The State of Israel just announced who would receive the honor of lighting the torch that marks the start of Israel Independence Day. It went to Israeli TV news anchor, Lucy Aharish. She is a young Israeli-Palestinian who grew up among Moroccan Jews in Dimona. Her politics during this period were exceedingly right-wing. And today, they still bear traces of that upbringing. She speaks Hebrew with no Palestinian accent, dresses like a hip Tel Avivit, and bears no semblance of her ethnic roots. Her politics around the Palestinian conflict are typically liberal Zionist (“We have other things to get over besides the occupation and discrimination”). It’s a problem not of her making nor is it her responsibility to fix it or speak on anyone’s behalf but her own.
The only time Lucy Aharish spoke out was when a settler thug attacked her verbally during a TV interview. At that point, she did speak up for herself and put the interviewee in his place. But other than that, you’d hardly know Aharish was “Arab,” to use the slightly pejorative Hebrew phrasing.
Just as Israeli advocacy groups like Aish HaTorah and StandWithUs love to single out Muslim and Arab Uncle Tom’s for special approbation, the choice of Aharish fits that mold. She’s Arab, but she’s one of “us.” She’s not one of “them,” except in a nominal sense. She’s the good “Arab” because you hardly even know she’s Arab:
“What’s more important for me is the brand name Lucy Aharish. The Arab sector does not pay me a salary. My national identify is that of an Arab-Israeli. I identify with Palestinian suffering, but I am not part of it. I have a different suffering here: I am not getting the rights that accrue to me as a citizen of Israel – such as better mortgage terms – because I did not do army service.”
Now, I want to do a Compare and Contrast: note the image of a Palestinian woman protesting against the Occupation. Despite the fact that she and those tear gassed and assaulted with stun grenades today were unarmed, that didn’t stop Israeli police thugs from using violence to break up their non-violent demonstration.
Israel should take pride that it orders dogs to attack unarmed women. That’s part of the Zionist dream, isn’t it? To shed blood for the homeland? Preferably the blood of the enemy. And lots of it.
I wonder if Israel’s ergonomically-correct lady joysticks for launching drone strikes into Gaza houses are pink, too? pic.twitter.com/GQXqkEiR87
— Joe Catron (@jncatron) March 9, 2015
Finally, here is the State of Israel’s official media self-promotion (hasbara) for International Women’s Day. What does it tout? That it’s designed special joysticks for drone operators so women’s smaller hands can be more comfortable. What an achievement! Enabling women to have the privilege of killing Palestinian civilians just like men. Zionism’s contribution to the liberation of women!
A few relevant facts: 300 of those murdered by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge were women. A survey by a human rights NGO found that 37% of Gazans murdered during Operation Protective Edge were killed by drones. If you keep in mind that up to 80% of the Gazan dead were civilians, you can do the math and determine how many civilians those female drone operators killed. Happy Women’s Day everyone–Israel-style!