclear missiles are suddenly here, there and everywhere, raining down out of a clear blue sky. The outcome; no more Israelis, no more Palestinians, no more Iranians, no more Arabs, no more Middle East for that matter. Only the smoldering remains of a radioactive wasteland, uninhabitable for centuries. And probably not even then. FINIS. (All local populations die)
3. Jehovah, God and Allah get together one day and decide that enough is enough; the entire experiment has failed completely; there’s no chance of rescuing it and the time has come to pull the plug and go home. But not before initiating Armageddon to underline their disappointment after so much wasted effort on their part. Thus, Israelis die, Palestinians die, Iranians die, Arabs die, everyone dies. As for what happens next, I presume we will all have our own take on that. FINIS. (in fact, too much FINIS; the whole of Mankind dies)
Unfortunately, death seems to be the only victor in every one of these scenarios.
Maybe we should try for a happier ending with little or no embarrassment and, of course, the absolute minimum of dying.
4. The sum total of humanity gets together and decides that enough is enough; they’ve tried asking nicely for everyone concerned to get along; they’ve tried asking not so nicely. But now they’re fed up with asking and demand a coordinated plan of action to sort the matter out once and for all.
So, at this juncture, it is agreed to make one single change in the routine, move the only two pieces on the chess-board that have never been moved. Having lived with the game for so long, it suddenly occurs on all and sundry it’s the positioning of the goalposts that is key to the solution and decide to switch them over. Then they wait……………………………………..
Now Israelis dare not move against Palestinians. Palestinians are prevented from being beastly to the Israelis. Hamas, Fatah, IDF, Mossad et al. have to sit it out on the sidelines, wondering if they still have a place in the great scheme of things. From this point onward, only peaceful strategies can be utilised and, with that in mind, the rest of us can go about our business in the knowledge of a job well and truly done. FINIS. (and everybody lives happily ever after. Or most do. Or near enough).
Always good to know we still may have some choice in the matter.
How can you say with absolute certainty that no arson took place in any of the subsequent fires?
I agree with you that there’s a certain racist tone to the automatic finger-pointing to towards the Arabs but you can’t categorically rule-out the possibility of that a few Arabs started some fires.
You can find at http://www.police.gov.il/ the annual report for 2009. There, on page 199, there’s a listing called “arson for nationalistic reasons” (הצתה על רקע לאומני). It says cases were opened against 29 suspects. While these are presumed innocent, elementary probability tells us that some of them really did it.
I’m sure that most of the Arabs would never do anything like this and would never even contemplate starting fires out of revenge against the state.
However, just as there are few who kidnap and kill soldiers (recall the Oleg Shayhet story), some are likely capable of lesser crimes, like arson.
It’s curious that you assume if the fires were started deliberately they must have been set by Palestinians, or as you call them, Arabs. It’s well known there are pyromaniacs everywhere, certainly we have our share in the western U.S. where fires are a regular event every year, sometimes with devastating consequences. If arson is determined to be the cause, nobody points a finger at any minority. Arson is most often the result of a sickness and is rarely attributed to racist motives. We all know that some Israelis, notably settlers, start fires almost daily in the West Bank. Are these people racists or pyromaniacs? If this latest most devastating fire started in or close to an Arab village, why shouldn’t we suspect the perpetrator could just as easily be an Israeli Jew who hates the fact Arabs live anywhere in Israel?
Opening a case is a far cry fr. filing a charge and even a farther cry fr. obtaining a conviction. I’m much more interested in how many cases they thought solid enough to file a charge or get a conviction. Do you have that data?
I don’t. I was hoping to get you interested and encourage you to find it. I’m sure this data exists but it’s buried deeper than a few Google searches
“elementary probability tells us that some of them really did it.”
Elementary probability tells us nothing of the sort. Elementary probability is not even applicable.
I was curious how anyone could pinpoint how this particular large-scale fire started. Unlike arson to property, the initial point of combustion is difficult to ascertain. Indeed, even if the initial parts of the fire were pinpointed, without some physical evidence (like the shell of a plastic explosive or a wire) would need to be found to suspect arson. In addition, you would then have to place the suspects at the scene of the initial ignition. That is, in America’s courts.
So, I contacted several smokejumpers, the head of a group of about 80 type I initial attack fire fighters out in Oregon to see what they thought. They agreed — there is no way to ascertain whether this fire came from arson or not save for some damning physical or extraordinary evidence, which is unlikely to be found.
Thus, the false accusations have to be put to rest. This sort of thing only results in a country that focuses on media manipulation and propaganda as policy. When that happens, you give comfort to the State’s policies, which would universally be damned otherwise.
Meanwhile, we see the bittersweet result of such willful ignorance: a huge fire and no fire hoses, but a lot of welfare settlers, who won’t fight in the army or fight the fires (more likely, use this opportunity to falsely accuse the Palestinian matriarch or patriarch that has been protecting his or her children while they get pelted by rocks coming home from school so that the little kids no longer have that protection). The same disgusting behavior is exhibited by the leadership, who I am now convinced would sink Israel if it meant they would be kings of another country with vast riches.
I believe Netanyahu is about to make a very bad calculus, and that is that he thinks this fire bought Israel a lot of political capital. Watch now as the trumpets to war sound 200x louder. They better be careful, a sacking group of Mongol Barbarians with flame arrows might hear them and then…
I think you’ve missed the point. Nobody, especially not the police, thinks the fire is the result of arson. The leading theory is negligence.
The point is that it appears that some decided to take an advantage of the firefighters being pushed to the limit and so went to start a few other fires of their own.
Rather, I think you’ve missed Richard’s blog above. It would behoove you to read it, as he is far more insightful than I am, and my comment is but a mere reply to his entry above. You’ve evidenced clearly that you missed particularly the first half, where he excerpts 7th Media. Please read it again and we can continue our conversation.
Excuse me, 7th Eye, not “7th Media”, an Israeli media watchdog group.
As in Greece, South Australia, California, Washington State and assorted Devonshire heathlands: yes, of course it’s arson, but it won’t be racial at all.
Medawar’s law: There is no crime that a property developer won’t commit.
There is only one racist here, the author of this story. To wit: “But doing something dumb is not the same as deliberately committing an act of terror. That distinction seems to be lost on most Israeli Jews.”
Most Israelis are Jews. Everyone most likely knows that. The only reason to reiterate that fact is for the purposes of making a racist point.
If you have a foot, please shove it in your mouth. You cannot be more wrong. The whitewashing of the word Israeli ignores, for instance, 20% constituency of citizenry that aren’t Jewish at all, but Israeli Arab (Muslim/Druze/Christian).
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What a lunkhead. Listen up: the only Israelis bruiting about rumors that Israeli Palestinians committed arson are Israeli Jews. If you can find me an Israeli who disseminated these lies who is not Jewish pls. do so. I used the term Israeli Jews very deliberately & precisely because Israeli Bedouin, Druze, Chrisitians & Palestinians are NOT circulating these libels. Do us all a favor & stop showing yr stupidity. I mean what I write & write what I mean. If you don’t understand the reason I use a term means only that your powers of language apprehension are diminished, not that I don’t have a good reason for using the precise terms I do.
Richard:” Israeli Bedouin, Druze, Chrisitians & Palestinians..”
Something is missing, no? Israeli Muslims? Or are Christian Arabs in Israel or Bedouin no longer Palestinians?
I think we are all failing in our precise definitions as to how to define the identity of non-Jewish Israelis, which is why most of the Israeli press calls them Israeli Arabs – this is not racist at all, but “Arab” precisely contains Christians, Muslims, Druze, Bedouin who live in Israel.
I know it is frequently said that “Israeli Arabs” prefer to be called “Israeli Palestinians” but I don’t think this is provable as they’ve never been asked, and your opinion on this is no better than mine.
I don’t like the term ‘Arab’ when applied to an Israeli because it is vague & overbroad.
So let’s call the Mizrachim “Arabs”, too, shall we?
Israel has a asthonishing “security” system outside West Bank. They can find out in minutes (hours) who started the forest fire (intentionally or by accident) (in West Bank they can’t never find the guilty when Palestinian property is burned) but it takes several hours to react to the same fire. And of course the guilty are the boys representing the minority, which is always guilty when something happens. The claim that the local Druze boys made a bonfire and smoked water pipe is rather difficult to swallow. For what would the boys need to put up bonfire near their own village in middle of the serious drought if they wanted to smoke in secret? That bonfire would be most certain way of getting caught and earn a severe punishment from the parents and the relatives.
The Israeli Jews should be rational in their blaming. The Palestinians and Druze have lived there for tens of generations and know “genetically” and from their upbringing how to use fire there in the dry seasons. The Jews who moved some years ago to Israel from the Europe’s and North America’s watery regions do not have the same knowledge how to behave with fire in the Mediterranean dry landscape.
It would be more easily to believe that some careless “settler” did throw his cigarette to the ground, certainly more easily than to the story of the druze boys with heir water pipe and bonfire. But like “they” needed in the 30’s the right kind of guilty today’s Israel needs their Marinus van der Lubbes in bigger catastrophes .
In a AFP telegram from yesterday, being used by practically all major French news media, France24, TV5Monde, l’Express etc, it is specified “two teenage brothers from the Israeli Druze ARAB village of Isfiya”.
For once, the Druze are considered “Arabs”. I’ve met lot of astonishment and incredulity whan I tell people (the few that have any idea of the word ‘Druze’) that they are Arab-speaking. That’s going to change, now, I guess.
Israel has done a lot to divide the Arabs: dividing them in ‘Bedouins’, ‘Druzes’ and ‘Arabs’ is the most institutionalized step. When it comes to serve in the Israeli army, the Druzes (male, at least) are wholly Israelis, but when it comes to starting a fire, even by negligence, they’re apparently Arabs. I hope they’ll remember.
“I’ve met lot of astonishment and incredulity whan I tell people (the few that have any idea of the word ‘Druze’) that they are Arab-speaking”
Being arabic-speaking doesn’t make you an Arab. Have you ever met or talked with an Israel Druze? They practically hate each other. No wonder, they’ve been a scape goat for Arabs for a very long time.
By the way, the Druze have their own religion and strictly don’t intermarry with Arabs
Thank you, Yakov, but you really don’t have to tell me what an ‘Arab’ is. You were the one who a couple of weeks ago said that Bedouins aren’t Palestinians, weren’t you ?
Of course, if you grew up in Israel and have been told that there is a eternal Jewish people, direct descendants of the Ancient Hebrews, and you’re used to the Israeli categorization of ‘Druze’, ‘Arab’, ‘Bedouin’, you might have a flawed idea of human groups and their mutation. An ‘Arab’ is someone who has Arabic as his mother-tongue, and ‘Arabs’ aren’t one homogeneous group but contains various ethnic and religious groups.
If Druze and Arabs in Israel have a diffucult relationship, sure the State of Israel is not at all responsible.
You know, the Jumblatt and Arslan of Libanon are Druze, and Arab nationalists, too.
Here is the most famous Druze Palestinian, citizen of Israel:
I know that Druzes have their oxn particular religion, a schism of Shi’a-Islam.
You must be kidding. The tensions between the Druze and Muslim Arabs are rooted in Mamluk and Ottoman persecution, as early as the 14th century.
Do Jews who speak Arabic form birth Arabs as well? By your definition, they are.
I’ve never considered the Arabs to be one homogenous group. I am (somewhat) aware of the various differences. Truth be told, I can’t imagine a group of over 100 million individuals being homogenous in any way.
However, your idea that the Israeli Druze are some how Palestinian is wrong on many counts, one of them is the historic rejection of Arab nationalism. One communist/Nasserist poet doesn’t prove your point since it’s unclear how popular he is among the Druze.
Druze inhabitants of Israel are a tiny minority of the Druze. Do you think the Druze of Lebanon and Syria (including the Golan) consider themselves Arabs or not ? As most Shi’a, the Druze practice the ‘taqiya’ (dissimulation) and one of the cultural characteristics of the Druze community is a huge degree of adaptation.
Tension between Druze and Muslim Arabs does not prevent them from being Arabs both. It’s like saying that deep historical animosity between Shi’a and Sunni in Irak makes one of the groups non-Arab.
No, I don’t think Jews who speak Arabic as their mother tongue are Arabs. What I do believe is that if any of them claim, as the late Moroccan nationalist Abraham Serfaty who died a week or two ago, or Simone Bitton, who both claim to be Jewish AND Arab, then that’s fine with me.
I also get completely mad at people saying ‘there is not a Jewish people because it is a religion’, or that ‘an atheist from the States, speaking no Hebrew has nothing in common with a Mizrahi Jew from Yemen’.
Belonging is a question of self-identification, and nobody, particularly not someone belonging to the ruling ethnic group, is going to decide whether a Druze is an Arab or not. Some Druze in Israel consider themselves Arabs and some don’t. And those who don’t are often all too eager to tell that they aren’t Arabs. Often to be accepted by the Israeli Jews. That’a a classic story through history. And don’t tell me the State of Israel has not done everything in its power to divide the native population.
“I can’t imagine a group of over 100 million individuals being homogenous in any way”
Well, you just told us that you know next to nothing about the Arabs. You don’t even have an aproximate idea of the number of Arabs, or you’re only talking about Egypt ?
By the way, I was only pointing out that after the fire the Druze village of Isfiya became a ‘Druze Arab village’.
Yakov, you say: “I’ve never considered the Arabs to be one homogenous group”.
Nevertheless you do seem to follow the Israeli habit of calling the local sub-group that has such inconvenient ties to the land ‘Arab’ instead of ‘Palestinian’.
This denial of Arab diversity has an ideological background: If they are one big homogeneous mass, then the ‘Arabs’ can live anywhere in the Arab world, no need for them to return to the towns and villages of their ancestors if these happen to be located in Israel.
Yakov are/were European Jews Europeans? Like Arab European is a relative “blurry” concept. If some subgroups of the larger concept are in conflict and hate each other that doesn’t mean that they are not members of the “top level concept”. Europe is full of ethnic/religious groups which hate each others. Still they are all Europeans. Same with Arabs.
Of course Syrian, Iraqi etc Jews were/are Arabs like the other religious groups there. Same as Polish, German, Russian, Finnish etc Jews are Europeans.
A Jew can be an Arab or European. Living there for tens of generations gives them that “right”. A Christian (or Muslim) European or Muslim (or Christian) Arab can not be a Jew. That is the difference.
In a state where the oppressive occupation taints all areas of Israeli life and perception, I’m not surprised at all at this outcome.
The fact is that Israeli firefighters were late in responding to this fire and Israeli leaders need someone to blame because of the oversight in correcting the inadequacy of Israel’s firefighting capacity.
Of course, if it’s blamed on “those” Arabs, people will be more enraged about the fact that the Arabs did it, whether the authorities admit it was unintentional or not, because they know racist hysteria is an excellent distraction and that way the fingers won’t point in the direction of who really failed Israeli citizens and who was irresponsible in responding.
Racism is the most convenient escape for Israelis’ own inadequacies.
There’s more to Israel’s collective conscience than the occupation and it’s effects.
The truth is that good answers are being sought from the authorities and there’s a widespread call for resignation of minister Eli Yishai, who’s responsible for the fire dpt. The media is full with stories about the poor condition of the firefighting service, in many ways.
Any possible link between the Arabs and the fires is discussed but it is not the only or even the main story.
Okay, maybe it didn’t succeed in diverting attention at this moment, but maybe the intention was there and the effects of this action will be felt later. What it does succeed in doing which is evidenced by the comments on some Israeli media outlets is racially poisoning minds against Arabs, those that aren’t racist already.
I think a point is being missed here.
Even if absolute, irrefutable video and audio evidence attested to the fact that this forest fire had been started deliberately, be it by settlers, local Palestinians or kids just having some fun, what then can be the outcome?
Well, the settlers would be incarcerated for a very long time; as would the locals if they were found to be in the frame. The kids would get one hell of a telling-off and possibly made to attend several courses in fire hazard perception. But would the overall position be altered to any great extent?
For most, it would be just another day at the office; perhaps a reinforcement or a rethink of existing viewpoints, anger and regrets for some, intense sorrow for a lesser number. But will anything change beyond some beefing up of the fire service, clearing away the mess and thanking all those concerned in battling an enemy even older than that of human record?
No, that would probably be about it.
What a waste of an opportunity. It has been amply demonstrated that the rest of the world is both willing and able to assist in containing this conflagration. Why? Because it has happened so often in other parts of the world and the world is well versed in the techniques required.
And one of these is the creation of firebreaks, clearing or burning a section of forest as yet untouched by the firestorm and across which the flames are unlikely to pass.
Sometimes the very best way to fight fire is with fire itself.
Maybe, in the longer running and much more deadly battle that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a few firebreaks here and there would not be such a bad idea.
RE: “What is far more serious is that in a region facing the worst drought in the history of the State…” – R.S.
MORE TINDER FOR THE TINDERBOX: GOD-TV evangelical Christian channel funds Israeli ethnic cleansing ~ By Neve Gordon, Redress, 12/04/10
Neve Gordon looks at how an evangelical Christian TV channel with a viewership of nearly half a billion people, including 20 million in the USA and 14 million in Britain, is funding a project to ethnically cleanse Israel’s Bedouin citizens from their ancestral land.
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.redress.cc/palestine/ngordon20101204
the oakland fire was in 91
this was much more like the station fire of last year
Richard, should you be credited with the translation of the 7th Eye article? If not, whom shall I credit?
Yes, my translation. I should add that it’s not a precise translation of every word. I got about 95+% of it.
Deïr Yassin, Don’t nitpick, the 100 million figure was a quick guess. I’m aware that the true figure is closer to 250 million. The point about being non-homogenous remains.
As for Druze outside of Israel, frankly I don’t know. I wasn’t speaking about them.
as for the “Druze Arab village”, it’s an AFP invention. No where in the articles Richard quoted or in any other media coverage have I seen the phrase “Druze Arab”.
Israeli Druze not unlike Israel Jews have a correlation between their ethnicity and their religion. Israeli Druze are Arab. They prefer not to be labeled as Arab most likely because of the negative connotation Arabs have among Israeli Jews. I could be wrong but I don’t think there are any Druze in Israel who are NOT Arab.
Have you read the comments above? They may well be ethnically Arabs if there is such a thing, but they dislike Arabs on a much deeper level than just pretense to convince the Jews to like them
The Druze are NOT ethnically Arabs. They are ethnically Druze and linguistically Arabs. The Arab nation contains various different ethnic groups. Transplanted to Israel, Israeli Jews are not belonging to the same ethnic group; the same people, the same nation, yes, but the Israeli Jews are of different ethnic origins: Falasha, Russian, Mizrahim, Ashkenazi, Sephardic etc. I’m talking of first generation immigrants, of course, sabras are different.
I’m not nitpicking, but ‘people’, ‘nation’ and ‘ethnic group’ are not the same and cover different realities and are used in different contexts, just as ‘Palestinian’ and ‘Arab’. In the current context, I would tend to use ‘Palestinian’ as a more political label, particularly in relation to the State of Israel and ‘Arab’ as a more cultural one.
Nitpicking ? Oh, if I said there’s about two million Jews in Israel, what does that say about my knowledge of Israel ?
More than 300 millions, in fact. So I was just nitpicking about 200 million people.
By the way, Druze are historically a endogamous group, exogamy has been sanctioned by exclusion, though it might have changed.
Thanks. That’s exacly what I was trying to say.
While we’re on the subject of racially-motivated arrests. Geert Wilders is scheduled to arrive in Israel soon and he’ll be greeted by his soul mate Avigdor Lieberman and no doubt they’ll exchange racist visions together about ethnically cleansing all the Palestinians to Jordan, amongst other things, but you can bet Islamophobia will be high on the agenda. Too bad Pam Geller won’t be there. It would become a hate-fest for the ages.
From Haaretz: “Unlike his frequent visits to Israel in the past, he will this time be formally received as a guest of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Wilders has said he was proud to be compared with Lieberman.”
I can just picture it, two renowned Islamophobes shaking hands on the cover of every Israeli newspaper representing the rising tide of intolerance in Israel.
Maybe they can co-mingle their bodily fluids and using Pam Geller as incubator, create a Jewish-Dutch-Aryan master race. If it’s a girl, they can call her “Ayn.” If a boy, two possible names, Adolf or Yvet.
Lol! Richard that’s outrageously hilarious!
Hi Richard, I thought this might interest you as well, Giora Eiland says that Israel tried setting Lebanon on fire in the 2006 war
לא כל מה שמתכננים לעשות קורה. דרום לבנון די דומה לאזור הכרמל ובמלחמת לבנון השנייה ניסינו להצית את שמורות הטבע שלהם ולא הצלחנו כי זה תלוי בהרבה משתנים. לכן אין פירוש הדברים כי התגלה איזה סוד בלתי ידוע”. לדעת איילנד, “אם ננהל את העימות הבא עם חיזבאללה לפי העימות הקודם באופן שבו הוא תקף את העורף הישראלי, לא נשיג הרבה. לכן, צריך לנהל את זה אחרת – להילחם נגד מדינת לבנון”.
14 year old boy arrested & suspected for causing the fire: http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1202449.html
What I find most bothersome about this, is 14 year olds smoking Nargilas… *sigh*
@ Deir Yassin
Re Your 2:33 PM post.
Totally agree with you. I often do, believe it or not!
(When you are being reasonable that is!)
Self identification is the key as you rightly pointed out.
I don’t understand why people force labels on others. We have to respect how others self identify.
You get it and Hurta does not. However some quick points.
– I prefer the French term Arabophone to identify non Arabs Arabic speakers. It is more accurate.
– I was under the impression Israeli Arabs prefer the term
Palestinians of 48?
– Re Serfaty and Bitton. I am very familiar with the community they are from and their self identification has a lot to do with their politics. They are anti-Zionists and totally outside the consensus of their community which is very zionistic. In their case the political is the personal.
They also know that the term Arab is a bit of a slur for many in that community so they are rubbing in it in some ways.
– Serfaty is from a community that speaks a form of Ladino as its mother tongue. I don’t think he knows a lot of Arabic! Besides the Judeo -Arabic he would be speaking would be totally unintelligible to most Arabic speakers.
– Since you speak French , you must also be aware that many North Africans reject the Arab identity in favor of their indigenous Berber identity or their Francophone one.
-I see the Arab world like the Hispanic world-Different cultures and ethnicities united by the same language and the same majority religion -Spanish Vs. Arabic and Catholicism vs Islam. It is mestizo really but we don’t have a term yet for all the arabized people that were originally forcibly converted to the language, culture and religion.
If you know what term of reference a people prefer why do you persist in using a term they dislike? “Israeli Arab” is a term imposed by Israeli Jews and not one that is broadly acceptable to the very people you’re attempting to name.
I do so love when Ashkenazi Israelis generalize about Mizrahim w. no basis for doing so. For yr information, the Mizrahim are not a monolith & there are major exceptions to the “rule” you’ve laid out of Mizrahim who are quite progressive.
My Mother is Moroccan and my Father is Ashkenazi. In my experience the vast majority of Mizrachi Jews – Moroccans, Algerians, Iraquis, Kurds, Persians etc. are politically hawkish and use the term “Arab” in a derogatory manner. This despite speaking Arabic, eating Arabic food, listening to Arabic music and clinging to the usual cultural and ethnic vestiges of their previous land of origin. Of course there are some individual exceptions, but those are extremely rare. I live in a mixed neighborhood so I have daily access to Mizrachi Jews. My Mother’s family is spread throughout Israel and they react mostly with incredulity and disbelief when they read about extreme leftists in Israel. Of course they are often critical of the State but the vast majority of them have little or no sympathy for Palestinians and feel no affinity towards Arabs. Ruth was pretty much on the money there.
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