Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Is Israel a racist nation?


As defenders of Israel we are constantly emphasizing that Israel promotes unconditional co-existence and would never stand for such an awful establishment like institutional discrimination. However what if I said we were wrong and that Israel does in fact actively permit prejudice to flourish? We as educators commit a severe injustice by failing to recognize this. We are so pre-occupied with convincing an obstinate side that apartheid against non-Jews does not exist in Israel that we commit the deprecating mistake of overlooking the institutional discrimination carried out by the Arab population toward the Jewish population. It is imperative to understand that the perpetual situation in Jerusalem is preposterously fluid and more fragile than Derrick Rose’s knees. It would be irresponsible to expect the Israeli government allow Jewish access to the Temple Mount tomorrow and that we shouldn’t submit to the evil, yet standard, expectations that Jews cease from desecrating Islam’s third holiest site with our “dirty Jewish blood.” As a Jew this is an excruciating pill to swallow but one we must swallow for the time being. Altering the conditions on the ground so unilaterally would place countless Jewish lives in danger, which is a direct transgression of the Torah’s most important decree of preserving Jewish life at all costs. Therefore I will abstain from discussing what The Knesset must do to abolish this tangible discrimination in the eternal capital of Israel but comment on what we must do as courageous advocates to change this disgraceful status quo.

Judaism stresses the philosophy that our bodies are temples and that we refrain from tarnishing it at all costs. It is why we are forbidden from receiving tattoos and even writing phone numbers on our arms. Yet we live in a time where it is a daily routine for extremist Arabs to fill their holy mosque with explosives and incitements and our temples with cold blades and piercing bullets. Is this not a direct desecration of our holy beliefs? Are the Islamist tenants of those that wish us dead more treasured than the Jewish tenants of those that cherish life? We’re not talking about practice, Mecca, or Riyadh, but Jerusalem.  

We are in the midst of a heartbreaking wave of terror that is plaguing all citizens of Israel. I believe it to be dramatic to label this period as a full-fledged Intifada and in this article I’m solely referring to the periods of relative calm comprised of the old-fashioned violent harassment rather than the eight stabbings a day. This current wave of terror shall subside but nevertheless we cannot return to the norm perpetrated by Arab leaders. Where are our beitzim? Why have the overwhelming majority of those with a shred of interest in the Palestinian narrative never seen one of the countless videos of Jewish security details carrying Jews off the Temple Mount for daring to pray?

Being forbidden from drinking from a water fountain because I am a Jew is the precise definition of racism. This cancerous atmosphere has become accepted by nations and individuals that claim to be champions of democracy and equality. We can no longer yield to this current state of affairs where this racism is accepted because we don’t want to offend the Muslims of the Levant.

Are we not offended? How is the Palestinian movement so potent when such blatant racism is displayed daily? By all means let’s work something out and share the Temple Mount. But accept such vile racism? No way. No more.

One of the callous videos I witnessed was accompanied by a caption that said “Will the media write about this? Will anyone?” As with numerous videos of the exact same nature, no, the media will not write about this, and no, not many, if any, outside the pro-Israel community will either. Regardless, the real question is will we make such examples of abhorrent hatred and outright anti-Semitism a main point in our arguments? So far we haven’t and we are subconsciously and unintentionally yielding to this unbelievable view that there is nothing we can do but accept this racist reality.

This state of blatant discrimination is maintained in order to preserve whatever quiet can be salvaged. Our temples are being “desecrated,” not by our “filthy feet,” but by their blades. Children are effectively adopting irreversible trauma courtesy of grown women violently shrieking of “Allahu Akbar.” All because this status quo is perpetuated by fervent anti-Semites and in turn accepted by the world. All because we meet this hatred with undertones and silence. Deafening silence.

We boil with rage when videos of these Jewish strangers that we are connected with are harassed for being Jews in the one nation where it should be safe to be one. We can no longer fight a battle where it is adequate to advocate for Israel that she is not a racist state while simultaneously overlooking the bigotry that is thriving in the very same nation we defend. We owe it to those strangers that we love so much for exhibiting unhindered strength because breaking under such evil would make liars of us all for uttering “never again.”  

Ben Suster is a student at UCF and president of the Knights for Israel.


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