Most readers of this blog will have read either from me or other sources about the serial racism that faces Israeli Palestinians. They face housing shortages, inadequate funding of schools, poor municipal services, job discrimination, poor health services, etc.
But until lately, little was known about how Israeli Palestinians fared in the economic marketplace. Haaretz has published an important article about severe discrimination facing Israeli Palestinians in the financial sector. The reporter began the report with a transcript of a phone conversation between an officer of a branch of Bank Mizrahi and another bank official responsible for recruiting new customers. In the discussion between the two, the branch officer tells the woman who’s bringing new Israel Palestinian customers that she should save her breath and not bring them to her branch. The branch manager and assistant managers do not want these customers. They will tell any such person that they will not earn any interest on their accounts for at least six months after opening them.
The Haaretz reporter interviews banking officers from other banks who review the transcript and interpret it for her: when the branch refuses to offer a customer interest, they will also refuse to offer them other critical services like an ATM or credit cards. Any potential customer, when faced with such obstacles, will go elsewhere rather than face such curtailed customer service. In essence, Bank Mizrahi’s Kiryat Shmoneh branch was deliberately turning away potential customers because they weren’t Jewish.
This, of course, is illegal under Israeli law. So no bank can phrase their refusal in such a direct way. They have to justify it by saying, as the branch official does, that they had a bad financial history with Israeli Palestinians. Once one “took the money and ran!” The employee doesn’t specify how a customer could do this: unless she means that they took out a loan and defaulted. But she makes it seem like an Arab stole into the bank, grabbed money and fled like a bandit. Which would be characteristic of racist attitudes among of large percentage of the Israeli Jewish population.
In another passage from the article, a bank official tells the Haaretz journalist that Palestinians are simply a bad bet because they pose a greater financial risk than Jews. He magnanimously clarifies that it’s not a “genetic” fault, but rather due to Arab culture not having a “culture of payment.” In other words, Palestinians don’t take their financial obligations as seriously as Jews. He makes clear that he’s not including all Palestinians under this rubric, but alas, the chances of repayment of loans made to Palestinians is lower than to Jews, or so he claims.
Of course, he offers no evidence or statistics to prove this. It indicates that banking in Israel is not done by reason, logic or numbers, but based on biased assumptions and ingrained racist notions. There may be some who brag about the Israeli economic miracle, the Start-Up Nation, etc. But this article shows what its like down in the trenches, not in the pages of books boasting of Israel’s prowess in world business.
The truth is that a nation that offers inferior services to a large minority of its population solely based on their ethnicity is not a nation maximizing its economic potential. It is a nation held back by poisonous ideas that will inhibit growth and economic health.
Other statistics prove the inferior banking services available to Palestinians: there is far less competition among banks for the Palestinian customer. Only two banks serve the sector and neither are among Israel’s major financial institutions. Until this year, Bank Mizrahi had no branches in Palestinian communities. Other major Israeli banks consider the “Arab” sector to be an orphan. They see it as having little profit potential. Even if it did, they don’t understand the market and have no interest in learning about it.
There are fewer bank branches in Palestinian towns. There are fewer branch employees than in the average Jewish branch and those employees serve more customers. Monthly fees for checking accounts are almost double those of Jewish customers in major Israeli banks. The interest spreads in Arab banks are one-third higher than those of the larger banks serving Jewish clientèle. Service fees for Palestinian customers are much higher than for Jewish customers (see graph). Unlike in Jewish communities, banks serving the Palestinian sector offer no philanthropic support for local projects.
The typically racist Israeli banker, when asked to explain or defend this says with a straight face that “Arabs” don’t care about the cost of services. Much more important to them is that they receive “respect and personal service:”
They want to sit with their banker behind closed doors and share a cup of coffee. It’s their mentality.
This, he explains, is why Palestinians pay higher fees, because they demand more personal services than Jewish customers (who bank by phone or online and presumably incur lower costs for service). What he neglects is the fact that stiffing Palestinians with high service fees is the ultimate in disrespecting them.
Another banking consultant discounts the possibility that discrimination is at play among Israeli banks toward this market. She says she knows of no “overt policy of discrimination by any bank.” Of course no bank has such a stated policy. They don’t need to. In a sophisticated society that is nevertheless racist, they don’t need written policies that penalize minority customers. Discrimination is much more discreet and nuanced than that.
The argument that Palestinians pose a higher risk to banks than Jews is not borne out by statistics. The rate of default among the Palestinian population is comparable to that of the Jewish population. Further, the poor financial services offered to Palestinians create a vicious circle by which they cannot get credit, cannot open new businesses, cannot amass wealth, which in turn ensures they continuation of the economic stagnation and poverty with which this sector is afflicted. The truth is that Israel as a nation doesn’t care about the fate of its minorities. They fend for themselves. Do the best they can. But Israeli economic and financial institutions don’t reach out a hand to help. They don’t do so either out of altruistic or capitalistic motives.
At a Knesset hearing on the banking sector, one Jewish MK asked how it was possible that there was this level of poor service and discrimination against Palestinians. Before he could finish his question another Jewish MK interrupted him, saying:
As usual, they screw the Arabs.
Parallels to financial sector discrimination in the U.S. are rife. We certainly have some similar problems. But we have laws against such racist treatment (a practice known in banking circles as “redlining”) and punishments meted out to companies that violate them. There are NGOs who organize “stings” in which they test the responses by bank personnel to minority customers. Those which fail are shamed when the results are made public. Congressional legislation also forces banks to channel some of their profits back into minority communities to support local NGOs and economic projects. Unfortunately, almost none of this happens in Israel because racism against Israel’s minorities is much deeper ingrained there than it is here.
“The rate of default among the Palestinian population is comparable to that of the Jewish population”
How do you know what the rate of default is ? I approached Bank Israel in an email earlier today asking for such data, and the answer i received was that the bank doesn’t categorize the rate of failing accounts based on customers ethnicity .
What’s your statement based on ?
Good article, Richard. And a very important aspect of life in Israel among the non- and not-so Jewish. like you point out, higher fees is exactly the way discrimination works. Like the people in the US who are channeled towards payday loans and special pay cards. it sure ain’t the well-off that are using them.
The way discrimination against the palestinian citizens works in Israel is subtle – so you can’t see it unless you look. But any palestinian can tell stories of difficulties finding apartments to rent in Tel Aviv (as example), of short-changed education, of hardships getting into university programs and challenges of getting the better paying jobs. Yes, in israel, when it comes to jobs, there’s an easy way to discriminate based on army service. Done all the time.
I think that this particular example is important because it’s there, documented, black on white. The rest are just excuses (I love the manager who talked about personal service. It’s their “mentality”, he said. now what would that be exactly – an expectation of friendliness/ were it true i wonder whether it works the same way for regular israelis – the friendlier the service, the more the cost?).
@Dana: Dana, from your name and comment I assume you are an Israeli citizen like me. I do thank you that you show us aspect of life in Israel. Indeed, there are several racists and fascists among us, the Israeli Jews, a thing that must be condemn and eliminate.
Speaking about discrimination and segregation of Palestinians in Israel, Please, let me ask you several questions, and be honest with me:
Could you, Dana, walk free in the streets of Ramallah? Could Ahmad walks free in Tel-Aviv?
Could your nephew, Avi, rent an apartment in Sachnin, an Arab city inside Israel? Could Ahmad, although many difficulties and racists Jews, rent apartment in Tel-Aviv?
Could you, Dana, marry Ahmad and live together with him? Could your brother, Alon, drink coffee with Imman in any coffee shop? (I even don’t dare to ask about been friends or marry together).
Is your father, Abraham, the school master, educates his pupils to fight the Arabs until death?
How many Moshavim and Kibbutzim inside Israel are surrounded by fence do you know, Dana? How many Arab villages?
The list of questions is too long but I think it is enough for now. This is not to say that there are not racists and fascists among us the Jews, like the bankers in the post, discriminating the Palestinians. The questions only show you that racism is coming from both sides. Accusing only one side without mention the difficulties of the other side, do injustice and actually leading to demonizing Israel.
Richard Silverstein says
@Eli: You’re clearly quite ignorant of conditions on the ground. There are indeed Israelis living in Palestine. At least two prominent ones I know are journalists. I’m sure there are others. They tell me that they feel secure, which is more than can be said if someone from the West Bank wanted to live in Tel Aviv (that is, if they weren’t arrested by the Border Police even before they got there).
Also, Israeli Jews have married Israeli Palestinians and raised families for decades. I don’t know why you’re not aware of this.
Your wish your questions to appear to be profound and to show something that they don’t.
@Richard: I am sorry, I am not ignorant. I repeat and say again: Of course, journalists and human rights members, for instance, can live in Arab cities. A regular Israeli Jew is in danger of life or kidnapping if he visits the Ramallah market for shopping, for instance. It is well known fact for all Israelis. Even the IDF warn the Israelis not to enter the occupied territories (yes, they are occupied!!!). Also, a regular Jewish citizen can’t rent an apartment in Arab city or village inside Israel without be in danger.
“Israeli Jews have married Israeli Palestinians and raised families for decades” – Richard, you have to read my comment carefully. An Arab man and Jewish woman can marry freely, live in Tel-Aviv, for instance, and raise family in dignity. An Arab woman is in danger if she only drink coffee with a Jewish man alone, not speaking about been friend, couple or marry each other.
I hope Dana, if she indeed Israeli, will confirm these two facts.
Richard, I repeat again, racism and discrimination are among the two communities in Israel, Jews and Arabs. Both, Jews and Arabs, are victims of this racism. I don’t want to say that one group suffers more than the other since I will be asked for “percentage”. For a person who experienced humiliation it is 100% racism.
@Richard: one more comment, please: I read my first comment again and must clarify: Imman is an Arabic name of girls. I wrote Alon and Imman instead of Jewish man and Arab woman. Thanks
Richard Silverstein says
@Eli: You’re being careless once again. I said that “Israeli Jews” live in the West Bank. SOme journalists & others as well. I did not say only journalists or human rights activists live there. Those that do are not in fear for their lives. They live securely there. And these people, whether journalists or activists or whatever, are ALL “regular Israeli Jews.”
The IDF wants you to believe that you’re in danger of being killed or kidnapped for visiting Ramallah. That increases the separation between Jews & Palestinians which the IDF, security apparatus & government wish to enforces. But there are thousands of Israelis who regularly ignore this fearmongering and either live or shop or dine in the West Bank. They do so safely & peacefully. You should try it yourself. You’ll be surprised. That is, unless you’re so brainwashed you believe every lie & rumor fed to you by the security apparatus.
Again the claim that Jews can’t rent or live in Palestinian communities inside Israel is a stupid lie. I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable with your ignorant racist claims. IF you want to live in such ignorance it’s your perogative. But it’s not my obligation to allow you to publish such nonsense here. Comments must be based on facts & evidence, not hearsay or claims from sources like the IDF which lack any credibility. Respect this rule.
Another stupid, ignorant comment. Racism is not permitted here. And Dana will do nothing of the sort. I’m sure she’s as repulsed by your nonsense as I am.
Racism & discrimination are only “among” the Palestinian & Jewish communities because people like you perpetuate it. There are tens of thousands on both sides of this divide who reject the prejudice & other Jewish nationalists peddle.
These practices absolutely reflect “redlining,” A law doesn’t mean anything without enforcement. Even with the law on the books, the practices will continue. Richard, you attribute this to racism, a discrimination based upon race and stereotyping. Certainly it is this. But there may also be a national, political motivation. The bank takes the opportunity to refuse Palestinians as a means of demonstrating its patriotism to the Jewish state, its conformity to the national interest defined by the right wing. No doubt these practices have matured with the maturing of the Likud Security State and with nationalistic feeling. An institution could be free of stereotypes and racial feelings and still desire the opportunity to display its conformity to the state, a state which regulates the institution. I am just suggesting a further dimension here.
@Richard: I am very surprised!!Your comment to me is an unfair attack. I repeat: I am not an ignorant like you want me to be. The ignorant between two of us is you simply because you don’t know many things going in Israel in the last years.
You are posting from time to time posts that aimed to show us as a racist society like the post about the bank. Your post encourage other to comment and bring more “racist facts” (see the comment about Rabbi Lau). In my comment, I wanted to show people that racism is among the two sides. I wrote a very careful comment, in which I said I am against racism and struggle against it. For unknown reason to me, you try all the time to show that my comments are nonsense. A well known facts to every body, like that a Muslim woman is not allowed to have non-Muslim friend or husband or that most Israelis Jews don’t visit the West Bank cities, became by you a stupid, ignorant & racist claims. I am not surprised that Dana didn’t reply to my comment.
Richard, I don’t know why, but although I am writing things that I experience as an Israeli live in Jerusalem, you always attack me, most of the time personally. If you don’t want me to read and comment in your blog, just say so. Please, don’t tell me I whine, like you tell to others. It is my feeling and I can’t find the reason for it.
By the way many many times you say nothing to people that say very ugly things about Israel like the one who wrote that we put Palestinians in concentration camps. I don’t remember the person brought any proof for his claim. The silence from your side was unfair.
Richard Silverstein says
Your first claim is a rank falsehood. You have absolutely no basis or knowledge on which to base it because it’s false. I note also that you’ve changed the terms of your second claim from what you originally wrote, which was that Jews can’t live in Palestinian towns. When I proved they did, you now change your tune saying most Israeli don’t visit West Bank cities. Of course this is true & I never denied it because you didn’t make this statement initially. But the reason your 2nd claim is true is not because there is any legitimate fear, but because of fearmongering by people like you & your security apparatus.
I strongly urge you to be more careful & precise in making your arguments and responding to those of others. If you change your terms, you will be caught out as you have here.
You are not writing things you experience as an Israeli because you don’t experience Palestinian society at all. YOu write from your prejudices & ignorance of Palestine and Palestinians.
Stop whining about my editorial decisions. I always monitor such statements and if anyone made one you claim then I would’ve noticed it and taken action. Again, the comment rules state clearly that when you make such claims you bring proof. So present proof of the comment that offended you and proof that I didn’t respond to it. Further, I encourage commenters to bring such comments to my attention and when they do, if I agree with them, I take action. The fact that you sat back and did nothing, but waited for this moment to carp about it, doesn’t say much for you.
@Richard: Reading my and your comment again and again, I have to tell you, and I am not cynical, that your comment is a compliment to me. Nobody do care for someone who is ignorant and liar that writes nonsense. But your serious replies are a proof that my facts are truth and only truth.
Richard, look, you don’t know who am I, my aspirations, ideology, activities, family, knowledge, hopes etc. but you are replied to me like you know me for years. I don’t do the same to you since I don’t know nothing about you personally and I comment to your posts only.
One thing I can tell you about me: I never involve or interfere in subjects that I don’t have any idea about them. If Israel attacked or not in Latakya, I leave for other experts and don’t dare to comment. But, as one that live in Jerusalem all his life (I am about your age), a father, former IDF soldier, works in a big institution with Jews, Muslims, Christians and even several Druzes, I think I know something about daily life in Israel. I try to share my fillings with others and to show that the coin has two sides. I will never write something that is not truth (in my point of view), so receiving reply like “Your first claim is a rank falsehood” is no more than an attempt to decrease my reliability (the claim was “Muslim woman is not allowed to have non-Muslim friend or husband”).
If you really think that I am a moron, idiot, ignorant, writing false facts, person with prejudice and more please tell me so I stop comment in your blog. But if not, I ask you to respect my positions even if you don’t like them and they are different from your line. I do thank you in advance.
Richard Silverstein says
@Eli: The fact that you work in an organization with Muslims and Palestinians has no bearing on your knowledge or lack of knowledge of Muslim culture and society. Once again, you simply have no basis in fact to claim that all Muslim women are forbidden to have non-Muslim friends or marry non-Muslims. It is a bald-faced lie. Of course there are some Muslim women who don’t have non Muslim friends, & some Muslim women who do. I will not allow you to distort a reality of which you have no awareness. If you want to nurse your ignorance and proclaim it to the world, you won’t do it here without being called to task.
The views you espouse are racist because they show no knowledge of how Israeli Muslims live. They are based on assumptions & prejudices.
That’s the last I want to hear on this subject. You may comment in other comment threads here if you wish. But do not bother to participate in this thread any further.
If I can’t reply, so I hope some other Israeli that knows the facts will comment instead of me and maybe confirm my claims. The fact that there is no even one!!! Israeli that say something says a lot on this website. You do what you did to me to all that are not go with your line. Other anti-Israeli people can write here all they want and nobody ask them for proof, evidence,statistic etc.
Thanks for your recommendation to comment in other threads. The question will arrive in a minute…
my best friend is going out with an Arab girl (christian for this matter) for about 4 yrs, soon to be living together. she’s 26 yrs old and now about to finish her masters degree (something that most common israeli jews can’t accomplish at such a young age bcz of the military service of course) and btw – they met while working together – she was my jewish friend boss. guess which side of this lovely couple parents doesn’t know about the relationship? you guessed right – an educated mature woman can’t tell her father she’s seeing someone because he his jewish and her father wouldn’t accept – so she’s keeping it a secret for 4 yrs and counting. i can give you scores of examples of such behaviors including a druze who married a spanish girl and now can’t return to visit his home village, the hatred (and that is sometimes not a strong enough word) between christians and muslims etc knowing them from first hand since i work with them and we chat all the time about everything. the fact, richard, that you are oblivious to certain aspects in israeli multi-culture is part of the problem – if you don’t know it exist you can’t fix it and you can’t understand it. israeli’s jewish society is not free of prejudice and what you described is appalling to me too but let’s no kid ourselves that this behavior is one sided – like you are trying to suggest it is.
P.s – if you want to tell me again the israeli arabs don’t call themselves that i’ll save you the trouble since one of your posts (Israel Social TV Video on Mossad Sinai Kidnapping) once had an ad for social tv showing the sign i always point out to you “jews and arabs refuses to be enemies” – by now they’ve already changed the ad before your clip.
P.s.s – and please try not insult me or both of my friends (jeswsh and christian) by saying you don’t care about them as you usually do because they are real people dealing with serious issues in our society and not some facebook friends who thinks they know it all.
Richard Silverstein says
I’ve documented here rampant Israeli Jewish racism in countless opinion surveys and you point to 2 instances which you claim prove that all Arab society is equally racist or insular? Anecdotal evidence like yours is trumped by scientific evidence like mine. So sorry. If you want to point to credible surveys of Israeli non-Jewish on racism I’d be happy to entertain that. Now, go find one. If you can’t (as I suspect) then that raises another question: why don’t Israeli pollsters & sociologists find it important enough to track such attitudes among non-Jewish citizens?
The racism & insularity of Israeli Jewish society is far stronger & more prevalent among Jews than among Arabs. Not to mention that Jews are the majority & hold far more power than the Arabs. So their racism is far more defining of overall Israel experience & society.
As for hatred between Christians & Muslims, it’s certainly influenced by the level of hatred in the majority Jewish sector. As in many such societies, when the dominant ethnic group holds such views it trickles down to the minorities & infects them as well. U.S. society was like this as well for a century or more in which minorities clawed their way up the ladder looking down on more previous immigrant arrivals. But it was the dominant Anglo-Protestant white majority in this country who set the tone in terms of their own prejudices & hatreds just as Jews do in Israel. So I’m afraid you can’t weasel out of your responsibility for this problem.
You mean I’m “oblivious” to the racism of non-Jewish groups, whom you wish to paint with this brush so you can absolve Israeli Jews of any responsibility? What noblesse oblige of you!
I never said I don’t care about Israeli Jews or Christians, whether they’re your friends or not. What I don’t care about is your claim that you know Israeli reality or your narrow, insular view of it, or Palestinian society.
“I’ve documented here rampant Israeli Jewish racism in countless opinion surveys and you point to 2 instances which you claim prove that all Arab society is equally racist or insular?”
no, you’ve documented ONLY the opinion surveys which rampant Israeli Jewish racism. it’s not hard to find many articles about the violence in between Muslims and and other Muslims (Syria happens to come to mind) and Christians. and these are just 2 incidences i chose to share – believe me there’s more from where that came from.
i’m sorry for not finding the articles in english:
a summery of a research done in BG University about the subject stating the growing tension between this 2 religions despite them sharing nationality. and this is one of the many outbreaks of this tensions (this one also shows the incompetent of the israeli police with dealing with that sort of violence):
“The racism & insularity of Israeli Jewish society is far stronger & more prevalent among Jews than among Arabs. Not to mention that Jews are the majority & hold far more power than the Arabs. So their racism is far more defining of overall Israel experience & society.”
so are you saying that in Gaza the Jewish majority is also to blame? or Egypt maybe? Sudan? bcz this hatred is not confined to the israeli borders.
an interesting article about the fleeing rate (or negative immigration) of Christian form the M.E countries – oh, except one country – Israel. a christian priest in bagdad “the only place safe for christians is Israel”
i am agreeing with you that IN ISRAEL – the jewish majority should do much more. in terms of education, housing, job opportunities etc. and we should also enforce law better – stopping street gang bangers and leadership corruption. but i disagree with the claim that Jews are more racist than Arabs.
“You mean I’m “oblivious” to the racism of non-Jewish groups, whom you wish to paint with this brush so you can absolve Israeli Jews of any responsibility?”
i’m not the one doing the brushing mister. you publish only the negative articles from which anyone of your readers will derive the same conclusion. i live in israel – yes there’s racism, yes you can interview a bank manager that will not accept arab clients. you could also interview an arab christian that would say that muslim are “barbaric and primitive” – heard it 1st hand (not by my friend’s gf i just told you about). you can’t attribute all forms of racism to “israeli jews” – it’s not the case and it takes away the need for minority sectors to resolve issues within their own communities, not just with majority.
Ahmad Tibi said in an interview for channel 2 news “some parts if the arab (notice the he used the word Arab) leadership is not worthy. the ‘Hamula’ element is also pulling us back instead of forward. lots of people believe that violence is the answer – and i say, in self criticise – that it’s primitive.”
“I never said I don’t care about Israeli Jews or Christians, whether they’re your friends or not”
not Israeli Jews or Arab in general – just the personal friends i mentioned as counter to your claims. not only to me – and not once. (please don’t make me scroll to find the evidence because i’ll find it and it’s getting late here).
“What I don’t care about is your claim that you know Israeli reality or your narrow, insular view of it, or Palestinian society.” – so who knows about Israeli reality? seattle blogers? are you kidding me?? believe me Richard, i lived all my life in israel and i’ve been to the WB probably more than most of your commentators combined – so i don’t know everything, but i know some – and that some isn’t always coherent with what you described – or choose to describe.
and finally, food for thought
Richard Silverstein says
This is barely comprehensible English, so I’m not sure what you meant. Opinion surveys are gauges of public opinion by professional pollsters & demographers. I’ve reported on at least two such surveys which document rampant Israeli Jewish racism. I challenge you not to find the odd newspaper article documenting what you claim is Muslim racism, but to find simnilar credilb eopinion surveys of Israeli Muslim opinion documenting the same. Until you do, you’re not credible.
I wasn’t talking even about general Muslim attitudes (unless you want to comapre them to general Jewish attitudes). I was comparing Israeli Jews to Israeli non Jews. Without a doubt there is far more racism among Jews. If you disagree prove it in a credible way (not through personal anecdotes & not through a single newspaper article). A poll would be nice (& not one commissioned by Times of Israel or Jerusalem Post) as I said.
You found a Ben Gurion survey which documented “tension” between the two ethnic groups. That isn’t what I requested. I asked for a survey of racial attitudes of Muslim Israelis to Jewish Israelis.
Again, I asked for attitudes of Israeli Palestinians, not Gazans. At least Israeli Palestinians have some familiarity with Jews as opposed to those in Gaza. But if you examine Jewish Israeli attitudes toward Gazans I’m certain that Gazans are more tolerant toward Jews than Jews would be toward Gazans. SInce you know the level of hatred among Israeli Jews toward Hamas, you couldn’t possibly argue that Gazans hate Jews more than Jews hate Gazans.
I do so love it when hasbarists like you attempt to argue that Christians have it so good in Israel. We might begin with Israeli government attitudes toward Bishop Naim Ateek, who is vilified & smeared by pro-Israel circles. But Christians are such a small religiouis minority the fact that they may be tolerated by Jews doesn’t say much. Muslims are far larger community & the hate levelled at them is far more indicative of overall (Israeli) Jewish racist attitudes.
I’m not interested in yr opinion. I’m interested in evidence. As I wrote, surveys or something similar.
More anecdotes, which mean precisely, nothing.
No sorry fella. You’re an Israeli Jew. YOu combat racism within your community. You tell us what specific things you’ve done along those lines. How you’ve fought racism. If you’ve done nothing, then you have no right to make any comment about your views of the Muslim or Christian communities.
Your comment about Ahmed Tibi is also besides the point. It points to no racist attitudes among the Palestinian community. It deals with the issue of an embrace of violence as a response to discrimination & oppression. Those are different issues.
I know far more about Israeli Palestinian reality than you. And I even know about elements of Israeli Jewish reality which you are ignorant of. You know your own very narrow slice of Israeli reality. You are insular. It is often the case that an interested outside observer can see things from the outside that we can’t or won’t. That’s certainly true with your narrow view.
Ah, you’ve been to the West Bank. Mazel tov. You’ve visited a settlement. Perhaps if you’re even very brave you’ve had a beer at one of the Euro pubs in Ramallah. If so, congratulations. You’re worldly, broad-minded (for most Israeli Jews). But likely you’ve seen a checkpoint during army service, visited your cousins or friends in a settlement. But I assure you you know nothing about Palestinians either inside or outside Israel’s Green Line.
Just a note for @Noam and @Richard — The issue of discrimination is tied to power and it is power that is one-sided. No matter how “multi-cultural” Israelis feel or behave, in fact Jews hold the power and use it to segregate and diminish Palestinians. This is policy, unwritten, unspoken policy of the “Jewish” state.